Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.

Prosecco's mass appeal may limit growth, says Cava boss

Published:  12 March, 2014

Prosecco's meteoric rise is not at the expense of Cava, insists Grupo Codorniu UK's boss, who says its mass appeal may inhibit further growth.

Prosecco's meteoric rise is not at the expense of Cava, insists Grupo Codorniu UK's boss, who said its mass appeal may inhibit further growth.

Grupo Codorniu UK's managing director Nick Mantella told that while "it doesn't necessarily make life easy when somebody else is the new kid on the block", Prosecco's growth boosted the sparkling category as a whole.

But he warned that its rapid surge in popularity could make it "less special". "I think people will get fed up with Prosecco in the on-trade," said Mantella, adding that its taste profile is not as evolved compared to Cava.

"The reality of sparkling wine is that Prosecco is helping to grow the category at the moment, and it's becoming polarised into Cava, Prosecco and Champagne. People who like sparkling wine drink all three sorts, depending on the day and their budget," he added.

While Prosecco has grown rapidly, it hasn't been at the expense of Cava, insisted Mantella. He said that while Cava has lost "a bit" of its market share, it has held on to its size, as volume sales are steady. He argued that more consumers are moving from Pinot Grigio to Prosecc.

In order to boost public awareness of Cava, Grupo Cordorniu is launching a trade and consumer initiative "Cava Revolution" later this month. It will bring a Codorniu stand to food markets and trade fairs across London and the rest of the UK. "The great big thing in sparkling wine right now is Prosecco, so we've got to show people our credentials."

Mantella said the two categories are of similar size, with Cava accounting for 43% of sparkling wine sales and Prosecco 48%.

Prosecco is growing rapidly, and boosting the category as a whole, says Grupo Codorniu UK MD Nick Mantella

According to the latest Nielsen figures, Italian sparkling wine has an average price of £7.09, with branded Italian sparkling wines hitting £7.03. For Cava, the average price is £6.74 but Codorniu is at £7.30.

At this week's Wine Buyers Forum in Windsor, Prosecco was singled out by some buyers as being the best performing category in the off-trade, with the Co-op confirming it was its current "best selling SKU" and that it was possible to achieve a solid premium price positioning for Prosecco.

Sarah Abbott MW said Prosecco's quality position was being helped by moves within the growing area to protect its DOCG status.

Mantella argued, however, that "the vast majority of Prosecco is own label - there are no big brands, it's brand Prosecco". He added: "In some ways that will hold it back. Cava has two champions, us and Freixenet. We still want to sell a lot of wine, but we're not just selling on price. Value has got to be the target going forward."

  • For a more in-depth interview with Nick Mantella, see our Q&A section later today.