Feb 16, 2022

Italian off-trade wine sales: +10% in the first half of 2021. E-commerce of generalist sites soars (+350%)

According to the latest Nomisma Wine Monitor Report realized in collaboration with NielsenIQ, the value sales of wine in the off-trade channel in Italy continue to grow: +10% in Hyper and Super, +2% in discount stores in the first half of this year. But it is above all the e-commerce of generalist retailers that, after posting +141% in the hardest year of the pandemic, continues to run with a further leap forward of +350%. Cash & Carry also performed well (up 18%), confirming the recovery of wine consumption in bars and restaurants.

Therefore, wine e-commerce does not stop. According to the recent Nomisma Wine Monitor Report on sales in the off-trade channel in Italy, sales of wine on generalist sites (distribution chains + Amazon) in the first half of 2021 recorded growth of 351% in value and 310% in volume compared to the same period of the previous year which, it should be remembered, included two months of total lockdown (and therefore exponential growth in online wine purchases by Italians). This is still a limited incidence compared to the value of total wine sales in the off-trade channel, that is just 2%, which, added to the weight of the so called pure players, does not exceed 15%, but it is rather representative of a consolidated trend.

Widening the scope of analysis to the entire off-trade channel, the first half of 2021 confirms the growth trend of value sales of wine in large-scale retail trade (+10% in Hypermarkets and Super, +2% in Discount stores) and a recovery in Cash & Carry (+18%) as a sign of the progressive reopening of bars and restaurants (Cash & Carry represents, in fact, a distribution format reserved to professionals of the Horeca channel). A recovery further confirmed by the figure for the second quarter of 2021 (when restrictions were loosened the most): +45% compared with the first quarter of this year.

Rocca Sveva, Verona

In this context of growth and recovery of out-of-home wine consumption as well, it is, however, e-commerce that plays the leading role.
“The continued growth of online sales even after the most critical moments of the pandemic confirm the structural development of this channel for the wine market, one of the many legacies that Covid is leaving us worldwide,” says Denis Pantini, Head of Agribusiness and Wine Monitor at Nomisma.

Comparing online spending with the cart of wines purchased at the shelf, a higher average value in favor of e-commerce emerges. While in the points of sale of the GDO in Italy, PDOs represent about 40% of the quantities of wine purchased (always in the first half of 2021), in online orders this percentage reaches 54%.

“The average price of wines purchased online presents a differential of about 38% in the case of still and sparkling wines and 19% in the case of sparkling wines compared to shelf purchases, a deviation that stems from the different composition – typological, but also for brand and packaging – of the two shopping carts,” Pantini points out.

In detail, while sparkling wines account for 12% of the volume of wine purchased on the shelves in Italian large-scale retail trade, in the e-commerce channel their weight reaches 16%. Moreover, still on the subject of sparkling wines, the weight of Champagne and Metodo Classico reaches 12% in the online cart against 8% of shelf sales. Even for organic wines the incidence is double in case of online shopping (although still marginal on the total, that is 2%).

Source: Nomisma Wine Monitor Report

Photo: Courtesy Rocca Sveva

Learn more about Verona Great Wine Capital