Prosecco leads Dutch wine drinkers out of the gloom

The Netherlands is emerging from a long economic hiatus, and is slowly dragging the wine market back into positive territory, thanks in no small part to Prosecco.

Wine Intelligence’s new report on the Netherlands wine market says there was no overall growth in the still wine market, but no decline either, unlike in more recession-prone years.

The recent trend of increasing consumption of sparkling wines continues, led by Prosecco. Dutch consumers are now drinking three million more bottles of sparkling wine compared with 2009, with more than 90% of the market growth accounted for by Italian sparkling.

Dutch wine consumers remain bargain hunters, according to the report. Their main choice cues when purchasing wine continue to be promotional offer, a recommendation by friends or family and “a brand I am aware of”.

The retail channel is dominated by Albert Heijn, which is very effective at driving hard bargains on behalf of its customers, and providing low priced, reasonable quality own-label wines in large volumes, says WI.

Despite this, consumer spending on wine appears to be increasing, particularly at the crucial informal ‘at home with meal’ occasion. 56% of respondents now say they spend between €3 and €5 on wine for this occasion, up from 44% in 2012, and perhaps more significant, the proportion saying they spend less than €3 for this occasion has fallen from 26% to 19%.

WI COO Richard Halstead said: “Netherlands is one of the top five importing countries in the world, ahead of China and Japan, and the country represents a significant opportunity for both Old World and New World producers.

“We are seeing a more optimistic picture emerging compared with previous years, though it remains a tough market in which to make money. “Opportunities will come this year in sparkling wine (again) and in wines priced between €5 and €10, as retailers look to trade up consumers who are feeling just a bit better off than before,” said Halstead.