Over a year after the first Covid-19 lockdown, the 2020 sales figures of Austria’s domestic wine market are now available. Although the Austrian wine domestic market saw increases in at home consumption (+17% in volume and +18% in revenue), and purchases from multiple grocers (+16% in volume and +17% in revenue); it was not enough to recover the losses from on-trade sales as expected. Moreover, the hospitality industry’s purchases of Austrian wine through wholesalers fell by thirty-three percent. On the other hand, against all odds, Austrian wine exports showed increases of 6.3% in volume and 2.4% in revenue, taking it a new height of 187.3 million.
On-Trade Wholesalers: Wine sales decline by 33%
In 2019, hospitality and events accounted for 58% of the total wine consumption in Austria. This number took a nosedive and Austrian winegrowers saw their most important sales channel disappear when the hospitality industry was forced to shut down mid-March last year due to the pandemic imposed lockdown. The situation was worsened by the second lockdown announced from 3rd November 2020 onwards.
According to the data released by the GastroData market research institute, the figures for total wine sales seem to have declined drastically in proportion with the high-scale lockdown. In the year 2020 beginning from January, the on-trade wholesale channel saw a 33% fall as compared to the figures from 2019.
On the matter of declining on-trade sales figure, Chris Yorke, CEO of Austrian Wine Marketing Board (AWMB) said, “Austria’s innkeepers have tried, and are still trying, their very best to keep their businesses ticking over despite forced closure, for example by offering deliveries and take-aways. This means they are still able to sell a small amount of wine. Nonetheless, we still faced painful losses in on-trade wine sales last year.”
Tourism: Huge losses with a strand of hope in the summer
Tourists who buy Austrian wine during their trips to the country have contributed a significant portion, which cannot be overlooked, to the sales channel. In 2019, tourists purchased around 12 million litres of wine.
However, last year, the coronavirus pandemic left a highly adverse impact in this segment with overnight accommodation numbers plummeting – especially in innercity areas. “In some winegrowing regions, there was a real ‘summer of wine’ due to an influx of domestic holidaymakers. That being said, the latest figures still suggest that annual wine sales to tourists fell by almost half,” explained Yorke.
At Home Consumption: One in every two households exclusively bought Austrian Wine
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