Italian’s investing in USA marketing

Italian grip

Italy has a strong grip on the US imported wine market. From January to November 2016 the Italian share was reported to be worth US$1.65 billion ($2.16 billion). with exports up 5.9 per cent on 2015. The leading US markets for Italian wine:

  • New York
  • California
  • Florida
  • Illinois
  • Texas

Compare these with the top US markets for Australian wine, taken from the Wine Australia export report ending December 2016

  • California: up 3 per cent to $136 million
  • Florida: up 36 per cent to $44 million
  • New York: up 29 per cent to $53 million
  • Texas: up 23 per cent to $28 million

The other two key markets for Australia recorded a decline in exports

  • New Jersey down 32 per cent to $14
  • Illinois down 11 per cent to $11 million

The battle for market penetration in the US is not national but state by state, and it looks as if the battleground is the same states.

The Italians plan a push on the US market starting this year, having committed US$22 million over the next three years. The focus will be education about the diversity of Italian wines and grape varieties. Currently the market for Italian wines is divided into:

  • White wines: US$634 million (38 per cent market share)
  • Red wines: US$567 million (34.2 per cent market share)
  • Sparkling wines: US$324 million (19.5 per cent market share)
  • Vermouth and flavoured wines: US$48 million (3 per cent market share)

The outline for the campaign is roughly the same as any country’s push for wine into an export market, Australia included.

How to attract a new younger audience, how to influencers, how to gain higher prices… we have all been there before. It will be interesting to see which country, if any, cracks the market first. Or maybe the approach needs to change.

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