Wine trends in the Netherlands

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We normally tend to associate the Netherlands with beer, as the wine industry has always represented a niche market in this country, which has started to trade wines in the ’70. There are currently almost 200 wine producers in the Netherlands, whose internal production is roughly 1 million. However, because of the artisan nature of wineries, the Dutch wines are mainly purchased by local consumers, making wine import a crucial activity, especially from those countries which are traditionally more active in the wine industry, such as Italy.

Dutch consumers are increasingly interested in wine, resulting in a more refined taste and willingness to spend a bit more to get better quality. Nevertheless, pricing remains a decisive factor in the Dutch consumer’s purchasing decisions. Sustainability and branding are also important factors for success,

Increasing popularity of white wine:
Red wines (44.9%) had the largest share in sales in the Dutch market for still wines, followed by white wines (42.5%) and rosé (13.8%). However, in 2013, white wine sales grew by 3.5%, while red and rosé decreased by 2.4% and 1.3% respectively (Meininger’s, 2014). If these trends continue, white wines will surpass red wines in the coming years as the highest selling still wine category in the Netherlands.

Sparkling growing faster than still wine:
In the short term, it is expected that Dutch sales of red and white still wine will remain stable, whereas sales of sparkling wines are expected to continue to increase at the expense of rosé wine. Particularly frizzante wines (slightly sparkling) sell well, as they benefit from low excise tariffs. In 2014-2015, Dutch still wine sales remained stable, while sales of sparkling wine increased. Approximately 90% of the sales growth in sparkling wine since 2009 is accounted for by Italian sparkling (Drinks International, 2015).

Italy is one of the leading wine suppliers in the Netherlands, ranking 5th in terms of quantity and 3rd in terms of value. Dutch consumers mostly enjoy Italian red and rosé wines, which represent the 13.4% of the total value of the exported wines, followed by DOC white wines (11.4%) and DOC red/rosé (8.8%).

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