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Dramatic rise in Franciacorta sales

Published:  09 February, 2022

Italy's premier traditional method fizz saw encouraging sales growth in 2021, jumping beyond pre-pandemic levels to a record 20.3 million bottles.

According to the Franciacorta Consortium, “An extremely positive four-month period began in March 2021. Compared to the corresponding period in 2020, which saw a sharp drop due to full lockdowns and the spread of the pandemic, 2021 in fact saw significant rates of growth, with a peak between April and May of even as much as 200%. Although without such a dramatic increase, sales in the second half of the year were also well above those of the previous year and 2021 closed with a growth in volumes overall of 28.3%.” By way of comparison, a total of 17.6m bottles were sold in 2019.

However, the Consortium added that, overall, global sales “were stable”, with the vast majority of demand emanating from the domestic Italian market.

“Exports, stable at 10.3%, with regard to individual nations, saw Switzerland confirm its supremacy, representing 22.2% of total exports (+22.1% compared to 2020 and +28.5% compared to 2019). This is followed by the United States, which accounts for 12.4% of total exports (+71.7% compared to 2020 and +8.4% compared to 2019), Japan (11.9% of total exports), Germany (8.3% of total exports) and Belgium (5.4% of total exports),” said a representative from the Consortium.

President of Consorzio Franciacorta, Silvano Brescianini, commented: "After 2020, in which we saw a significant reduction in away-from-home consumption and tried to contain its impact, in 2021 we were able to achieve very positive results particularly from spring onwards, despite the fact that in several markets restrictions were still present and the news was not always reassuring.”

He added: “The ability to combat negative effects and fully exploit positive periods reassure us of the quality and standing of our appellation, also for the future."

In a boon for the category, Franciacorta was elected 'destination partner' of the prestigious Michelin Guide in 2021, which, for three consecutive years, will present the stars and masters of Italian culi-nary excellence in the area.

As part of this collaboration, projects will be dedicated to the training and involvement of profes-sional chefs and sommeliers, true ambassadors of unique Italian food and wine products.

In addition, Franciacorta has been appointed 'Official Sparkling Wine' at Milan Fashion Week.

Last year, a Harpers webinar entitled 'Franciacorta: Adding A Splash Of Italian Style' looked to ascer-tain the category’s prospects for further growth in the UK (watch here).

“It is certainly a challenge to market a premium sparkling wine as ‘something in-between Prosecco and Champagne’,” said Margherita Salvador, buyer at Corney & Barrow.

“People have a greater knowledge of Cava and crémant. But there is a gap in between these two. Remember also that this is a very saturated market and bubbly has become highly commoditised. We need to create a fresh identity around Franciacorta.”

Franciacorta appears to be succeeding in that goal.