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Photo by Mandalay Photography, Australia

AUSTRALIAN SPARKLING WINE has a big opportunity to boost domestic sales, according to new research by Wine Intelligence.

With the dollar weakening, Australians will find imported sparkling wine more expensive and are likely to turn even more frequently to their home-produced fizz – a product they already hold in high regard and which is consumed at least once a month by 95 per cent of sparkling wine consumers.

Around a quarter of adults in Australia consume some kind of sparkling wine on a regular basis.

Although Champagne is consumed by a significant portion of Australians, it is reserved for infrequent, more formal occasions.

One in three of its devotees say they are likely to drink less of it in future.

This is expected to benefit Australian sparkling wine, a product considered to be better value and higher quality than rival such as Italian Prosecco, Cava and New Zealand sparkling wine by Australian consumers as a whole.

Australian sparkling wine is also regarded as less stuffy than Champagne, with more versatility over a wider range of occasions, according to Wine Intelligence’s Vinitrac survey, involving nearly 2500 regular Australian drinkers.

But although sparkling wine sales are strong in Australia, the market does face challenges.

CHANGING SALES

The sparkling wine market in Australia has seen modest growth in recent years, and while it seems unlikely that this will change dramatically in the immediate future, there may be some changes to the way sales break down.

“Although sparkling wines from Spain, Italy and New Zealand do have a following in Australia, they tend to be enjoyed by the more involved wine drinkers, rather than the mainstream,” Wine Intelligence chief executive Lulie Halstead said.

“The good news for Australian sparkling wine is that it is seen as being good quality, almost on a par with French Champagne,” Halstead said.

“And certainly a step above the quality of sparkling wine produced by other export countries,” she added.

The Wine Intelligence latest Australia Sparkling report finds:

  • The sparkling wine market in Australia has broad appeal with 8.1M consumers who drink sparkling wine at least once per year, of whom 4.3M drink sparkling wine at least once per month.
  • Imports are taking a larger share of sales and driving the small levels of growth, and appeal in particular to younger and more involved drinkers.
  • Australian sparkling has an enduring reputation for quality, far higher than any import, apart from Champagne where quality expectations are near comparable.
  • Stronger prospects for lower cost imported sparkling wines as economy cools and AU$ weakens, although some negative perceptions of the taste of imported sparkling wine to overcome.

Contact: Lulie Halstead. Phone: 44 (0)20 7378 1277. Email: info@wineintelligence.com.

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