Strong presence on U.S. digital channels with 900 million impressions as a result of ICE’s “Italian Wine – Taste the Passion” ad campaign

The United States is the main destination market for Italian wine exports, absorbing approximately one quarter of the total sales abroad. Italy is steadily the leader in quantity and, in terms of value, it always holds the top positions (first or second supplier).

Based on data from the U.S. Department of Commerce in 2018, Italy, as compared with the previous year, has increased wine export by 6.8% in value (equal to 1,984 billion USD) and by 1.2% in quantity. This is highest increase in value in the last five-year period.

In the same year, the market share rose from 31.4% to 32% and the average prices increased by 5.4%, going from 5.6 USD/Lt to 5.9 USD/Lt.

In terms of individual sectors, Italy is the first supplier to the U.S. for white wines, with a market share of 40%, as well as for red wines, with a share of 32.5%.

In the category of sparkling wines, Italy dominates in terms of quantity with a share of 57% of imports.

In the face of these encouraging statistics, Italy in the U.S. (as in other foreign markets as well) has a position that is not in line with the high quality of our wines, which inevitably reflects on sales prices.

For this reason, the ItalianMinistry of Economic Development created a specific Wine Table that collaborated on setting up Progetto Vino USA, which plans for a wide range of activities in support of our producers: consumer ad campaign, training for industry workers, bringing in new companies, trips to Italy, trade events in cooperation with Italian partners, a special desk at ICE New York, etc.

Progetto Vino USA is financed entirely by the Ministry of Economic Development and defined in very close collaboration with Italian producers, represented by Federvini, Unione Italiana Vini and Federdoc.

Under these circumstances, an effective ad campaign was created in 2018 in the U.S. – “Italian Wine – Taste the Passion” – with the goal of raising the perception of Italian wine, improving its reputation and, consequently, increasing average sales prices.

The campaign message aimed to highlight the main characteristics of our wine: diversity, uniqueness, connection to the land, authenticity, versatility and family tradition.

The claim Italian Wine – Taste the Passion” refers to the extreme care that characterizes every stage in the production of our wine and the passion that Italians express when sharing it with the rest of the world (the video can be viewed at the following link:

The campaign, which took place in April-July and September-December of last year, was directed at consumers ages 35-55 at a national level, with a priority on several target states: New York Tri-State, California, Florida, Illinois and Texas. The choice of geographical areas was inspired by their importance; in fact, approximately 52% of wine consumption in the U.S. is concentrated in the chosen States, which also record the greatest propensity for purchasing products from abroad, given that nearly 70% of all imported wine passes through their customs.

The results, at the end of the campaign’s first year, are encouraging: there were 900 million impressions in total, of which 85% were on digital channels, but above all, a good increase in average prices was recorded which, as we recall, was the main objective of Progetto Vino USA.

Alongside the advertising communication, there were several other noteworthy activities, including the training and buyers’ trips to Italy, both carried out thanks to the strong collaboration with Vinitaly.

We are satisfied with the good results achieved in the first year of activity, especially in terms of improving positioning of Italian wines, because our producers are not satisfied with being leaders in quantity alone. Obviously, we still have a lot of work to do in order to reinforce and strengthen this trend in the years to come,” points out Maurizio Forte, Director of the ICE Agency in New York. “The quality and diversity of our wines requires an ongoing commitment to the U.S. market, that the Italian government is ensuring with great determination.”

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