Wine sales in Europe expected to fall by 35%.

Monday April 27 2020 by Vitisphere

“At the moment we are witnessing a huge change due to the current pandemic, which will have a consequential impact on many aspects of the lives of farms and vineyards, as well as on the production and trade in grapes and wine”, said Pau Roca on 23 April.“At the moment we are witnessing a huge change due to the current pandemic, which will have a consequential impact on many aspects of the lives of farms and vineyards, as well as on the production and trade in grapes and wine”, said Pau Roca on 23 April. - Photo credit : DR

Speaking of the impact of the coronavirus epidemic and global lockdown measures, Pau Roca, the director of the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV), warned: “We are at an early stage and we do not have enough statistical data to provide an accurate forecast and anticipate the future scenario of the global wine sector”, during a video conference on 23 April. Quite understandably, Covid-19 overshadowed the organisation’s customary presentation of its statistics on the world wine industry for 2019, and has fully focused OIV’s attention.

As Roca pointed out, the main shift involves wine distribution channels, starting with “the dramatic disappearance of the hospitality sector in most countries. It is estimated that in Europe the closure of this distribution channel could lead to a reduction of 35% by volume and more than 50% by value in sales”, said the director of OIV, adding that the impact would differ depending on the region.

Supermarkets and e-commerce

Reporting that wine sales in supermarkets were increasing during lockdown, Roca pointed out that whilst this was “good news [it] does not, however, compensate for all the losses caused by the reduction in sales in the hospitality industry. The intrinsic characteristics of the retail trade channel limit the range, which centres on low and consistent pricing, unlike the restaurant sector (think of a restaurateur’s wine list in its diversification strategy)”. Predicting growth in online sales, the director of OIV stressed that the excess logistical strain of demand was still a problem that needed to be resolved so that “home sales continue to develop. The advantage of the internet is that it does not restrict choice in terms of price or the number of products”.

 

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