Allegrini 2018

Italian wine and the market: signs of recovery in large-scale distribution, stable exports, and increased out-of-home consumption

In a complex situation, there is positive sentiment. To tell that the research of Nomisma Wine Monitor and Trade Labs for Federvini
Italian wine: recovery in large-scale distribution, exports stable, out-of-home grows

If during the tough years of the pandemic, large-scale distribution was the most important economic barrier for the wine sector, today, with an international framework of strong tensions linked to the war between Russia and Ukraine, but not only, and with important economies in difficulty such as that of China, Germany, the United Kingdom and in part of the USA, and an export that holds but does not grow much, at least in the first part of 2023, the most positive and important signal comes from out-of-home, also in Italy, where consumption continues to grow, after an already strong recovery in 2022. It is the overall picture that emerges from Wine Monitor Nomisma and Trade Lab analyses for Federvini, an organization meeting today in Rome and representing over 2,600 companies with a total turnover of 20, 6 billion euros across wine, spirits, and vinegars. The less positive notes, as mentioned, arrive from exports. In the main foreign markets of Italian wine, in the first 3 months of 2023, according to Nomisma’s processing of customs data, overall things are substantially stable in value for made-in-Italy wine (-0.3%), compared to a world which grows by +2.4%. Positively, in terms of value, there are the United States (+12.8%), France (+18.5%), Japan (+10%), Switzerland (+3.3%), Germany (+0.1%), which is beginning a downward trend, and the United Kingdom (-11.1%), Canada (-21.5%), but also China (-24.2%).
On the other hand, after the slowdown of 2021, following a record-breaking 2020, Italian large-scale distribution appears to be recovering slightly in terms of values, but not in quantity. In the first quarter, there is talk of a +2% increase over 2022, for a total value of 670 million euros, with still and sparkling wines accounting for 79.4% and sparkling wines accounting for 20%. The most significant growth is in sparkling wines, with a +9.8% increase in value, lower margins of +0.2% for still and sparkling wines, and a -2.6% decrease in vermouths.
The happiest notes come from outside the country: in a scenario in which the Italian economic recovery slows, with a 2022 GDP of 3.9% compared to +6.6% in 2021 (and with a forecast of 0.6% for 2023), the overall eating out market in 2022 closed at 93 billion euros, up from 85 billion in 2019. As a result, on-trade turnover in 2022 increased by 33%, more than doubling in the first quarter of the year compared to the 2021 quarter when the Covid restrictions were in effect. Still, spirits have the best percentage performance (+88%), followed by alcoholic cocktails (+32%), bitters and after meals (+24%), wine (+24%), and sparkling wine (21%). In 2022, 1.47 billion wines and spirits were consumed in Italy, up 28% from 2021, between lunches, dinners, and aperitifs in clubs (day and night). Wines (40%) and sparkling wines (15%) account for 800 million dollars. The evening aperitif has the most significant performance for wine, but lunch and dinner in medium-high-end restaurants contribute the most to growth.
In fact, wine consumed out-of-home in 40% of cases happens at lunch, as well as at dinner, and thus alongside with meals, whereas bubbles see the key moment in the evening aperitif, with 30%, followed by dinner (23%) and lunch (16%). Wine consumption is still concentrated at 63% in restaurants, where an average of 30 euros is spent per person, a channel that also attracts 32% of bubbles consumption, which, however, also sees an important incidence of bars, which account for 53% of the channel between daytime and evening. What’s more, between the recovery of international tourism and the desire of Italians to rediscover serenity and conviviality, Trade Lab estimates further growth in the overall market for out-of-home consumption in 2023, which should exceed 100 billion euros. A growth that will undoubtedly benefit wine, particularly higher-end wine, which had suffered the most during the Covid era.

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