984 importers, wholesalers and retailers took part in the study surveying seven markets : Belgium, China – Mainland, China – Hong Kong, Germany, mainland China, Japan, the UK and the USA.
Wine Trade Monitor 2019 was supported by Wine Paris, a leading international wine industry event scheduled to take place in Paris, 10-12 February 2020.
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Which countries are most frequently listed by professionals?
France, Italy and Spain lead the table : these are the most popular countries of origin in wine ranges sold across the globe.
Australian wines retain a strong presence in mainland China while French Wines have lost ground in Belgium.
Finaly, in China, the popularity of Spanish wines has declined.
What is the confidence level among professionals regarding future sales outlook?
Three markets stand out for the optimism of wine professionals : the majority of respondants in the US, Germany and Japan predict growth over the next 2 years. By way of contrast, respondents in the UK are largely pessimistic with 44% expecting a market decline.
Sales forecasts to 2021: French wines under challenge
- While Italy and France share the top spot in terms of growth potential, according to four in ten respondents, in some markets, the outlook for France is less rosy in some markets.
- In mainland China, respondents believe Australian wines to have the brightest future (cited by 60% of respondents), followed by Chilean wines (46% of respondents) and Italian wines (42%).
- In Japan, for the first time, local wines are set to see the greatest sales growth according to trade professionals surveyed. 40% of respondents place local wines ahead of French wines (36% of respondents) and Italian wines (24%).
Loïc Brunot, Managing Director, Sopexa Japan & Australia
« Wine production in Japan began in the 70s, when the country was slowly opening its doors to European wines, and French wines in particular. But it is only recently that the quality of the wines has improved and started to attract the attention of the local wine trade and ultimately consumers. Today it is evident that Japanese wines are increasingly present on wines shelves and in restaurants on the domestic market. Demand is fuelled by consumers wanting to drink local wines, and by the promotional efforts of producers who are focusing on the 2020 Olympics to put their wines in the spotlight. Production however remains relatively low: in 2018, approximately 198,800 hectolitres – by way of comparison, you need to multiply this by 276 to match the Italian production and 241 for the French. To satisfy the market, Japan relies heavily on imported wines, compounded by a limited surface area for agriculture. »
According to UK wine trade professionals, Brexit will primarily benefit wine-producing countries outside Europe: 53% of respondents forecast growth for Chilean wines, 45% for Australian wines and 40% for Argentinian wines.
Wine image by country of origin
- Image & reputation: France, wine-producing country par excellence
In terms of global image, taking all image criteria into account, France continues to command the top spot according to the wine trade, and way ahead of its competitors: 59% of respondents consider French wines have the most positive image. France takes the lead for the majority of criteria, notably for « Everyday wines », « Organically-certified wines », « Sustainably-produced », and « Successful national promotional campaigns ».
Italy, in second position, trails significantly behind, named by 11% of respondents overall.
- « Appealing to younger generations » and « Innovation » : 2 image criteria mainly associated with Australian and Italian wines
Paolo Librandi, President of the Calabrian Ciro Wine trade body and Director of LIBRANDI of Librandi Wines
| « Of all the traditional wine-producing countries, Italy has a dynamic approach to marketing and communications. It is worth noting too that Italy is also renowned for its design and design culture. This is reflected in the quality of the packaging and the message this conveys. In addition, the legacy of native Italian grape varieties is huge: the Italian wine trade could promote a different variety each day! This can only serve to engage younger drinkers, who appreciate anything new or original. These are undoubtedly two of the factors which explain why Italian wines perform so well against these two image criteria ».
Wine category dynamics
- Organic and biodynamic wines make their mark : for 42% of professionals surveyed, organic and biodynamic wines are THE buzz category for the next two years, ahead of regional wines (28%).
The wine trade in the UK and the US have particularly high expectations for the category, with 63% and 58% of professionals respectively predicting growth in this area. Only mainland China bucks this major trend.
- Low-alcohol wines come out well in the two major European markets : 35% of respondents in Germany and 24% in the UK see potential in this category, which is predicted to see the second highest growth over the next two years.
- The appeal of rosé wines wanes in the USA : after several years of sustained popularity, only 13% of US respondents expect growth in this category. .
The great wine regions: Future movers and shakers
- Sparkling: the top 4 spots are fiercely contended, with the picture varying significantly across the globe
Prosecco remains the outstanding winner and features in the Top 3 performers in every market surveyed. For the rest of the sparkling market, growth forecasts vary significantly.
Hopes are high for Cava in Japan and the US, and to a lesser extent Belgium, while the great majority of respondents in Germany and the UK predict future growth for the Cremant category. Champagne is still set to perform well in mainland China and China-Hong Kong.
Grape variety dynamics
- A stable picture : globally, the 4 classic grape varieties – Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot noir, Chardonnay and Merlot – should continue to see the greatest demand over the next two years