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Wine and its future in world markets: here is the “Wine Trade Monitor 2019” by Sopexa

The sentiment of the operators in the USA, UK, Germany, Japan, Belgium, China and Hong Kong, gathered together at Wine Paris
Wine and its future in world markets: here is the “Wine Trade Monitor 2019” by Sopexa

Preamble: market forecasts are always to be taken as indications of sentiment, with scenarios that can change, as we have seen in recent months, from one moment to the next. Especially when they are the result of investigations developed before events that, in fact, distort the scenario. Nevertheless, they can serve to understand which direction to follow. And, according to the “Wine Trade Monitor” 2019 by Sopexa, the next few years will still be a period of growth for Italian wine, and above all, it seems, thanks to the younger generation. At least, according to the opinions collected, together with “Wine Paris”, interviewing 984 operators among importers, distributors, wholesalers and retailers, from 7 markets such as USA, UK, Germany, Japan, Belgium, China and Hong Kong.
For all of them, France, Italy and Spain remain the most important producing countries with which to work in all markets (although France lost 17 percentage points compared to 2018). At the level of individual markets, in the USA, Germany and Japan the majority of players expect growth over the next 2 years, while in the UK the forecasts are more pessimistic, and in the remaining markets the future will be stable. In this context, Italy and France are still competing for first place in terms of growth potential, with France, however, losing positions for respondents from China, Belgium, Hong Kong and the United States. In China in particular (perhaps the country for which forecasts, given the news of these weeks, are more uncertain), Australian and Chilean wines are those indicated with excellent growth prospects, followed by Italians. In Japan, for the first time, local wines are destined to see the greatest growth in sales, placed ahead of French wines (36%) and Italian wines (24%).
In the UK, Brexit will mainly benefit wine producing countries outside Europe: 53% of respondents expect growth for Chilean wines, 45% for Australian wines and 40% for Argentinian wines. In the United States, on the other hand, Italian wines would benefit from the psychological impact of the increase in customs duties on French wines last October. In general, and for 59% of those surveyed, it is still France’s origin that still shows the best performance, clearly distancing itself from its competitors. However, there has been a loss of value of the French image in Belgium and its total absence in the sector of wines considered attractive to young people.
Italy comes in second place, cited by 11% of respondents. Italy’s wine production, together with that of Australian wines, is associated with the best performance in terms of “innovation” and “attractive to young people”. Looking in detail at the coveted market share of the younger generation, the interviewees put Italy and Australia in the lead (16%), followed by Spain (13%), Chile and the USA (both 10%).
Another trend that seems destined to consolidate is that of organic wines: for 42% of respondents, organic and biodynamic wines are the top category for the next two years, with the exception of China. Low-alcohol wines will also be important: 35% of respondents in Germany and 24% in the UK see potential in this category, which is expected to see the second highest growth in the next two years.
What seems to be set to slow down, however, is the rose wine train in the US, with only 13% of American players expecting further growth for the category. If among the single successful territories of May, France dominates red wines, with Bordeaux, Languedoc, Côtes du Rhône and Burgundy, and if it plays with New Zealand (and Marlborough) on whites, especially with Loire wines, among bubbles Prosecco dominates in all the markets examined, Cava in Japan and the United States gains positions, whereas for most of the interviewees from Germany and the United Kingdom it will grow the Cremant category.
On the front of the most successful grape varieties, the Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Merlot poker remains in the lead, with Cabernet Sauvignon at the top, destined to perform particularly well outside of Europe, particularly in China. ”We are very proud to present these results”, explains Matteo Lefebvre, director of Sopexa Italia, “as well as being recognized as one of the countries with the greatest prospects for growth in the markets surveyed, Italy is also recognized as a producer of wines of great interest to the younger generations. This reinforces the perception of the quality of Italian wine production, which goes hand in hand with the desire to evolve and remain attentive to the trends and needs of all types of consumers”.

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