We’ve written in the past about how well Prosecco has been doing in recent years. Buoyed by its international popularity, the drink has risen to the top of the list when it comes to sparkling white wines. Most importantly, Prosecco has allowed the Italian wine industry to wrest that particular title away from France’s Champagne, as Prosecco is now the highest selling and most popular of the sparkling whites.
Of course, as with anything that experiences a dramatic rise in popularity, there’s one question – when will the bubble burst?
Some speculate that Prosecco will peak fairly soon, leading to an eventual decline as another wine takes the mantle.
We’ve seen similar situations before. At one point, Merlot was one of the most popular wines in the world. While it is still a great wine that sells well, it hit a peak in the 1990s before declining and levelling out.
Could the same happen to Prosecco?
In order to look towards the future, let’s first look at the present.
Prosecco’s 2017 Performance
2017 has been another banner year for Prosecco, as the wine has continued to build on the popularity that led it to becoming the world’s highest selling sparkling white.
In the UK, where Prosecco has long been adored, sales increased by 9% during the course of 2017. Considering the fact that Prosecco sales were already very high in the UK, with the wine having toppled Champagne in that territory long ago, this is a positive sign. It shows that the UK’s appetite for its favourite wine is showing no signs of diminishing. In fact, the wine is now more popular than it has even been in the UK.
Similar trends are occurring elsewhere. Sales have increased throughout Europe, including in the wine’s native Italy. Prosecco has become a wine for all occasions, being suitable for brunches, as an aperitif, or as a celebratory wine. The figures aren’t in yet, but it’s likely that a whole lot of Prosecco sold in preparation for the New Year’s celebrations.
The Future Forecast
So the present looks great for Prosecco, but what about the future? Does 2018 provide the prospect of change when it comes to this great Italian wine?
So far, it’s looking unlikely. Prosecco projections for the coming years are all extremely positive, with most producers and industry analysts believing that the wine will keep going from strength to strength.
According to Vinexpo and the IWSR, two organisations that joined together to study the sparkling wine industry, the appetite for Prosecco in the coming years will only grow. This, the two groups say, comes as part of an increasing trend towards sparkling wines and will be reflected in the sales of other sparkling wines too.
Over the course of the next five years, Prosecco is anticipated to increase its sales by over 35%. By comparison, Champagne is likely to experience a 1% growth. Positive news for both, but excellent news for the Italian wine industry.
The study states that by 2020, Prosecco will own almost a 10% share of the world’s entire sparkling wine sales. Production will reach almost 413 million bottles. The study goes on to say that the UK market will continue its impressive growth, reaching over 8 million cases per year by 2020.
The same appears to be true in the German and Nordic regions, with Prosecco taking the mantle of most popular sparkling wine from the discounted champagnes that have previously held the title.
So those fears of Prosecco hitting a peak appear to be unfounded, at least for the time being. If the studies are to be believed, it looks like Prosecco is going to continue its remarkable growth. It will also be interesting to see how the burgeoning Chinese and Indian markets will have an effect. As knowledge of wine improves in such new markets, will they head towards the traditional Champagne, or the popular Prosecco?
Only time will tell there, but for now it seems like Prosecco is set to stay at the top of the ladder in sparkling wine.
Why Is Prosecco Now So Popular?
There are several reasons for the increased popularity of Prosecco. They include the following:
The Cost and Quality Factors
There’s no denying the fact that the affordable price of Prosecco has helped enormously in its recent upward surges. In most cases, you can get a quality bottle of Prosecco for less money than a bottle of Champagne.
The key word here is “quality”. Prosecco would not have achieved its success on the back of lower prices alone. If the wine wasn’t good, people wouldn’t drink it.
However, Prosecco seems to have thrown off its older tags of being the cheaper alternative to Champagne, instead becoming a true competitor. The lower price tags help, but so too does the quality, which is enforced by both producers and the DOC.
A lot of fuss gets kicked up about millennials and their habits. However, the changes in drinking choices between generations certainly plays a role in Prosecco’s, and the wider Italian wine industry’s, recent successes.
This is especially the case in the United States. Studies have shown that millennials are increasingly moving away from beers and spirits as their preferred drink of choice. Instead, a lot of younger people are now drinking more wine in the country, and it’s a trend that we’re seeing all over.
Millennial drinkers love wine, and that’s giving a boost to the Prosecco industry.
The Final Word
There are several factors in play when it comes to the continued rise of Prosecco. It will also be very interesting to see how the emerging markets change the playing field in the coming years. Will they develop a taste for sparkling white wines? If so, will they head towards Champagne, Prosecco, or Cava. China and Indian may have more of an effect than anyone anticipates in the coming years.
But for now, Prosecco’s future looks rosy. All of the projections point to continued growth in 2018 and beyond, which will help the wine reinforce its position as the most popular sparkling white.