The rise of aperitivos, such as the Negroni and Aperol Spritz, signals a big gap in the market for drinks makers, managing director of Ital Spirits Guiseppe Gallo told The Morning Advertiser.
Gallo, who worked on the launch of the 6% ABV beer, flavoured with the rare Italian citrus fruit chinotto, said the aperitivo occasion hadn’t grown to even half of its potential in the UK on-trade.
“It’s only the beginning of aperitivos in Britain,” he said. “Comparing it to what we can see in Italy, we’re not even 30% of the way here [in Britain].
“The aperitivo culture is only mainly in metropolitan areas such as London, Brighton and other big cities, but there is room for it to grow to the towns and countryside.”
The future of flavoured beers will be discussed at the Future Trends: Beer and Cider event on 26 June.
The mature taste of an aperitivo, which is a mix of bitter-sweet and, is one that is of growing interest to UK consumers, Gallo explained.
Peroni, which spent five years developing Ambra, has increased the bitterness in the beer with the chinotto fruit, which contrasts with the floral notes of the fruit.
In the process of creating the drink, Peroni has inadvertently saved the chinotto from extinction, said Helen Attlee – author of The Land Where Lemons Grow.
Close to extinction
Chinotto, which is grown in the north-west Liguria region of Italy, was close to being extinct as the fruit fell out of favour, she added.
The region has since rebranded itself as a tourism hot spot with the fruit as its mascot, said Attlee.
Peroni Ambra is an on-trade exclusive and was launched at the Italian beer brand’s Somerset House Terrace site last month.
Meanwhile, sales of Campari and Aperol saw a sales growth of 74.1% and 29.9% during the first quarter of 2017, according to Gruppo Campari.