The Italian wine market is experiencing a period of challenges and significant changes during 2023, highlighted by recent data showing a contraction in consumption and exports. After a banner year in 2022, the post-pandemic recovery has lost momentum, impacted by factors such as inflation and erratic weather.

Declining exports and new challenges

Data from the Federvini Observatory reveal a decrease in Italian exports in the first eight months of 2023, with particular contractions in key markets such as the United States, the United Kingdom and Japan. However, there is a curious exception with a significant increase in exports to France, highlighting the growing interest in Italian wines in this country.

Internal consumption and distribution

Large-scale distribution, despite a slight growth of 3.3%, showed a slowdown in purchases, with sparkling wines and PGI wines supporting the sector. On the contrary, consumption away from home suffered a collapse in the summer quarter, probably influenced by inflation, weather conditions and Italians' holidays abroad.

Trends in spirits and liqueurs

Distilled spirits recorded growth of 5% in value, although they lost 2.4% in volume. Among liqueurs, limoncello leads the ranking, followed by sambuca and creamy liqueurs. However, a notable increase is observed in premixed spirits, with an impressive 25% in value and 23.8% in volume.

Future challenges and prospects

2023 is set to be the first year of overall revenue decline since 2020 for the Italian wine industry, with an estimated decline of 2.9%. International tensions, inflation and changes in lifestyle, especially among young people, contribute to creating a not so favorable picture for the sector.

Italia del Vino Consorzio: union to face the challenges

The Italian Wine Consortium, represented by 25 leading companies, has achieved an aggregate turnover of 1.5 billion euros, contributing to 15% of national wine exports. Despite the challenges, the consortium is committed to networking at international fairs, investing in research and development, and adopting innovative practices to improve the competitiveness and sustainability of the Italian wine sector.

Positive industrial trends

Despite the challenges in the wine sector, Italy remains a leading nation in production and exports. The Italian manufacturing sector, particularly in the field of wood furniture and machinery, shows extraordinary results on a global level. Furthermore, Italy excels in industrial recycling and energy efficiency, demonstrating its versatility and leadership in various sectors.

Italian agrifood: challenges and prospects

Italian agrifood companies recorded a decrease in confidence in the third quarter, but future prospects seem better, with an increase in investments expected in 2024. The current challenges mainly concern difficulties in business management, influenced by adverse weather conditions and increase in raw material costs.

Challenges and opportunities in consumption

While consumption in large-scale retail trade shows growth for wine and spirits, eating out shows a decline in evening occasions, highlighting changes in consumer behaviour. Pre-mixed spirits emerge as a growth category, suggesting new opportunities for the industry.

In conclusion, the Italian wine sector faces complex challenges, but the adoption of innovative strategies.