In the first eight months of this year, the quantities of Italian still and sparkling wines purchased in the main 12 international markets, which represent more than 60% of global wine imports, decreased by 8%. Even sparkling wines, which had recorded constant growth over the last ten years, suffered a decrease of 9%.

This decline is in line with the negative trend of the global market, with few exporting countries managing to avoid the downturn. Even the United States, which represents the main value market for Italy, reduced imports of Italian wine by 13%.

United States and international markets in crisis

The United States and international markets were the focus of discussions in the Wine Monitor Forum. In particular, the US market has seen a decrease in the average spending power of consumers, with one exception: New Zealand, which recorded export growth of 20% in the first eight months of the year thanks to its Sauvignon Blanc .

The Italian domestic market also suffered a decline, with wine sales in the retail sector falling by more than 2% in volume, with even more significant reductions in supermarkets in the case of still wines (-3.8%). However, purchases of sparkling wine grew by 2.3%, although this trend hides an increase in generic sparkling wines to the detriment of those with Doc and Docg denominations.

Negative predictions for the future

The forecasts for the next 6 months are not positive, with 16% of Italian consumers planning to reduce their wine purchases to save on spending in general. This negative trend is particularly affecting small wine businesses, many of which are burdened by heavy debts which could worsen due to the tightening of interest rates.

Interventions necessary to address the situation

According to a survey conducted by Wine Monitor, Italian wine companies believe that strategic planning, optimization of production processes and internationalization are priorities to face current challenges. To support Italian companies in the wine sector, Nomisma has launched Wine Monitor Consulting, which offers support in the formulation of strategic plans and the implementation of actions for growth, including internationalization paths, optimization of production processes and digitalisation.

Positive closure regarding geographical indications

A positive aspect that emerged during the Wine Monitor Forum concerns the closure of the negotiations on the new European regulation relating to geographical indications, PDOs and PGIs. This new regulation should offer greater protection for Italian wines with geographical indications on the European market, eliminating the possibility of unduly exploiting the reputation of the denominations.

Crisis and inflation influence global wine consumption

The negative trend of the wine sector is mainly attributed to the effects of the economic crisis and inflation, which are influencing wine consumption throughout the world. Difficulties are found both on the domestic and international markets, with significant consequences for Italian and global wine companies.