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Prosecco DOC Consorzio UK office to build on record exports

Published:  22 May, 2017

Following record exports to the UK in 2016, the Prosecco DOC is looking to consolidate its growth in the UK, announcing the appointment of a dedicated press office, as part of a global rollout that has already seen similar support in China, USA and Germany.

Speaking at the London Wine Fair, president of the Consorzio Stefano Zanette told Harpers that he believed quality Prosecco would continue to grow across key markets, led by the UK, which has returned an average of 30 to 40% growth over the past few years.

Zanette also identified France as the market with strongest growth, up 70%, albeit from a much lower base, saying Prosecco sales were beginning to eat into those of its home-grown Champagne.

“We don’t know if the UK market will continue to grow as fast as it has done for the past few years, partially because of the uncertainty of Brexit, but we believe it will continue to remain as the most important market for Prosecco for the foreseeable future,” said Zanette.

The UK currently accounts for 33% of Prosecco exports, at 410 million bottles, with 20% going to the US and 14% to Germany, with foreign exports delivering 75% of total Prosecco sales.

Addressing the question of potential price rises for DOC Prosecco, which cut permitted yields when its Doc status was granted in 2009, Zanette outlined the rise in production, which has been remarkable.

Production of DOC wines has risen from 1.5 million hl in 2011 to 3.5 million in 2016, with the Consorzio able to meet future fluctuations by further increasing the area under vine.

In the UK, the new press and marketing initiative will be fronted by Carl Steer of Switched On agency, based in Brighton, and will act to target the on- and off-trade with a series of events and tastings, while also providing feedback on the UK market to the Consorzio on trends in the UK.

“We are looking to increase both the volume and value of Prosecco in the UK, but it is also important to protect the reputation of quality Prosecco,” said Zanette.