Allegrini 2018

Vinitaly Observatory: wine, after the crisis, economy permitting, everything will go back as before

Nomisma Wine Monitor survey on “the effects of lockdown on wine consumption in Italy”

“Nothing will be the same as before”, the post-emergency refrain does not apply to the wine people: Italian consumers (85% of the population) declare, in essence, to be faithful to their habits already from Phase 2, compatible with their financial availability. In the meantime, it is not as before the dynamics of lockdown consumption: the glass is more half-empty than half full, and the growth of purchases in large-scale distribution does not compensate for the zeroing of consumption outside the home. And if 55% of consumers have not changed their habits, 3 out of 10 say they have drunk less wine (but also less beer) in quarantine, compared to 14% who indicate higher consumption. This is affirmed with great optimism by the survey - the first with an emergency Corononavirus focus, which will be followed by others in the coming months - conducted by the Vinitaly-Nomisma Wine Monitor “The effects of the lockdown on wine consumption in Italy”, carried out on 1,000 wine consumers of the Italian population. According to the research, the “after” will be like “before” for 80% of consumers. Or more than before, with the millennials forecasting a significant increase in consumption in particular of “mixed” wines (25% expecting to increase demand), demonstrating the desire to return to new normality with the usual aggregating elements, starting with the product and its places of consumption outside the home (restaurants, bars, wine bars), which are worth a slice of 1/3 of the sample in terms of volume (42% among the millennials).
“Wine - the survey highlights - cannot disregard its socializing aspect, if it is true that the decrease found is largely adduced (58%) to the isolation regime imposed by the COVID-19 emergency, which canceled the possibility of going to the restaurant, drinks in company and aperitifs. On the other hand, those who declare an increase have chosen wine as a relaxing element (23%, especially women from the South), to be combined with good home cooking (42%), especially among smart workers in the North". Giovanni Mantovani, CEO of VeronaFiere, said: “If little seems to change in consumer habits - and this is good news - wine companies are instead called upon to make profound changes, struggling with the need to react to financial tensions and at the same time defend themselves against speculation. The market and its new reference channels will be the main cures for a sector that today needs an extraordinary outlook on the economic situation and a partner able to provide new horizons and solutions. As Veronafiere - he concluded - from now until the next few months we want to take on, even more, this responsibility in support of the sector”.
In general, it emerges that quarantine also seems to have flattened the incentives for knowledge, with experimentation with new products falling on pre-lockdown (from 73% to 59%), the preference for small producers (from 65% to 58%), sustainable wines (from 65% to 61%) and autochthonous wines (from 81% to 76%). According to respondents, these trends will return to the same level as before in the post-quarantine period. What has changed, but it has to be verified whether it will be in the future, is the preference of the online purchasing channel, which has jumped from 20% to 25%.
Denis Pantini, head of Nomisma Wine Monitor, adds that “although the lockdown has changed the way Italians buy and consume wine, the desire to return “to the good old days” seems to prevail over the current moment of crisis and future behavior, which will necessarily be marked by greater social precaution and distance. This is a very important asset in terms of confidence about the recovery and it should be preserved especially in light of the imminent phase 2, also because the estimated drop in Italian GDP for the coming months risks to have an impact on consumption in consideration of demand compared to income which in the case of wine is elastic, and as such, at risk of reduction because of the economic recession”.

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