Millennials fuelling Italian wine sales in US

11th February, 2014 by Lucy Shaw

Both Millennial drinkers and the ongoing popularity of Prosecco have led US consumers to drink more Italian wine than the Italians.

As reported by Reuters, the US has grown to become Italy’s number one market for Italian wine, with Prosecco spearheading sales.

Also known as Generation Y, Millennials are categorised as those born between 1980 and the year 2000.

“It is Prosecco that is driving sales right now and it is the Millennials who are in the driving seat,” Stevie Kim, managing director of Vinitaly, told Reuters.

“It’s just taken off like a shot. You used to be able to get good Prosecco in the US for under $10 a bottle here, now many are nearer to $20,” she added.

Global Prosecco sales in 2013 reached 241.6 million bottles, up 24% on 2012.

Meanwhile, US year-on-year sales of Moscato imported from Italy were up 26.3% by volume according to the Nielsen.

Though Italian Moscato brands are having to compete with US brands that have branched out into Moscato, such as Barefoot, Beringer and Cupcake, for sales.

While wine consumption is on the rise in the US, it has hit a record low in Italy, with Italian farmers association Coldiretti placing it at its lowest level since the country was unified in 1861.

Italians drank around 40 liters of wine per person in 2013, down from 45 liters before the financial crisis hit in 2007.

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