Fizz-loving Brits now account for a third of total Prosecco production
The UK’s ongoing love affair with Prosecco has resulted in imports to the UK now amounting to over a third of all production.
The UK is Proseccos’s number one export market, with the UK, US and Germany between them accounting for 75% of total Prosecco sales in 2016, with domestic consumption in Italy accounting for the remaining 25%.
In order to keep up with the constant demand, the Proseccco DOC region has boosted production to an all-time high to 3.55 million hectoliters last year. By comparison, in 2014, annual Prosecco production only stood at 2.25 million hectolitres, meaning there has been a 45% jump in production in only two years. And production is set to increase even further, by between five and seven per cent this year compared to 2016 when 411 million bottles were sold, with a retail value of 1.9 million Euros.
“As Prosecco grows ever popular, we are reassured by the data. Prosecco is, after all, a product of the land so will always be subject to Mother Nature, but given the changeable climate over the last few years the numbers are encouraging,” said president of the Prosecco DOC Consorzio, Stefano Zanette. “We’re working hard to grow our markets globally and warmly welcome increased demand. We’ve been able to increase our volumes consistently every year, fulfilling the growing appetite from consumers for our wines,” he added.
While the UK accounts for around a third of exports, the US comprises around 20% and Germany 14%. A full three quarters of Prosecco’s total production is sold overseas.
However, while the UK is currently the biggest export market for the Italian sparkling wine, France is the fastest growing, with sales up by 70%, albeit from a much lower base. And it may be unthinkable for the average French person, but Prosecco sales are even beginning to eat into those of its home-grown Champagne.
Luca Gavi, director of the Prosecco DOC Consorzio, told Drinks Business that he was working hard to halt those producers who have jumped on the bandwagon and are only in it for the money. He also said that more Glera grapes were to be planted within the Prosecco DOC region to keep up with growing demand. Gavi admitted to being “surprised” at how popular Prosecco had become in recent years, but said its status as an affordable sparkling wine for celebratory events is a big part of its success.