As global as it may be, each market, when it comes to wine consumption, moves in a very different way and at very different levels of average expenditure. For example, today the Chinese market is the most brand-oriented on the planet, and there are a myriad of reasons for this, but what catches the eye when entering any restaurant of a certain level in China is that on the menu we always find the most iconic brands of the world’s wine, and despite the changes experienced by the country in recent years the market prospects remain extremely good. In China, 20% of UK wine lists, which account for roughly 40% of on-premise volumes, are at a level of price and quality that simply does not exist in any other market’s wine lists. As the analysis of “Wine Business Solutions” reveals (https://winebusinesssolutions.com.au/) on tens of thousands of restaurants in the six largest markets in the world (Great Britain, China, Canada, USA, Germany, and Australia), in the UK restaurants, there is the lowest average price per bottle among the main wine consumption markets (44.74 dollars), the highest average price is in China (233.94 dollars per bottle), and in between, in order, we find Canada (50.64 dollars), Australia (54.77 dollars), Germany (61.25 dollars) and the United States (74.63 dollars). The weight, without a doubt, are also duties and taxes, in Great Britain as in the rest of the world, an aspect that, in the future, could hurt the global wine market.
But where are the more mature markets going? Seven years ago, Wine Business Solution predicted a shift in consumption towards labels with a great historical background, an aspect that has pushed Italian wine even beyond expectations: today it represents 24.1% of the Uk wine list offer (+19% on 2015), just behind the French, with a 28.8% share, but decreasing (-2%). In Canada, on the other hand, growth was so strong (+44% from 2013) that today Italian labels represent 27% of the wines on the restaurant list, in the first place, with France collapsed to a share of 17.7% (-11.6%). In U.S. restaurants, at the top are the national labels, with a share of 40.2%, down by -15% on 2017, while the wines of the Belpaese represent 26.1% of the wine offer (+50% on 2017), and French wines 12.2% (-20% on 2017). In Australia, on the other hand, Italian wines come after those of South Australia (29.7%) and Victoria (14%), with a 10.7% share in restaurant wine lists (+32% on 2017), overtaking France at 10.1% (-9%). Finally, Germany, where the tricolor labels, with a share of 33%, exceeded even those of home – at 31% – with French wines at 17%.
In short, Italy is the absolute protagonist of the changes in the wine lists of restaurants around the world, and the credit is not, as one might easily assume, for Prosecco and Pinot Grigio. On the menu, you can find wines from every region, and the most important aspect is perhaps the stylistic one, which fully responds to what restaurateurs are looking for: wines that are well paired with food, interesting whites and tasty, elegant and medium-bodied reds. There has certainly been a qualitative growth in Italy, and the evocative aspect of the Belpaese has certainly played an important role. But a lot has also changed in the catering world, which in the last decade has had to deal with an increasingly concentrated market and increasingly attentive and aware consumers: thus, the horizon has widened, both to New World wines and the lesser known territories of the Belpaese. The market, thus, is becoming more and more sophisticated, but in the wake of what emerged from the Global Trends 2020 of Wine Intelligence, this has not led to greater knowledge on the part of consumers, who today rely on advice and sommeliers even more than yesterday.
One might think, therefore, that a greater sophistication of supply corresponds to an increase in average spending. But it is not so evident, except in Canada. What is happening, instead, and which is well represented by the trend in US restaurants, is that the “right” price, which more or less agrees with all consumers, is still 40 dollars per bottle, exactly as in 2016. On the other hand, the offer of slightly higher price point labels is growing: 4.3% of wines are on the list at 40 dollars (3.3% in 2016), 4% at 48 dollars (from 2.5% in 2016), 3.5% at 60 dollars (from 2% in 2016).
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