We all know that the Brits love a bit of Prosecco.
And why wouldn’t they. One a general level, it stands as one of the best and most famous Italian wines on the market. A good Prosecco is quite unlike any other type of wine that you may drink.
After all, there has to be a good reason why it’s managed to overtake Champagne as the most popular sparkling wine in the world.
But let’s come back to the Brit’s love affair with Prosecco. For the last decade, at least, sales of this most wonderful of sparkling Italian white wines have been on the rise in Britain. It almost seems to sell as quickly as it gets onto store shelves and one might even make the argument that its popularity has led to more British people entering the world of Italian wine than any other wine has managed.
And now for the bad news.
We all know that Brexit has been a big talking point for the last couple of years. The British public, by a very thin margin, decided that they’d prefer to leave the EU.
Politicians have been quibbling over the details ever since. The job of securing Brexit has led to Theresa May both taking and leaving the role of Prime Minister. And the initial deadline set for Britain’s exit from the EU has come and gone.
It’s fair to say that trade negotiations, coupled with all of the legal wrangling surrounding Brexit, have not gone a according to plan.
And it’s due to the trade issues that Brits may finally have to end their decade-long love affair with Prosecco.
Why Might British People Start Buying Less Prosecco
As popular as Prosecco is in the UK, there are already signs that Brexit might have an effect on the public’s appetite for it.
This has nothing to do with the wine’s quality, we’re sure. Instead, it has everything to do with the increased difficult of getting the wine into the country.
In the years since the result of the Brexit referendum became official, sales of Prosecco have been on a slight decline. This likely has something to do with the trade uncertainty surrounding bringing Italian wines to Britain.
After all, Italy is a member of the EU. Britain’s decision to leave creates several problems when it comes to exporting wine.
And when Brexit arrives, those problems may get even worse.
There’s a triple whammy of price increases on the way that the average British consumer may not be willing to absorb.
The True Cost of Brexit for Prosecco Lovers
So, where do these three price increases come from?
The first lies in the devaluation of Pound Sterling since the referendum. The pound, which is traditionally seen as the strongest currency in the world, has lost ground to both the American Dollar and the Euro. It’s not at its lowest point against both currencies than it’s been at for a long time.
In fact, it’s fairly closer to hitting parity with the Euro.
That’s a bad thing for British consumers. A lower valued Pound Sterling means that they get less bang for their buck when they decide to import Italian wine. The same goes for store owners and suppliers.
Simply put, the pound buys less Prosecco than it did before the referendum. And if a No Deal Brexit, which is looking like an increasing possibility, is the end result of negotiations, it’s possible that the pound will lose even more of its value.
Perhaps it could even end up being worth less than the Euro, which would be a first on the global currency markets.
The second price issue relates to inflation. Britain has seen a rise in inflation fairly recently that affects pretty much everything that’s purchased in the country.
Of course, that means Prosecco costs more too.
Much like the devaluing of the pound, inflation lowers the purchasing power of the average person. It means that the pound doesn’t stretch as far as it used to. In this case, it’s due to retailers charging higher prices for goods, rather than because the pound is worth less against other currencies.
But when you add that on top of the currency’s devaluation, you get a compound effect that could lead to some dicey results for Prosecco. In fact, that’s likely what we’re seeing right now. Brits may have started to tighten their belts as a result of these two factors, which means they can’t spend as much on luxuries like Italian wine.
Then you have the trade issue, which is yet to be decided. Until the Brexit negotiations conclude, it’s difficult to tell exactly what trade conditions will look like between Italy and Britain. However, the likelihood is that the EU will add tariffs to many of its exports, with Italian wine likely to be among them.
After all, Britain buys a lot of the drink. It’s almost a certainty that the EU will want to secure a favourable trade deal.
Now, if you add that on top of the other issues that exist, you have a true triple whammy of price increases.
And that might mean that the British appetite for Prosecco may go down. And we don’t mean in the physical sense. They may love the wine as much as they always have but many may simply no longer be able to afford it.
The Final Word
We’re already seeing the effects that Brexit has had on Italian wine prices.
Prosecco now costs the average Brit 18% more than it did before the referendum. And it’s likely that this cost will increase once the trade deals, or lack thereof, get secured.
That’s worrying news for the Italian wine industry too. Prosecco producers may have to prepare themselves for lower sales, which will have a direct effect on their bottom lines.
If nothing else, this highlights the interesting ramifications of the Brexit referendum that few could have seen coming. It will be interesting to see if these effects carry over into other industries.
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