Prosecco – it’s potentially my favourite thing IN THE ENTIRE WORLD. A particular fizz-related purchase prompted some research into everything prosecco-related and not surprisingly, we love it. Britain has a serious obsession with prosecco (at one point we even overtook Italy in the amount of prosecco we consumed) and marketers have been jumping on it from day one, but prosecco has a serious branding problem…and it might be why our fondness for fizz is fizzling out.
The prosecco craze really kicked off in the UK in 2013, but the drink itself has been around for centuries longer. There are several different theories but the most likely origin of prosecco links back to Pucinum wine in ancient Rome. Praised for its medicinal qualities, it apparently adorned the tables of prominent Roman dignitaries. The first mention of ‘prosecco’ appears in 1754 from the writer Aureliano Acanti in his book Il Roccolo Ditirambo where he discusses how amazing prosecco is. What we can take from this is that the love affair with prosecco is far from new.
Up until 1960, prosecco was a fairly sweet drink and as a result, not a very popular one.* As production techniques have improved, a nice cold glass of fizz has gained the dry champagne-like taste we experience today.
The Fizz Explosion
Despite its long history, prosecco really became a modern ‘thing’ around 2013 for a few reasons:
- A gap in the market. With champagne domineering the high-end, luxurious market and Cava battling with a detrimental cheap brand image, there was a gap for an everyday luxury drink with a positive, life-affirming brand image. You could get the celebratory feel of champagne without the price tag AND still feel like you were indulging.
- Millennials love a bargain. It’s not just millennials who love prosecco, but with the cork really being popped in 2013, when a large proportion of the millennial generation were in their early- to mid-20s after a recession, it’s no wonder a more affordable luxury has become so popular.
- Staying in is the new going out. Round about the same time as the prosecco boom, people changed their going-out habits. It became more popular to stay in to celebrate (or just have an average Tuesday night) and bringing along a bottle of prosecco can add a bit of flair without the large mark-up you’d pay in a bar.
Prosecco-only bars erupted around the country. There were even prosecco festivals. Suddenly we couldn’t get enough of it!
So, What’s the Problem?
Can you name an independent brand of prosecco? As in an individual producer and not a shop-own brand? Unless you’re a fizz fiend, you might find this quite difficult. And therein lies the problem. Prosecco has next to no brand loyalty. In fact, ‘prosecco’ is almost recognised as a brand in itself. There have been attempts to ‘premiumise’ prosecco and the majority have failed because people tend to buy whatever prosecco is on offer rather than stick with a particular one they like.
The drink has also started to gain a bit of a bad reputation. British dental experts came out in force to highlight the ‘prosecco smile’ – receding gums and decaying teeth in patients whose go-to drink was fizz. And Brexit happened. Exports of prosecco have dropped for the first time in 10 years and with the cost of prosecco predicted to rise when we leave the EU, English sparkling wine has seen an increase in popularity. With no brand loyalty behind it, the prosecco fascination is already fizzing out and it’s set to get worse over the next few years.
*Tip from a fizz fiend: try Martini Asti if you want to experience the sugary flavour of 1960s fizz.
How Can Elastic Help?
Other than trying to keep the prosecco buzz going (which I entirely intend to do, singlehandedly if I must), we’re branding experts. From our workshops to our social media campaigns, our aim is to help you build a brand that will last. So, if you want to make sure your brand doesn’t fizzle out, get in touch today.