Beverage & Wine

Italian organic wine: exports are booming

Sales hit 192 million Euro on International markets (+40% on 2015), according to Nomisma Wine Monitor survey for ITA-Italian Trade Agency. Germany and USA are the top destinations.

Italian organic wine is writing a success story. One Italian consumer in four has had at least one possibility to drink it, and the figures keep on growing (in 2015 it was 21%, and only 2% in 2013). According to latest Nomisma Wine Monitor survey for ITA-Italian Trade Agency, sales are also rising. In 2016 they reached overall 275 million Euro, up +34% on 2015. Italian market is worth 30% of total sales (83 million, +22% on 2015). However, the bigger piece of the pie is represented by International markets: 192 million Euro, with a growth of +40% on 2015 (compared to +4% total exports).

Organic exports: a growing trend

Italian organic wine exports are only 3.4% of Italy’s wine total export sales, but the trend is constantly growing (1.9% in 2014, up 2.6% in 2015), thanks to the strong export inclination of organic wine companies. For the surveyed companies, ‘organic exports’ represent 70% of total turnover compared to 52% of Italy’s wine sector on the whole. In 2016, 79% of organic wine companies exported high quality excellent Italian wine. As for target markets, EU countries are the main destination (66% in value) and, just like the food sector on the whole, Germany is the reference market for Italian organic wines (33% of export sales turnover in 2016), followed by the USA (12%).

Prospects for the future

In the next three years Italian export sales will soar thanks to third markets, starting with USA market (that’s what 28% of market players think). Great expectations for EU market as well. Most companies are optimistic about the future: one in four provides for an increase (+10% or more) in exports turnover in the next three years, and 54% provide for a growth between +2% and +10%. Organic wine success crosses national borders according to Nomisma Wine Monitor survey – developed for ITA-Italian Trade Agency – on purchasing habits in two relevant markets: Germany and UK. Expectations for Italy’s exports are great there, as those countries are among the top importers of Italian wine: 22% of imported wine in the UK comes from Italy, as well as 36% in Germany. According to NIELSEN Global Snapshot figures, organic wine sales in the UK now stand at 21 million Euros with a share of 0.4% of the total amount. Compared to last year’s sales, the growth is relevant as it is nearing +24%, in the face of a slight decrease (-0.1%) of the wine sector on the whole. Wine sales in the large-scale supply chain show clearly another positive feature: in the UK, 25% of sold bottles come from Italy.

What do consumers think

The interest for organic wine has been also confirmed by consumers’ opinions and preferences, both in the UK and in Germany. In the last year, 12% of German consumers and 9% of Brits have drunk organic wine at least once. Consumers prefer red or white organic still wines, followed by sparkling red in the UK and sparkling white in Germany. In both markets, organic wines are purchased mainly in hypermarkets and supermarkets (38% in the UK, 33% in Germany). British organic wines consumers spend about £13 for a 750 ml bottle, compared to €8 in Germany. According to purchasers’ opinion (42% in the UK and 40% in Germany) organic Made in Italy wines have a better quality compared to the wines from other countries. In fact, quality seems to be one of the most important features for consumers: both in Germany and in the UK, speaking about Italian organic wine 19% of consumers emphasize “high quality” while 15% identify “authenticity” as the most important value.