Germany: the wine premiumisation process is going on

Jessika Pini

30% of Italian wine exports go to Germany. In volume this corresponds to 19% for the significant flows of non bottled product. According to a Wine Monitor Nomisma survey, Germany is the third largest market for the value of wine imports in the world (about 2,5 billion euro in 2014), after The United States and The United Kingdom. It has a consumption per capita of 25.5 liters per year and a total of 20.4 million hectoliters.
Distribution channel
The dynamics of the German market are highly affected by the commercial strength of the discount stores. 47% of wine sales are in discount stores that mainly import bulk wine to be sold as private label. 12% of sales take place in supermarkets, and only 3% are in specialized wine shops. The strong commercial power of large-scale distribution also determines the price positioning: in 2014, the average price of Italian exported wine in Germany amounted to 1,65€/liter (2.72€ in the case of bottled still wines ). However, the demand for high quality wines, that are positioned at a higher price level than the ones in the big supermarket chains, is increasing. This premiumisation process is also happening in discount stores and supermarkets.
The consumer’s identikit
Germany is definitely a mature market, but it is open to new products. The typical German consumer is a consumer that loves variety in wine and therefore the variety of the vines that grow in Italy is a rich catalogue from where to pick and choose. The German consumer is also sensitive to prices, but not rigidly tied to a cost range. The habitual wine shopper is willing to spend more for a higher quality product or for a product that is linked to a specific production territory.
Wine typologies
75% of consumed wines are imported, with 25% being domestic wines. In the purchase of white wine the main varieties which grow in Germany are the most popular: Müller-Thurgau, with 14% market share, and Riesling 13%. There are more opportunities for red wine imports, the most appreciated being Merlot with 11% of market share.

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