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Has Prosecco reached its peak?

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New research has suggested that Prosecco’s surge in popularity over recent years may be coming to an end.

According to accountancy firm UHY Hacker Young, the amount of sparkling wine on sale in the UK increased 5% to 35.8 million gallons in 2017.  However, this was the smallest increase since 2011, suggesting the UK market could be approaching “peak Prosecco”.

UHY Hacker Young highlighted that the weakness in sterling has increased the cost of importing sparkling wine from countries such as Italy and France, making it harder for some retailers to maintain the “pricing points” of some sparkling wines that consumers have become used to.

It added that Prosecco may have reached a “Burberry moment” – where the brand suffers from overexposure and loses it luxury/aspirational image through overstocking at supermarkets.

However, the accountancy group said that sales of English sparkling wine could benefit from the overexposure of Prosecco, as it maintains “authentic and local” values that millennials and other key consumer groups value.

James Simmonds, a partner at UHY Hacker Young, commented: “A 5% increase in sales is not at all bad but that comes after several years of double digit growth. Unless the industry can revitalise its image this year we may now be reaching ‘peak Prosecco’.”

He added: “It is hard for a luxury product to make the leap into the mass market without losing its reputation for exclusivity. A lot of English wine producers are now vying to capture the space left, as Prosecco moves to the mainstream.”

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