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Ovse-Ceves: 2020 for Italian wine is the worst of the last 30 years

Italian bubbles resist: 67 million bottles are estimated to be uncorked at the end of the year (-12% on 2019). With a loss of 60 million euros
67 million bottles of sparkling wine for the festive season at the end of 2020

After years of great growth, especially for bubbles, 2020 of Italian wine is about to close with the worst economic result of the last 30 years, despite the +13% in value and +9% in volumes in exports recorded between January and February 2020: to reiterate it Ovse-Ceves, the Osservatorio Centro Studi Economici Vini Speciali. The lockdown, the closure of the horeca sector, the collapse of tourism and the arrival of foreigners in Italy and the restrictions that will be applied during the Christmas holidays, a crucial period in which Italian companies realize about one third of their annual turnover, have a decisive impact.
In spite of this, it seems that the catastrophe that hit other big European brands has not or is not sinking the consumption of Italian bubbles. The online and large-scale distribution channels, for example, are growing strongly, more than the average of the other months of this year.
In 2019, recalls Giampiero Comolli, who heads the Observatory, the record of 75-76 million national bottles uncorked for the end-of-year festivities alone was reached. This year, a downward figure emerges, obviously, but not catastrophic: an estimated 66-67 million bottles (-12%) ready to be uncorked. Missing from the list, of course, are all the bottles from restaurants, night bars and discos.
But bottles on the holiday table, on the whole, should not be missing, as long as they are convenient. As always, especially in large-scale retail trade, last minute promotions will be very interesting and could also improve the data. This, Ovse-Ceves points out, shows that there is also a problem of availability towards labels with a higher value and brand.
The survey carried out at the turn of the feast of the Immaculate Conception, which involved a sample of 1,842 people, reveals that Italians in December 2020 put in the first place everything that turns out to be “convenient2, in a kind of race between not giving up but spending less in any case, who by obligation, who also by necessity. The increase in sales of still and sparkling wine online and the share of bubbly labels in gift packs partly curb the damage and partly fill the gap of consumption outside the home. Orders-deliveries for gifts directly to wineries which activated and communicated the service also increased, with some interesting discounts (even 25%) for some cases. Only in the last 30 days of the year, concludes the survey, there is damage to the production of sparkling wines of 60 million euros and damage to the consumption of more than 150 million euros. A gap so high between production and consumption that should make us think. Hence the figure of the loss of 5 billion euros in lost spending by Italians and tourists who come to Italy (2 out of 3 are adults) especially for food and wine. A national asset, that of food and wine, that perhaps has not yet been placed in the right dimension and value for the country of Italy. A real damage that goes far beyond the refreshments promised and not yet arrived.

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