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Have we reached peak prosecco?

Penny Brooks

29th May 2018

This could be a great example of a brand becoming overexposed and overstocked. The growth in demand for prosecco has been phenomenal, as it became the inexpensive way of celebrating, an affordable little treat, and the basis of 'Fizz Friday', and even encouraged entrepreneurs Alex Windsor and his fiancée, Sophie Andrews to give up their jobs to launch a mobile prosecco van.

According to Richard Halstead from market researcher Wine Intelligence, the beverage could be described as the "phenomenon of the last five years". He said it is "wildly popular" among women in their 20s and 30s who post pictures on social media of themselves clinking glasses and popping corks. Only last September, the BBC reported that Lidl has seen sales of its own brand bottles grow by 79% in January 2017 compared to the same month last year, M&S's prosecco sales saw a 25% rise from 2015 to 2016, and Sainsbury's own brand sales rose by 40% over the same period. What a huge expansion of supply there must have been, to accommodate that growth in demand.

Now, however, the BBC is reporting that sales growth has slowed to 'only' 5% in the last year, and quotes an accountancy group's warning that the sheer popularity of prosecco means it is no longer seen as aspirational or luxurious. It says that prosecco may have reached its "Burberry moment", having been overexposed due to overstocking by supermarkets. (If you are not familiar with the classic Burberry story, it is worth a read - here.

What will happen to all those prosecco suppliers who might have over-estimated the need for their product?

Penny Brooks

Formerly Head of Business and Economics and now Economics teacher, Business and Economics blogger and presenter for Tutor2u, and private tutor

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