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Online sales: Lugana, Prosecco and Primitivo the Germans’ favorite Italian wines. Reds at the top

These are the results of the focus developed by Nomisma Wine Monitor and Vino.com’s E-commerce Observatory. Germany second largest market after the US

Lugana, Prosecco Docg and Primitivo di Manduria are the main Italian PDO wines preferred by Germans, although, overall, red wines are the most purchased category. In Germany - which is the second largest export market for Italian wine, after the United States - Millennials and Gen Z are increasing among buyers, although, as in Italy, most purchases are made by Baby Boomers and Gen X (80% of bottles bought annually). This is what emerges from the wine E-commerce Observatory, born from the partnership between Nomisma Wine Monitor and Vino.com, dedicated to the German consumer and a comparison with the Italian one.
In Germany - where “Prowein” (Düsseldorf, March 19-21) is currently underway - in 2022, of the more than 2.7 billion euros of wine purchased from abroad, 38 percent was of Italian origin. Unlike many other markets, the German market is characterized by stable consumption and imports and is not usually surprised by “twists and turns”: in the last five years, the average annual growth rate in the value of wine purchases from abroad was just over 1%, with France and Italy able to boast more substantial increases (3%).
As much as free-service distribution takes the lead in wine sales, online in Germany weighs in at about 6% of all volumes distributed in the off-trade channel, a somewhat higher incidence than that found in Italy (4%). In 2022, according to the Observatory’s data, red wines represent the preferred category for Germans (48% of all bottles sold online by Vino.com in Germany), followed by whites (29%) and sparkling wines (18%).
“Although reds represent the most purchased wines online, it is Lugana and Prosecco Docg that are the top Italian appellations preferred by German consumers, with the former purchased mainly by Baby Boomers and Prosecco appreciated instead by Millennials”, says Denis Pantini, head of Agribusiness and Wine Monitor at Nomisma.
Among the top ten Italian PDO wines purchased online by Germans are, of course, reds, particularly Primitivo di Manduria (in third place), Chianti Classico and Amarone della Valpolicella. As for the average expenditure per bottle incurred by the German consumer, it ranges from 9.6 euros for whites to 12.8 euros for reds to 18.1 euros for bubbles.
“With 1.1 million bottles sold, Germany is Vino.com's first European market: since 2020 we have had a direct presence in the German market, introducing buyers to many wineries of our Italian tradition”, stresses Andrea Nardi Dei, CEO & founder of Vino.com, “a presence that allows us to analyze purchases also by gender and compare them with Italian sales. In fact, data show that the female component of German customers emerges especially in purchases of sparkling and rosé wines. For the former category, in 2022, 30% of bubbly bottles were bought by women (in Italy, the corresponding share of purchases stopped at 18%), while for rosés the percentage was 25.4% versus 16% nationally. It follows that, in general, Germany has a higher rate of purchase by female consumers (21.2%) than in Italy (15.5%)”.
In contrast, many more similarities emerge on the age purchasing front. In both countries, nearly half of online wine purchases are made by consumers belonging to Generation X (i.e., born between 1965 and 1980), followed by Baby Boomers (31% in Italy, 34% in Germany) and with Millennials making an impact with shares straddling 20%. An examination of preferences by age group shows a greater preference for red wines among German Baby Boomers than among Italian Baby Boomers, with the latter oriented - more than their peers in Germany - to bubbles. The opposite is true among Millennials, where German ones are more interested in sparkling wines than Italian ones.
The next focus of Nomisma Wine Monitor and Vino.com’s Wine E-commerce Observatory will be on the profile of online buyers in Italy of less “well-known” PDOs, on the seasonality of online consumption, as well as on purchases of spirits.

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