Allegrini 2024

Italian wine reverses course on large-scale retail shelves in Germany, Uk and the US: +1.3%

Uiv-Vinitaly Observatory: in the first half of 2023 turnover at 2.2 billion euros. Stops in the United States hurt: -7.4%
The first half of 2023 Italian wine on the shelves of the U.S., U.K. and Germany

In the first half of 2023, sales of Italian wine between the shelves of large-scale distribution and retail in the world’s top 3 markets are back in line: overall, according to the Uiv-Vinitaly Observatory, which processed the latest data from Nielsen-IQ, sales of Italy’s wine production in the U.S., Germany and the UK closed the six-month period with a flat trend result in volume (-0.2%), and a slight increase in value (+1.3%, to 2.2 billion euros). The performance - the Observatory notes - is better than in the first quarter (-4% volume and -1% value), but still insufficient to give a break to companies in a sector that is still heavily penalized by a cost surplus that accounts for 10% of the average price. Total marketed volumes of still and semi-sparkling wines mark +0.7%, aided by increases in the Uk (+3.2%) and, above all, in Germany (+4.2%), sustained by strong demand for low-cost semi-sparkling wines. Still wines in the U.S. bucked the trend, giving up 7.4%, while sparkling wines showed a 2.8% decrease, with the U.S. positive (+2%), offset on the negative side by the U.K. (-6%) and Germany (-3.8%).

Of the 2.2 billion euros marketed, 960 million (-0.3% trend, -4.4% volumes) come from purchases of made-in-Italy wine in the US large-scale retail trade; over 840 million come from Uk demand (+2.4%, with volumes -0.5%) and 400 million from Germany (+2.9%, +3.7% volumes). The lead in volumes belongs to the Germans (84 million liters sold, out of a total of 231 million in the 3 countries), but the average shelf price of 4.7 euros per liter is 3 times lower than in the U.S. (14.3 euros) and less than half the Uk figure (10.5 euros). In general, list price growth for still/semi-sparkling wines is flat (+0.3%) while for sparkling wines the increase is 4.9%. Prosecco, the main Italian denomination marketed in the world, marks a -2% in volumes (good in the US, still negative in Uk, although recovering) and a +3.2% in values, for a corresponding amount (675 million euros) that accounts for 31% of all Made in Italy wine marketed in the off trade channels of the 3 countries.

Veronafiere CEO Maurizio Danese explains that “it is necessary to make sure that economic difficulties do not turn into structural ones; in these situations, the presence and flagship promotion of the Italian wine brand becomes essential. For this reason, between September and December this year Vinitaly will activate a new internationalization campaign through 25 appointments between fairs, road shows and incoming on the next Verona edition organized in 15 countries and 4 continents”.

The secretary general of Unione italiana vini (UIV), Paolo Castelletti, recalls, on the other hand, how “compared to the first quarter we find a timid upturn, still too weak, however, if we consider the tensions experienced by the sector. The upward spurt in volumes marketed in Germany is due to the cooling of price lists, which in the last quarter instead of increasing fell by an average of 4%, with a contraction even compared to the first half of 2022. Changes on the average price we believe to be too weak in the U.S. and Uk as well, by 4% and 3% respectively”.

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