Jean-Marc Fontaine: "There is no doubt that consumers are buying Prosecco"

Sunday March 13 2016 by Vitisphere

Jean-Marc Fontaine, managing director of Alliance Loire, reflects upon the growth of foreign sparkling wines in the French market. He believes Prosecco is the one to watch...

Imports of foreign sparkling wines are on the rise in the French market. What is your opinion about the growth?

Three years ago, sales of Prosecco in French supermarkets and hypermarkets represented 300,000 bottles. That figure has now risen to 2.2 million bottles. France has never witnessed such a surge in sales of a foreign appellation. In just two years, something unbelievable has happened. One explanation, which puts the trend into perspective, is the popularity of Aperol Spritz: in 2015, 800,000 bottles were sold. If you allow two bottles of Prosecco for one bottle of Aperol, that amounts to 1.6 million bottles of Prosecco. It’s only an estimate, but it begs the question: is Spritz a passing fad or not? That’s a difficult question to answer but there is no doubt that consumers are buying Prosecco. They have become familiar with a foreign appellation in a very short space of time. In France, we have been unable to invent a new way of drinking wine that can perform so well.

How does Alliance Loire position its sparkling wines in relation to the competition?

We offer a different type of innovation such as the partnership arrangement with Philippe Faure-Brac in 2014. The brand has just won the Rayon Boissons magazine’s favourite choice award, which is something our teams are proud of. The innovation enables us to stay within our own sphere, related to appellations. Nevertheless, French companies have engaged with the trend of drinking wine as an aperitif. The success of wine-based drinks is plain for all to see, but consumption of drinks on ice is also growing. There is no doubt that consumers are receptive to these new ways of drinking wine. 


[ Source: Vitisphere; Photo: DR ]


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