Allegrini 2018

Passionate, traditional, popular: wine, for Italians, is the bond between generations

“Mercato Italia - Gli Italiani e il vino” traces the profile of the state of health of the domestic market of the first producer country in the world

Passionate as love, traditional as Sunday lunch, popular as football. For Italians, wine is much more than an asset of Made in Italy: it is a bond between generations that involves almost 9 out of 10 citizens throughout the Boot. The survey “Mercato Italia - Gli Italiani e il vino”, carried out by Vinitaly with the Vinitaly-Nomisma Wine Monitor Observatory and presented today in a Vinitaly (until 10 April in Verona), traces the profile of the approach to wine and the state of health of the domestic market of the world’s leading producer country. We drink less (26% less than the volumes of twenty years ago) but in a more responsible way: the average is 2-4 glasses a week, consumed mainly at home (67%), especially by baby boomers (55-73 years, 93%), but the share of all generations is significant, with millennials (18-38 years) that already show a penetration rate of 84%. This figure is increasing both at home and away from home. We drink less, therefore, but the wine market keeps and produces a value for consumption that, according to the analysis, is estimated by the Observatory at 14.3 billion euros (figure 2018). A 650,000-hectare mega vineyard, with 406 denomination wines, 310,000 companies and above all a value for consumption on the domestic market that the Vinitaly Observatory - Nomisma Wine Monitor estimates in 2018 at 14.3 billion euros, for a volume of wine sold equal to 22.9 million hectoliters. Compared to 2017, there was a growth of 2.8% in value and substantial stability in volume (-0.4%). In comparing the top markets in terms of a value of consumption, Italy ranks fourth after the USA, France and the United Kingdom. For the president of Veronafiere Spa, Maurizio Danese, “for the first time, we have estimated the consumer value of the first market in the world for our producers. The figure, which exceeds 14 billion euros, says a lot about how much the sector impacts not only on the supply chain but also on services and on Horeca”. For the majority of the interviewees, wine is tradition, elegance, and culture, unlike spirits, associated with fun and monotony, or beer, where matching with friendship and everyday life prevails. “For Italians, wine goes beyond the status symbol - comments the Director General of Veronafiere, Giovanni Mantovani - and represents a fundamental element of the Italian culture, unlike other consumer countries.
And Vinitaly is a brand recognized as a flag: three Italians out of four know our event, as it rises to the North, for 81%, and among Italians with a high level of education and income. Brand notoriety that is not an end in itself: today - he added - Vinitaly aims to speak through all possible channels, to create an increasingly cohesive relationship between the world of producers and that of consumers. In recent years we have invested almost five million euros in digital development and our event will be the first to use this potential.
And if it is true that red wine remains the favorite on the table, preferences change along the Peninsula based on old and new consumption habits and the location of the different planted areas. Those who drink red wine do so in half of the cases at least 2-3 times a week, while for the other types the consumption is more episodic, especially outside the home. In metropolitan cities, where the penetration rate is equal to or slightly higher than the Italian average (91% in Naples compared to 88% in Italy) and the average age of consumers is lower, Rome drinks much more white wine than the Italian average (25% vs 18%), while reds dominate in Naples and Milan sparkling has consumption peaks well above the average, as well as rose wines in Milan and Naples.
A hedonistic relationship, the one between Italians and wine, made of satisfaction of the senses rather than knowledge, with only a quarter of consumers who say they can recognize what they are drinking. The share of “experts” rises in males (33% against 18% of women), in the North-West (31%) and in direct proportion to income (45%) and education (39% graduates). Among the choice criteria, the territory of production over the name and grape variety. Together they account for 61% of the responses and are much more important in terms of price, company brand, sommelier advice, and green features. Among the “will be famous” in the next 2-3 years, consumers indicate instead the native (28%), organic (19%), wines from Veneto, Piedmont, Tuscany, Puglia and Sicily and those light, easy to drink and mix. Wine in the glass but also in the countryside, with 23% of Italians who have made a holiday/excursion in a wine territory and only 18% who exclude this possibility in the future.
Among the most sought-after destinations, Tuscany wins with Chianti and Siena,
then Piedmont (Langhe and Asti) and Veneto. The spritz, which is the king of the out of home (and of the aperitif) and now a real rite of initiation to wine for the youngest palates, makes its way all over the peninsula. A pop turning point that at the same time can be interpreted as a first cultural approach towards a flag product. “The survey carried out on the Italian consumer of wine - said the head of Nomisma Wine Monitor, Denis Pantini - has been declined in depth by areas, regions and large cities, a detail necessary to fully understand the trends that are emerging in the national market. A market that should not be overlooked, not only for the value it expresses but also for the fact that the brand reputation of our producers and our wines, which will then be valid on foreign markets, is built primarily in Italy”. The scenario analyzed by the Vinitaly-Nomisma Wine Monitor Observatory, which also focused on 6 regions (Veneto, Lombardy, Piedmont, Tuscany, Campania and Sicily) and 3 cities (Rome, Milan and Naples), reveals that Italy’s wine consumption habits are fairly uniform, with a slight prevalence in the North, where there is also a greater awareness of the product. Spritz consumption is particularly high in Lombardy and Veneto, (around 40% outside the home) and more generally in mixed wines in large cities, where there is also a greater propensity for wine tourism holidays, particularly in Milan (36%). Red, the first among consumption, dominates in the South, in Piedmont and Tuscany, while in Veneto the percentage of sparkling wines is very high. The differences in the knowledge of the great vines are more marked, in fact, called to indicate the regional provenance of Amarone Della Valpolicella, Brunello di Montalcino, and Franciacorta, only 1 Italian out of 4 responds correctly, geography rewards the Venetians (38% of answers without errors), followed by Lombardy (34%), while Sicily and Campania fall behind, with the threshold, lowered to about a fifth of respondents.

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