As Australians eagerly fill their calendars with social occasions after a year of restrictions, Brown Brothers is predicting it’s going to be the biggest summer ever for Prosecco.
If you haven’t already been seeing Prosecco everywhere, it’s only a matter of time, because the sparkling wine is having its moment in the sun. Its currently the second biggest growth category in wine (+9.7% vs YA, MAT 03.10.21). It also showed the strongest growth in Wine Australia’s 2021 National Vintage Report, increasing by more than 50% compared with 2020 and by more than 100% compared with the five-year average.
Brown Brothers Prosecco NV is the number one selling Prosecco in Australia, while Brown Brothers is the number one selling brand in the market.
Brown Brothers Wine Ambassador and Educator Andrew Harris said Prosecco has made sparkling wine more accessible and approachable, due to it’s easy drinking flavour profile and price point, which represents great value for money.
“Prosecco is also very much gender neutral and attracts a more youthful audience,” he said.
Harris is predicting the wine will accompany a huge number of the reunions, picnics, house parties, brunches, nights out and alfresco evenings Aussies are planning.
“It’s a drink that’s all about the good times,” he explained. “From the moment a bottle is popped, you’re met with bursts of excitement and anticipation as you ‘cheers’, instantly elevating the occasion.”
He added that Prosecco is quickly gaining ground as a Christmas tipple, especially as more premium offerings arrive on shelf. It’s also taking market share from Champagne around the global – Daniel Mettyear, research director at IWSR Drinks Market Analysis, predicts that Prosecco sales in the US will overtake those in its domestic market of Italy by the end of 2022 or early 2023.
“Our Premium Brut NV is the perfect sparkling wine for Christmas and provides consumers with the opportunity for a credible ‘step up’ in Prosecco,” he said.
“Made from grapes picked at our Banksdale Vineyard in the King Valley, Brut NV is the pinnacle of our range. It’s a slightly drier style with aromas of apple and citrus, this varietal is bright, zesty and vibrant, and has fine, delicate bubbles that fill the palette.
“Prosecco is also the perfect addition to cocktails, such as Negronis and Bellinis.”
In the pink
Pink sparkling wine is also having a moment in Australia, after lagging behind white bubbles for many years. Sparkling bottled rose has grown by 15% in value in the 12 months to July 4 and by 1% in volume. By comparison, the wine category overall grew 7% in value but declined 1.5% in volume over the same period.
Meanwhile, Brown Brothers Prosecco Rose is now growing well ahead of the category (+26% vs YA, MAT 03.10.21). The wine has a soft, rose-gold colour and a delicate nose displaying strawberry, watermelon and apple flavours.
“We believe Prosecco Rose will continue to see big growth, as it fits perfectly into summer and refreshment due to its taste, bubble profile and lively colour,” Harris said.
Canned wine revolution
Brown Brothers was one of the earlier adopters of canned wine in Australia, releasing Brown Brothers Prosecco Spritz and Innocent Bystander Moscato into the category in 2018.
Its Prosecco NV and Prosecco Spritz can be enjoyed in 750ml bottles and 250ml cans, which Harris said are ideal for brunches and picnics and those times when you don’t want to open a full bottle.
Harris added that consumers are becoming more open to wine in cans, with outdoor catch ups being more prominent over the past year and consumers looking for ease and portion control.
He revealed that prosecco can sales are very strong, with Brown Brothers Prosecco 250ml cans up 85% [vs YA, MAT 03.10.21] growing well ahead of the category (+6% vs YA, MAT 03.10.21).
Prosecco joins the growing low and no-alcohol market
Between 2015 and 2020 the global non- and low-alcohol wine category grew by 25%, and the growth rate forecast for the next five years by drink market analysts IWSR is 15% per year on average, compared to less than 1% per year for total wine volume. In Australia, low-alcohol wines have grown by 27% over the past year.
Brown Brothers introduced Prosecco Ultra Low earlier this year, which has just 0.5% alc/vol. Using spinning-cone technology to remove the alcohol, Ultra Low delivers the same vibrant taste with less than one standard drink per bottle.
“We noticed more Australians are seeking ways to moderate their alcohol intake, but don’t believe flavour should be sacrificed when it comes to enjoying a glass of wine,” Harris said. “The minimal amount of alcohol helps to create mouthfeel and flavour which has been missing in the category to date, while still honouring the winemaking craft and traditional flavours of our iconic Prosecco NV.
“With our warm climate, consumers shifting more towards supporting local Australian sparkling wines, and a growing number of mindful options on shelf, this is going to be the ultimate summer for Prosecco.”