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Wine and large-scale distribution values up in 2021 (€1.8 billion, +2.6% on 2020), but volumes down

Iri data analyzed by WineNews. Only the classic glass bottle is growing, all other formats are losing out
Wine and large-scale distribution, in 2021 values up (+2.6% on 2020), but volumes down

Values are growing, but volumes are falling, with a vertical collapse of all formats, with the exception of the classic glass bottle, which remains predominant in absolute terms and sees positive performances in terms of quantity and value, unlike everything else: this is the brutal synthesis of Italian wine in 2021 in Italy’s large-scale organized distribution (with the exception of discount stores), in the IRI data analyzed by WineNews. After the boom in sales in terms of value and volume in 2020, driven by the lockdown and the prolonged closure of restaurants and bars, in a channel that was one of the real barriers to the maintenance of consumption in volume, in the first year of the pandemic, on the other hand, stabilization of sales on FMCG shelves, also due to the recovery, albeit partial, of consumption outside the home, was expected, and has materialized, at least in terms of quantities. Overall, sales in Hypermarkets and Supermarkets and in the “small free service” (outlets between 100 and 399 square meters, ed), reached a value of €1.84 billion, up 2.6% on 2020 in the channel (the data cover the 52 weeks ending 26 December 2021, ed), for a volume of 493,675,648 liters, down -3.2%. As mentioned, the only format to grow is the 0.75-liter glass bottle, with a value of €1.47 billion, +6.1%, for 276,377,632 million liters. With an average price per liter of 3.8 euros. On the other hand, all other formats, including “convenience” formats, fell sharply. The “brik”, which is the second largest item in terms of specific weight on sales, fell by -7.1% in value, to 192.7 million euros, for 131.2 million liters, down by -5.9%. The “big bottle” up to 2 liters also suffered, losing more than -14% both in value (87.7 million euros) and in quantity (34.7 million liters), as did plastic, with losses of more than -12% (20 million euros in value for 14.6 million liters), while bag-in-box contained losses, with a -2.4% drop in value, to 34.9 million euros, and -3% in volume, for 19.5 million liters. But all other formats also lost double-digit figures, down more than 15% in value (26.9 million euros) and in volume (15.7 million liters). A complicated picture, therefore, and one that in 2022, which has just begun, will have to reckon with an increase in logistics and production costs and a sharply rising inflation that is asymmetrical to purchasing power. Which, in a market segment such as large-scale distribution wine, on average squeezed by low margins, could further weigh on the consumption of a product that is as distinctive as wine and yet voluptuous, as already emerged in the focus event staged at Vinitaly Special Edition in October 2021. When overall figures were still growing in terms of both volume and value.

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