The complete research “Circana (ex IRI) for Vinitaly” was presented today – Comments and proposals from Federvini, Uiv, Conad, Coop, Selex, Carrefour, Md who took part in the round table.

This is what emerged at Vinitaly during today's round table on Wine and Modern Distribution, organized by Veronafiere. The Circana research institute (formerly IRI) presented its “Circana research for Vinitaly”, commented on by representatives of the wineries and distribution.

In fact, in the first quarter of 2023, wine sales fell by 6.2% in volume and those of bubbles by 0.5% ( Circana data, first 11 weeks of 2023, IS Lsp Discount E-Commerce Panel Circana ). In 2022, wine sales had fallen by 5.4% and sparkling wines by 5.0%. Inflationary tensions caused, also in the first quarter of 2023, a significant increase in prices: 7.0% for wine and 6.6% for bubbles; which led to an increase in value sales of 0.4% for wine and 6.1% for bubbles. Naturally, value data is misleading due to inflation, but the wine and bubbles channel in Modern Distribution is still relevant in the Italian market with 800 million liters sold for a value of around 3 billion euros in 2022.

“As regards the trend in 2023 - Virgilio Romano, Business Insight Director of Circana (formerly IRI ) said during the round table - much will depend on the macroeconomic scenario that will emerge over the months. The chances of recovery in the second half are linked to how and to what extent the new price list increases will be reversed and how the promotional leverage will be used; if it will be used more than last year by all players in the field, we can imagine and hope for a partial recovery in the second half of 2023".

And the average consumer is the first to wish for a greater offer of discounted bottles on the shelf: in 2022 the liters of wine and bubbles purchased in promotion decreased by 17 million litres, for a value of 40 million euros, compared to 2021.

2022 was also complicated for the sales of private label bottles (MDD), between price increases and margins to be safeguarded, despite their convenience: wine fell by 8.8% and bubbles by 4.7% , by volume.

Organic wines and sparkling wines, which represent a smaller share of the market in Modern Distribution, see a drop in wine of 5.1% and bubbles of 4.1%. It will be seen whether the hoped-for return to almost normality of the market in the second half of 2023 and during 2024 will lead to a restart of the sector or if it is a physiological slowdown.

The "Circana per Vinitaly" research illustrated the sales of wine and bubbles in distribution in the USA and Germany in 2022, where Italy is the foreign country with the largest share on the shelves. Finally, during the round table the rankings of the best-selling wines in Modern Distribution in Italy were summarized ( see the attached research ).

Representatives of Federvini, Uiv, Conad, Coop, Selex, Carrefour, Md took part in the round table to comment on the "Circana per Vinitaly" research and outline a strategy for dealing with the situation. Here is a summary of their speeches:

Mirko Baggio, representative of Federvini ( Villa Sandi's GDO Sales Manager ): “ The wineries must decide very carefully which markets to invest in and with which customers to use the lever of promotions in order to be able to reconcile turnover and margins. The consumer has approached premium-range wine and the challenge in 2023 will be to be able to intercept the growing demand for higher-end wines".

Luca Devigili, Representative of UIV Unione Italiana Vini ( Business Development Manager of Banfi ): The uncertainty for the coming months, when the price increases in the price lists will arrive, is high. In this context, we have one certainty: if each individual actor pursues its objectives ignoring the critical issues of the supply chain, the problems we will face will be much wider than those we are talking about now".

Simone Pambianco, Beverage Category Manager, Conad: The reduction in the promotional drive is mainly due to the completion of the inflationary phenomenon. To ensure that pricing and promotional leverage do not become the discriminating factor for success, in a scenario of changing consumption styles, we should expect a reduction in the costs of the glass factor".

Francesco Scarcelli, Beverage Department Manager, Coop Italia: The real increase in shelf prices is expected in 2023 and we hope will be offset by a recovery in promotion that needs to be guided: if it is healthy, it directs towards conscious consumption and invites you to try new products, if instead it is excessive it creates loyalty to the event itself of the offer and not to the product”.

Flavio Bellotti, Wine Category Manager, Selex Group: “ The price of the bottle on the shelf has risen, the promotional value has decreased by about 1 point. We must avoid disproportionate increases, respecting consumers' problems, acting more on the lever of promotions and trying to reassure the consumer".

Lorenzo Cafissi, Alcoholic Beverage Manager, Carrefour : "The industry, together with the retailers, must respond with clear and precise strategies that start from the communication of value, pass through a structured promotion in line with the positioning of the various brands, and arrive at speak, in a more 'pop' way, to the wider public which is proving to be increasingly open to welcoming new consumer trends”.

Marco Usai, Wine Specialist, MD: “ Despite the year full of complexity, the Discount continues to record excellent performances in the wine department. MD recorded excellent results in the segment of dry sparkling wines, and IGT and rosé wines, once again demonstrating the discounter's ability to satisfy consumer needs. The novelty of the year was the launch of a new private label of native wines, Enotrium”.