We are ready to write a new chapter in the history of Italian wine’s international promotion. The Italian wine companies have started to plan – together with Ice (Italy’s National Institute for Foreign Trade) – the promotional plan which provides for a 20 million euros investment for the next three years. With these words Antonio Rallo, President of Unione Italiana Vini (UIV – Italian Wine Union), commented on the plans made during the “Wine roundtable” at the Italian Ministry for Economic Development. Undersecretary Ivan Scalfarotto, together with Ice’s heads Michele Scannavini (President) and Piergiorgio Borgogelli (Director General), officially presented the wine entrepreneurs’ working group which will back up Ice-New York in the drafting of the new promotion project. The group will be formed by Enrico Viglierchio (General Manager of Castello Banfi, Tuscany), Francesca Planeta (owner of Azienda Agricola Planeta, Sicily) and Antonio Rallo.
LEADERSHIP IN THE USA – According to Osservatorio del Vino (Wine Monitoring Center) – Ismea survey on Ihs-Gta data, Italy proves itself to be the top wine supplier in the USA, both in volume and in value. Italian wine imports in the USA in 2016 have grown of +6,1% in value, exceeding 1.6 billion euros (for a volume of 3.23 million hectoliters), thus confirming Italy’s primacy. This growth has been led by sparkling wine. USA consumers’ demand has grown of +28% in volume and +34% in value, taking account of a global average demand of 18% and 12% respectively. Italy confirms its primacy also as a sparkling wines supplier in the USA, with a market share of 55% in volume. The gap between Italy and France – its most important competitor in this business segment in the USA – is still considerable comparing the average value of Italian wines and French wines. In 2016 the latter were costing 10.5 euros for a litre against 5 euros for Italian wines. Following an Ice – Veronafiere survey, USA wine market operators still don’t know very well Italian wines’ production areas and typologies. Moreover, Italian wines typical characteristics such as exclusivity, elegance and uniqueness aren’t still well recognised in the USA. Italian wines are therefore purchased in a medium-low price range. For this reason too today, the wine companies’ investments to promote their products in the USA need a strong support from an institutional communication campaign. It’s necessary to better tell the Italian wine’s production system, concentrating all the efforts on increasing its value together with an increase in the average price states Rallo.