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Prosecco cocktails could be next big UK drinking trend, says Robin Copestick

Published:  25 March, 2014

Prosecco cocktails which have become popular across Italy and Germany could be the next big drinking trend in the UK, according to Robin Copestick of wine agency, Copestick Murray.

Speaking at this week's ProWein in Germany Copestick told that single serve Prosecco cocktails were ideally placed to take off in both the on and off-trades.

He hopes to capitalise on the strength of the investment of its major shareholder, the German sparkling wine company, Henkell, in Copestick Murray to drive its sparkling and Prosecco business in the UK.

Henkell, which owns 13 wineries across Europe, has been able to drive the growing Prosecco cocktail business in Italy, in particular, through its flagship Mionetto brand and its Ugo! and Spritz brands which have become popular as single serve cocktails.

When served in bars the cocktails are made with ice and combinations of mint, lime or orange.

Copestick Murray is set to introduce four separate Prosecco lines to the UK, with two brands for the off-trade and two for the on-trade, centred around the Mionetto brand. Copestick said he hopes to be selling a million cases of Prosecco in the UK by 2020 and was confident their was still plenty of opportunity across the Prosecco category.

"Prosecco has built its position in the UK without having to rely on half priced promotions. It is a sustainable product. It is less expensive to make than Cava and has not been driven down on price by has a real chance to grow the category," he explained.  

He also believes the category could grow to mirror the success of Champagne and support brands at different price levels, so that consumers can choose from entry level, mainstream brands right through to super premium brands. "Harrods and Harvey Nichols are already selling Prosecco at up to £30 to £40 a bottle," he added.

Copestick Murray is working hard to drive distribution with other major off and on-trade partners. He admitted the challenge will be to demonstrate to consumers how it should be served and that it is ideally best drunk over ice with fruit. Both Ugo! and Spritz have the added advantage of being lower alcohol brands with an abv of 8%.

Up to now, he said, Prosecco has been the "brand" but the market was now ready to sustain strong standalone brands like Mionetto, he said. Copestick Murray will be able to offer both private label and branded Prosecco offers to retailers.

Mionetto is priced at around £15 with the option to promote down to £10.

Copestick Murray will be looking to support Mionetto with above the line advertising in key consumer press as well as look at sponsorship opportunities, particularly around music, fashion and Italian themed opportunities.