The milestone of 500 million bottles produced was reached in 2020, generating turnover of around two billion euros despite the pandemic. These are some facts and figures for Prosecco, one of the best known and most widely consumed Italian wines in the world. “500,000 bottles is not a goal but confirmation of an intermediate result, a stage in the process of continuous improvement. It is unquestionably an important result in terms of volumes, placing us at the top of the world production ranking for sparkling wines with a quality designation," said the Director of the Prosecco DOC Consortium, Luca Giavi, live on the Vinitaly Instagram channel. "We achieved success with a product that has enjoyed wide appeal for many years and also in having been able to cope a difficult year through good, proven and democratic price positioning within the spending power of large numbers of international consumers. The denomination is a modern and contemporary product, suitable for parties and aperitifs... and much more!"
It is a wine held in high regard from east to west and which is surprisingly starting to make inroads into France. “Our leading markets by volume are UK, USA and Germany. And, in terms of value, US, UK and Germany. The country posting the largest increase in 2020 was France, the homeland of champagne. This is hugely rewarding: if our cousins over the Alps appreciate a product like ours, it means that they find an appropriate quality level for their palates. And our satisfaction here is all the greater because we have never yet invested significantly in this market,” Giavi explained.
Prosecco was the first Italian denomination of European status that managed to achieve a critical mass and emerge in a meaningful way on markets, even potential ones such as Asia. “In the East, you need a product to position and establish yourself, both vertically and horizontally," said the Director of the Consortium, "and the Far East is sending us signals of great vitality and attention. There is a great desire to learn more about western consumer occasions such as parties. And what better product than Prosecco to celebrate for young people? Promoting wine alongside informed and responsible drinking will reap us rewards in these areas."
The West is an altogether different question, with the success of private labels in US large-scale distribution: “It was certainly an opportunity for us to enter that market. Yet we have to be careful over how these brands will operate over time. I do not view them negatively but I believe that we must aim for balance. In some cases we are in partnership with imported brands, in others our companies have opened import offices in the USA and this provides assurances."
The Consortium isn't resting on its laurels and is now focusing on rosé wine: “Our analysis means we plan to settle at around 50 million bottles in 2021, a figure based on a number of market research studies and the performance of other denominations that have taken this approach before us. Prosecco Rosé has already given us great satisfaction not only as regards numbers but also for international assessments in the wine field included two scores of 90/100. And this must also take into account that only a handful of wine cellars were involved, approximately 70 out of 350 producers.”