Sparkling wine in the Canadian market is on the rise, as Prosecco is a growing preference amongst younger consumers
The sparkling wine trend that has taken many developed markets by storm over the past decade has become a significant factor in the Canadian market. According to Wine Intelligence’s Sparkling Wine in the Canadian Market 2019 report, published this week, the population of those who drink sparkling wine once a month or more has grown by 1.8 million since 2018, rising to 5.4 million adults. At the same time, consumers’ involvement in the sparkling wine category has increased significantly as well. A larger proportion of consumers now have a strong interest in sparkling wine, feel competent about their sparkling wine knowledge and consider wine to be important to their lifestyles than they did in 2018. Connected with this rise in involvement, some consumers are also trading up by swapping quantity for quality in sparkling wine, which is in line with a global trend across the whole wine industry. Average spend per bottle significantly increased for many off- and on-premise occasions across various sparkling wine types over the past year.
In the Canadian wine market, 83% of sparkling wine consumed is imported, and mostly from Old World wine producing regions. Italy continues to lead with a 33% share of the market by volume, followed by France and Spain. Italy’s leading position may be due to Italian sparkling wine, especially Prosecco, catering to these changing consumer habits and targeting people who drink sparkling wine for more informal occasions, with the proportion of drinkers of sparkling wine in Canada consuming Prosecco increasing significantly in the short term.
Prosecco has experienced strong growth in Canada in recent years as it is positioned as a pleasurable, easy to drink beverage to have with friends. The category (on a whole as well as amongst Prosecco consumers) is driven primarily by Millennial female sparkling wine drinkers who are building their knowledge and experience in the category. However, consumer attitudes towards Prosecco are starting to change as more than half of Prosecco consumers state that they would be willing to spend more on a bottle for a higher quality product. Additionally, again in line with the global trends, a third of consumers reported they would prefer Prosecco with less calories in it as more people are opting for moderation and health-conscious options globally.*
But this is not to say that Champagne is being neglected. French sparkling (including Champagne) still has 16% of the market by volume, and consumers still consider it a sophisticated drink that makes a good impression on others. Interestingly, Millennial male sparkling wine drinkers are more likely to consume Champagne from France compared with all drinkers of sparkling wine in Canada.
Another interesting topic discussed in the report is fusion products. This type of drink shows a promising opportunity in the Canadian sparkling wine market, predominately amongst younger, female consumers due to their experimental and adventurous nature. With more knowledge and ingrained habits, older drinkers of sparkling wine in Canada are less likely to consider purchasing and feel affinity for sparkling fusion products.
*For more information on lower alcohol and alternative wines, see our recent Global SOLA: Opportunities in sustainable, organic and lower alcohol wines 2019 published last month and our recent article Sustainable Growth here.