De Pró rides the wave of booming Cava sales

Although sales over the key Christmas and New Year period are yet to be published, Cava is expected to have hit record highs in 2022. The DO Cava reported a boom in sales over the first nine months of 2022 with 245 million bottles sold, +3% on 2021, which was already a spectacular year with a 17% increase on 2020.

Growth in the domestic market was particularly strong, with 14.5% growth over the first 9 months of 2022, but export sales also increased in certain key markets, including its top market – Germany – with 7% growth. Exports to Sweden, Holland, Russia and Switzerland also rose. Where sales did fall in 2022 – such as in the USA, this was often on the back of very steep growth in 2021 (+40%).

In the UK, although exports for the first 9 months were stagnant, there was growing interest in the lead up to Christmas, with many retailers, such as Majestic expecting to sell one bottle of Cava a minute over the festive period.

William Long, MD of Long Wines comments: “We’ve long believed in the potential of Spain’s traditional sparkling wine, Cava – made in the same way as Champagne, it is more food-friendly than Prosecco – and international buyers are catching on. Our premium De Pró Cava brand, which is well established in the Dutch, Belgian and US markets has seen sales grow by 50% in 2022 and the repackaging that we’ll be unveiling at ProWein this year is expected to further support this growth. We’ve also gained new importers for some of our other brands including Can Petit in key markets such as the UK.”

There are several factors behind the growth in sales. Firstly, sales of sparkling wines in general are buoyant, with consumers increasingly seeing Cava and other products such as Prosecco as drinks to be enjoyed on a regular basis, not just for special occasions. Secondly, the demand for Champagne is outstripping supply, as the 2021 vintage – which will have only just started being disgorged in the last quarter of 2022 – was particularly small after being hit by spring frost and mildew. This means stocks are very low, which is forcing up prices and making importers turn to alternatives such as Cava, which is also made using the traditional method.

Lastly, there has been a sustained campaign by the Regulatory Council of the DO Cava to focus on quality, origin and sustainability. This includes new legislation that highlights the provenance of the Cava from four areas – Condados de Barcelona being the traditional heartland – and new ageing categories, Cava de Guarda (min. 9 months ageing) and Cava de Guarda Superior, which must be made from organic grapes and aged for a minimum of 18 months.

Cavas from the “Guarda Superior” category (Reserva, Gran Reserva and Paraje Calificado) saw 20% growth over the first three quarters of 2022, and the sales of organic Cava have also increased exponentially.

This has all been supported by marketing campaigns designed to increase awareness of the quality of Cava, with tastings and influencer campaigns in key markets.

The new packaging for De Pró Cava will be unveiled at on the Long Wines stand at ProWein, with premium materials to reflect the quality of the wine inside the bottle and the use of the “Condados de Barcelona” identifier and the “Cava de Guarda” seal on the bottle.

Please get in touch with us if you are an importer looking to source new Cava brands in 2023.