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Bottoms up: Prosecco sales are growing faster than champagne

With prosecco sales on the rise, Christmas has come early for vendors of the Italian wine, which is selling at a faster rate than champagne.
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According to analyst IRI, prosecco sales across Europe hit €789m this year, though champagne sales were still more valuable with €1.4bn.

However, that sales volume is more to do with the price point of champagne, which is more expensive, given the association of prestige it has.

Indeed, prosecco sales saw some 77m litres bought in 2016 – 25 per cent more than champagne – supported by a lower cost than the expense of the high end French counterpart. That’s a 24 per cent value growth and 23 per cent volume growth.

Meanwhile, the champagne market rose by 0.9 per cent in value for the year ended 30 September, though it was down 0.3 per cent. Interestingly, France – home of champagne production – was the only market analysed where the volume declined.

That said, France is still the number one champagne market and accounts for 66 per cent of all sales in Europe, while it’s worth €921m.

Champagne prices have fallen by seven per cent in the UK since the EU referendum, but the market is still worth €333bn. Prosecco sales outpaced champagne in the UK greatly, though, hitting €600m – more than 75 per cent of all European sales. That’s a 25 per cent growth of value and volume.

“It’s official: we’re all celebrating far too much according to our figures! Whilst Champagne growth appears to be slowing significantly across most of Europe, although up in other parts of the world, Prosecco continues to grow and grow in almost every market apart from the Netherlands,” said Tim Eales, strategic insight director at IRI.

“Even Cava, which seemed to fall out of favour with the rise in popularity of Prosecco a few years ago, has seen value and volume increases in most countries this year.”

On the whole, the sparkling wine market, including champagne, prosecco and cava is worth €4.6bn in sales across Europe. That number climbs an additional €1.7bn when sales in the US, Australia and New Zealand are included.

The real party animals can be found in the UK, France and Germany though, which IRI called standout markets, each of which drives sales of over €1bn. In fact, the UK drinks 2.5 times more prosecco than the drink’s native Italy – even though the price is twice as much per litre.

Image: Shutterstock

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Zen Terrelonge

Zen Terrelonge is the deputy editor of Real Business, specialising in media, innovation, technology and the digital sector. A media professional with eight years worth of experience he has worked for both startup and established publications.

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