Allegrini 2018

ICE behind the Italian wine boom in China

Made in Italy exports to China grew 22.2% last year, ICE Beijing director Amedeo Scarpa says
ICE Beijing director Amedeo Scarpa

It is the most coveted and most competitive market, the one that guarantees the best growth margins in the next few years, but it is also the largest and most complex one. China is Italian wine’s target, which clearly has trailed behind competitors such as France and Australia, but now it is in full swing, on all sides. The numbers confirm it, too. The Italian wine market share rose from 4.93% in 2015 to 7.03% in the first quarter of 2018, thanks to an increase of +62.82% over the previous quarter. But what is even more extraordinary is the evolution of the average price, which increased from 3.63 dollars per liter in 2015 to 4.72 dollars in 2017, in contrast with the rebates that instead affected imports from the rest of the world. So, what is behind this rather extraordinary evolution? In a word: promotion. Many venues and organizations have implemented promotions, from Vinitaly to Slow Food, Gambero Rosso, Federvini, Uiv and Federdoc, but being able to bring everyone’s single efforts together, a huge amount of investments and an infrastructure capacity that no one else can boast, is ICE, the agency for the promotion of Made in Italy abroad, directly from the Ministry of Economic Development and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. It has a central directive role as the ICE Beijing director Amedeo Scarpa, reiterated with pride to WineNews, “Made in Italy exports to China grew 22.2% last year, so we are talking about almost a quarter increase in value. Record values”, pointed out Scarpa, “have been recorded by both agri-food as a whole (+18%) and wine +63% in the first quarter of this year”. The investments are bearing fruit, then, looking at the data. “The merit”, continued the ICE director of Beijing, “is due to a multilevel approach, which involved training Chinese promoters of Italian wine, communication, especially on the web, and sales promotion, since Italian food and beverage have shown a boom on the shelves of Chinese chain stores”. In other words, there have been many initiatives on the field, and at least one certainty, “for a small country like Italy, a system is the only way to make the difference in China”.

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