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Wine and gdo: volumes down in the first 6 months 2024. Only sparkling wines return to growth

The state of the art in Circana’s data on the first half of the year among supermarket and discount store shelves, analyzed by WineNews
Wine and large-scale retail: volumes down in the first 6 months 2024

If at least from exports some positive signs are coming, with a growth of more than +3% in both value and volume in the first quarter of 2024 over 2023, according to Istat data, and in the away-from-home sector there is, thanks to the summer, some desire for recovery, in large-scale distribution, the true thermometer of wine consumption in Italy, with a share of total volumes ranging between 60% and 70% of the total, things are not going well in this first half of 2024. With the exception of sparkling wines, of all types, which have resumed their run, after the small setback of 2023, which had interrupted a 10-year growth trend. That’s the picture from Circana data, analyzed by WineNews, on wine sales between large-scale distribution, discount stores and e-commerce linked on the first half of the year. Overall, the figure is negative, with volumes at -1.9% (315.4 million liters) over the same period 2023, although values are up +1.4% (to €1.1 billion), and prices +3.3% (€3.57 per liter), but substantially due to inflation-related list price increases rather than a shift to higher quality product ranges, as evidenced, moreover, by -4.3% in volume and +0.5% in value when looking at the volumes of Iper and Super Markets and Liberto Servizio Piccolo, which contrast with +4% in volume and +5.7% in value of discount stores. A negative picture attributable entirely to still (and sparkling) wine, since while 0.75 bottled wines as a whole make -1% in volume (164.5 million liters) and +1.7% in value (859 million euros), sparkling wines mark +3.5% in volume (44.2 million liters) and +3.5% in value (297.3 million euros), at an average price of 6.7 euros per liter. And growing are both Prosecco, which is by far the best-selling type of sparkling wine in retail, with +3.1% in volume (for 19.8 million liters) and +2.4% in value (€151.4 million, with an average price per liter of €7.6), and Metodo Classico, with a slight +0.4 in volume (2.2 million liters) and +4.5% in value (€43.2 million, with an average price per liter of €19.61).
“If we look at sparkling wines, which in 2023 had closed with a -1% in volume, we can see how last year was a negative exception to a 10-year, positive trend. That said, it is a return to growth that is certainly not that of past years, sometimes even in double digits, but still significant”, Virgilio Romano, Circana Business Insight Director, comments to WineNews. Who points out, however, that the difficulties are there, and even more than expected, on still wines. “For wines as a whole, on the other hand, a negative trend that has lasted since 2022 is confirmed, although in 2023 there had been a slight improvement, but in a balance that was still declining. Already at the beginning of 2024 it was understood that things would continue along these lines, and they did. With whites, following the general trend, doing better than reds. Let’s say that in general we do not see conditions for things to change in the short term, and so we expect a balance, at the end of the year, positive for sparkling wines, and still negative for still wines”. In a picture that seems to tell of an increasingly structural decline in still wine consumption.

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