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Prosecco in the pink with parallel rosé trends

Published:  17 July, 2020

A sizeable uplift in rosé wine sales is forecasting a rosey outlook for ‘Pink Prosecco’ which is due to land on British shelves and in ice buckets as of January 2021.

The launch of rosé can probably not come soon enough for the Prosecco industry which has had to weather stiff competition from gin and cocktails over the past few years as well as muted growth from Covid-19 related challenges.

Looking at parallel sales of rosé fizz gives some cause for optimism.

According to Nielsen, UK sales of rosé sparkling across the New and Old Worlds, excluding Champagne, reached £82m in the year to June 2020, up from £67m two years prior.

There has been uplift in the Champagne category, too.

“Invariably priced above its white equivalent, and generally showing smaller levels of sales decline than the overall category (albeit from a smaller overall base), with the right positioning and marketing Pink Prosecco could follow the same path to success,” said Mark Newton, senior category development manager, CGA.

Building on those Nielsen figures, Gemma Cooper, senior client business partner at the off-trade focused firm, added: “If we think back to the phenomenal success of pink gin and the recent buzz around rose cider, there is no doubt going to be similar shopper excitement. We just need to look at the growing popularity of rosé sparkling (+£15m) over the last three years to see the ripple effect of the ‘pink’ trend across the off-trade.”

While pink is likely to add novelty and ‘shopper excitement’ into the Prosecco category, others have asked, just how much?

Estimates put an extra +10/20% on the price of an average bottle of classic or ‘Bianco’ Prosecco.

But in the words of Stefano Silenzi, marketing director, Zonin1821, much of this will “depend on the ability of producers and retailers” to maintain pricing.

Then, there’s the issue of whether consumers will be wiling to pay more for something that is ostensibly already on the market. Around 60% of Prosecco producers are believed to already produce an ‘Italian sparkling rosé’ from Pinot Noir plantings which, interestingly, can already be incorporated into the traditional Bianco blend (as long as the prevailing colour is white).

Will consumer buy-in rise as result of longer maturation period, lower yields, vintage declaration and greater food-matching capabilities – the hopes on which premium rosé is pinned?

For more on the future of Prosecco and its hopes to premiumise via the new Rosato designation, see next week’s July/August issue of Harpers.