Allegrini 2018

Nicoletto (Santa Margherita): “expanding the offer and promotion to grow in the US”

The Italian export crisis in the US is obvious; Prosecco is the savior, while France plays its “four points”
Ettore Nicoletto, ad del Gruppo Santa Margherita

The United States is the number one market for wine consumption, and for years has been the destination Italian wine companies have favored, and they are continuing to do excellent business overseas. However, for the first time in a long time, they are being forced to face a significant decline in exported volumes, while they are continuing to grow in value. The US Dept. of Commerce data, as the ICE Office in New York has assessed and updated in August, revealed that imports have indeed exceeded 4.15 billion dollars in value, marking +7.7% in growth while quantities fell to 7.77 million hectoliters, falling to -3.5%, because of an increase in average prices that fluctuated from 4.8 dollars per liter in the first 8 months of 2017 to 5.3 dollars during the same period in 2018. This dynamic has given cause to much worry, and it appears that the only weapon with which to offset it is, once again, Prosecco, as Ettore Nicoletto, of the Santa Margherita Group told WineNews. The Santa Margherita Group is one of the main Italian wine groups, counting 168 million euros in turnover in 2017, ten different Estates in some of the most famous Italian wine regions - Eastern Veneto, Conegliano-Valdobbiadene, Trentino-Alto Adige, Lugana, Franciacorta, Chianti Classico, Maremma, Sicily and Sardinia - and the brands Santa Margherita, Torresella, Ca’ del Bosco, Kettmeir, Lamole di Lamole, Vistarenni, Sassoregale, Terrelíade, Ca’ Maiol and Cantina Mesa.
“The decline in Italian exports to the US is evident for all to see and the only sector that has been able to save it has been Prosecco, the true driver of Italian shipments in the last few years. As far as we are concerned”, explained Nicoletto, “we are still in positive territory, though also quite aware that we are facing an anything but simple situation. This is because our main competitor, France, can count on 4 large territories: Bordeaux, Champagne, Burgundy and, lately, Provence and its rosés. We have only Prosecco with which we can counter their great strength while this confrontation and this particular moment are both difficult as well as delicate to deal with. We must try to strengthen the potential of products that the country system can offer, and try to expand the offer with adequate and up-to-date promotional activities, both to cover the wine industry’s needs, continued Nicoletto, “and the diversity and uniqueness of the different districts. We must allow ICE to continue the work that the previous government started”, concluded Nicoletto, “which in China and the US was already beginning to show interesting results” .

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