Allegrini 2018

Wine, in 2020 consumption down by 13.6% in the world, then recovery in 2021, and parity in 2024

The scenario according to Iwsr and Vinexpo. In Europe it will still be premiumization, in the USA the new formats will grow. And e-commerce will grow
The collapse and recovery of wine consumption in the world according to Iwsr and Vinexpo

A drop in consumption, evident, in 2020, due to the pandemic, then a major rebound in 2021, and then few changes until 2024, when the quantities of wine consumed in the world will be substantially identical to 2019 levels. While the world wine industry will have to deal with the many challenges that have obviously not disappeared with the Covid emergency, from the duty war between the USA and Asia, which also involves Europe, and the management of Brexit, from a geopolitical point of view, passing through the adaptation of viticulture and enology to climate change. In a phase in which it is very difficult to make any kind of forecast: here is the world scenario, designed by the study of International Wine & Spirits Research (Iwsr) for Vinexpo, presented in recent days in a webinar, which “is just the first in a series of digital appointments that we will put at the service of the sector to face the future”, said the CEO of Vinexpo Rodolphe Lameyse (who renewed the appointment with Vinexpo Wine Paris, in 2021, February 15 to 17, in Paris). The CEO, Mark Meek, revealed the Iwsr’s figures, which show how 2020 will be a watershed: if the drop in wine consumption is expected to be in the order of -13.6% in volume globally (and -15% for sparkling wines), a rebound is expected in 2021 that will be so much part of a recovery that will bring consumption levels more or less in par in 2024. But it will not be a full recovery, because if the data between 2014 and 2019 tell of aggregate growth in wine consumption of +0.2% in the world, from now until 2024, overall, a decrease of 0.9% is expected.
A global trend, according to Iwsr, with few differences, in terms of numbers between Europe, North America, and Asia, where a slight decrease in quantities consumed is expected overall, while the growth of a few decimals, although starting from low absolute values, is expected in South America and Africa. More in detail, according to Iwsr forecasts, the phenomenon of premiumization will be accentuated in European markets, with “drink less, but better” being even more the guiding concept. In the USA, on the other hand, particular attention will be paid to the “ready to drink” phenomenon, for all alcoholic beverages, including wine, with new, more practical and smart packaging formats, such as cans, for example, which are already growing strongly among young people, and which could encourage imports of bulk wines to be “bottled” on site, in order to cut costs and also emissions, in a context in which the issue of environmental sustainability is increasingly important in every sector.
E-commerce will continue to grow at a global level, and if in many countries, from Italy to the USA, it has seen a strong acceleration in the months of the lockdown, it will also gain market share in wine, especially in China, where 30% of wine and alcohol sales already pass through the web, for a channel that, in 2024, will turn over 45 billion dollars.
From the perspective taken by Iwsr, then, emerges a substantially resilient world of wine, as a whole, which will suffer the obviously heavy blow of 2020 - the year massacred by the US duties before (which have, until now, saved Italian wine), from the unknowns on Brexit still all on the plate, and then by the pandemic, which between economic and social crisis and lockdown, has heavily penalized the catering industry around the world, with a decline that the strong growth in domestic consumption (between large-scale distribution and e-commerce) has not compensated - but that will recover a lot in 2021, and then substantially resume the pace of recent years. And that will have to reckon, as said, with the challenges of all time, climate change on all, but also with situations imposed by the pandemic that, for a few years, will probably put the wine business even more to the test, such as the reduction of business travel (which will weigh on both catering and retail), complications on the front of tourism and wine tourism.

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