According to an analysis by the Uiv Observatory, Unione italiana Vini, on market trends of Italian wine exports over the past 12 years, for the first time in history last year those of Italian premium wine and super-premium still wines (from €6 and up) surpassed those in the entry-level and popular range.
A Look into Italian Wine Exports and Premium Italian Wine
World trade in still wines is marking time, with volume declines in the past year of around 5%, but the premium consumption trend is increasing, starting with Italian reds.
The research shows that wine made in Italy has in fact seen a fourfold increase in volume sales of still wines in the super-premium range (over €9 per bottle ex cellar) during the period, with an average annual growth of 13 percent. The picture is even more significant when looking at value: from a niche with a 6% share of total exports in 2010 to an increasingly decisive asset in 2022, with the market share of super-premium wines coming to be worth 18%, or 863 million euros. This in opposition to other trends, particularly those of the entry-level segment, which over the same period have seen a decline in share from 19% to 6%.
Unione italiana vini Chairman Lamberto Frescobaldi
“We are witnessing,” said Unione italiana Vini chairman Lamberto Frescobaldi, “a positive evolution in the positioning of our product, in line with what is happening with other sectors of Made in Italy. Luxury Italy wins in the world, for example, with the Italian fashion system, Ferrari, design, and agribusiness. And, last but not least, the world of wine has refined its international appeal even beyond its traditionally known territories, because today it is Italianity, more than tradition, that wins in the markets.”
Indeed, in 2022, premium and super-premium still wines occupy a 52% market share (at 2.5 billion euros), compared to 48% for lower-value products. A long race toward premiumization started quietly and then recorded double-digit incremental averages year after year, with the surge in post-Covid.
The Stellar Case of Prosecco
Different, according to the Observatory, is the discourse on sparkling wines, where the dominance of Prosecco in the popular segment has become a case that is being studied on a global scale for its astronomical success in positioning itself and altering the once stagnant approach to considering wines as something to consume outside of pairing with a meal, and a force that until now has left little room for the premium segments.