The statistics, by market research firm Unicab, showed 69% of Italians over 65 drink wine every day, while only 13% of 16- to 35-year-olds do the same.
Giovanni Brunetti of Unicab said one of the main reasons for the decline was ‘social evolution’.
‘Italian families have become more and more fragmented in the last 10 years. They’re not eating meals together and so wine is no longer a form of food. Wine no longer has a nutritional function.’
The research also found that 30% of Italians no longer consider wine to be a symbol of Italian gastronomy.
The cost of wine has also played a part in the drop in consumption. Nearly half of the Italian population (48.8%) spends less than €3 on a bottle of wine for everyday drinking, a situation exacerbated by Italy having the highest rate of unemployment among young people in Europe.
Nearly 35% of wine in Italy is now bought in supermarkets, which are introducing in-store educational schemes, such as touch-screen terminals, or wine experts on hand in the supermarket aisles.
The research also showed that nearly half of the 22% of Italians who have reduced their wine consumption in the last two years have done so for health reasons.
The findings were revealed at Vinitaly, in Verona last week. Unicab concluded by outlining strategies to win back Italian wine drinkers.
These would be better public information and transparency about wine, more investment in communication and advertising, encouraging collaboration between producers.