Prosecco warned to avoid deals or become "another cava"

Prosecco producers must maintain prices to guard against becoming “another cava”, UK agents have warned.

Bibendum head of buying Andrew Shaw said: “Beware deep discounts. Prosecco needs to push a quality agenda and avoid excessive price promotion. It needs to learn from cava’s experience a few years ago when consumer popularity and over-promotion led to a devaluation of individual brands and of the category as a whole.

“The recent Prosecco boom will inevitably lead to a temptation to price it aggressively to drive volume sales and footfall at key times of year. The challenge we face is to resist this temptation and focus on value rather than volume.”

Liberty Wines managing director David Gleave added: “As long as prices remain stable, volume should continue to grow organically. We won’t see the increases we’ve seen in recent years, but there is still potential for continued growth if the producers work together.”

A few years ago cava prices dipped significantly as producers slashed prices to win off-trade listings.

Nick Tatham MW, wine development manager for Continental Wine & Food, said: “It was not so long ago that cava was being sold at £3.99 and even now can be found in Calais for £2.99.

If too much new volume comes on to the market from the new plantings there is a danger this could happen [to Prosecco].”

Christina Cavender, marketing manager at Boutinot, added: “Providing quality and sensible pricing is maintained, Prosecco sales should continue to grow. Over-reliance on sales drivers and half-price offers could risk that the consumer thinks they are not being given value for money. But sensible pricing, rather than cynical promotions – as have sometimes been seen with cava – could mean that growth continues at around 20% year on year for the next few years.”

Are soaring Prosecco sales a market bubble? Find out here.

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