The last twenty years or so have seen the global, and by extension the Italian, wine industry grow enormously. The advent of the internet and the ecommerce boom that followed it has allowed more producers than ever before to advertise their wares to an ever-increasing audience that potentially reaches into the billions. Winemakers who were previously restricted to selling their products via small, often local, networks of retailers can now provide wines to people all over the world.
This trend is most easily seen in the wine industries expansion into regions where it had not previously been popular or had been unable to penetrate. We have covered in the past the continued efforts to popularize wine in Asian markets, such as India and China. Such efforts are meeting great success and today the Italian wine industry stands in line to benefit enormously from two countries that host over two billion people, all of whom are developing an increasing understanding and awareness of wine that is finally aligning with the availability of product that the internet has enabled.
Less reported is the expansion of the wine industry into European countries where it previously had a smaller presence. Not every country in Europe matches Spain, Italy, France, or Germany in terms of having a thriving wine industry. However, many are not starting to come around to what eh industry has to offer, with one of the most recent success stories emanating from Poland.
The Polish And Wine
According to research published by Euromonitor International, over 50 percent of Polish households now purchase wine at least once a year. That once a year statement may not seem like much, particularly to those of us who could easily claim to purchase wine at least once a week, but in a market like Poland it represents a rather large cultural shift away from more traditional drinks and towards the wine industry. Further, it ably demonstrates the earlier point about there being some areas of Europe that can still represent new “frontiers” for the Italian wine industry.
The trend does not seem to be abating either. Though it is a slow progression, wine is becoming increasingly popular in Poland. In 2016, the country as a whole consumers 107 million litres of wine, which is 20 million litres more than it had consumed back in 2010. This represented a per capita consumption rate of 5.5 litres per year. Again, very small figures, we are sure you agree, but it all represents growth in the right direction for the Italian wine industry and also demonstrates that there is an increasing trend towards wine as an alcoholic beverage of choice.
However, despite this growth, wine only accounts for seven percent of spending on alcohol throughout Poland. This might make for depressing reading at first, given that it indicates that wine falls down fairly low on the scale of Poland’s preferred adult beverages but, when taken into account that this seven percent is the result of consistent growth over the last decade or so, it actually shows an impressive market share.
The key here is that this seven percent is a foundation, rather than the peak of Poland’s interest in wine. Numerous analysts have noted that changing cultural perceptions, no doubt influenced by the internet and other phenomena, have prompted this slow and steady shift towards wine in the country. The climate is ripe for companies within the Italian wine industry to seize the opportunity and begin expanding their interests in what is clearly an emerging market. After all, if 107 million litres of consumption represents seven percent of Poland’s alcoholic beverage market, that means there is over 1 billion litres of annual purchases that may be turned towards wine in the coming years that could turn Poland from a minor contributor to the wine industry into a major exporter.
Wines that All Polish People Should Try
So how does the industry continue this slow burn expansion into Poland to the point where it can erupt and turn the Polish market into one of the most successful modern markets? For us, it is going to be all about the proper selection of wines. After all, as it the case everywhere else in the world, it is important to offer variety to cater to the varying tastes of consumers. With that in mind, here are some Italian wines that we believe should be granted more exposure in Poland.
The perfect introductory wine, we see Prosecco acting as something of a gateway into the wider world of Italian wines. Its fresh taste and the ease in which it can be inserted into practically any situation, from the most refined dinner party through to the most raucous celebration, make Prosecco a prime candidate for the Polish expansion. It is already one of the most popular wines in the world, after all, and we believe that reputation could be further cemented by producers.
Prestige has always played a part in the wine industry. That is why so many companies are keen to tout their histories when selling their products. Of course, the Italian wine industry is home to many prestigious products, but we would argue that there are few that carry that mantle quite like Barolo. The king of wines has been a fixture in the Italian wine industry for centuries and we think it could be successfully marketed as an up-scale Italian wine that truly reflects the level of skill and artistry that goes into the creation of the very best vintages.
Standing somewhere in between the accessibility of Prosecco and the prestige of Barolo is Amarone, which has been slowly building a reputation as one of the leading Italian wines. Amarone has already developed a certain level of popularity in the Polish market, which should act as a useful foundation for producers to really expound on the drink and offer more of what Polish people are already enjoying. We can see Amarone becoming the go-to red wine for dinner parties and celebrations if it is marketed correctly.