UK consumers are drinking less wine and are willing to pay more for a bottle. At the same time, they continue shunning the on-trade and become more conservative as regards brands and styles, according to a new research published by the British consulting agency Wine Intelligence.
Overall spend per bottle is rising, particularly in the off-trade, driven in part by tax and duty increases.
In 2008, around 65% of UK consumers said they typically spent below £5 per bottle for wine to drink at home; in 2012, this proportion has fallen to around 45%.
Likewise, consumers appear more likely to spend over £7 a bottle in the off-trade than ever before. The proportion of respondents in Wine Intelligence’s survey who say they typically spend over £7 has doubled since 2008, and now stands at 16% of UK wine consumers.
The causes of change
Wine Intelligence’s COO, Richard Halstead, said that the increasing spend at “Premium” levels was partly driven by a shift in the pricing structure of wines offered in supermarkets, and partly a sustained shift in behavior.
“The recession era post-2008 has been characterized by consumers wanting to maintain their lifestyle through more canny purchasing habits, and wine is at the forefront of this trend. Britain’s wine drinkers have got used to the idea of buying good food and wine to drink at home for a treat, whilst still saving money compared with a night out.”
Besides, he added: “Whilst promotions are still the key driver of purchase, it is being tempered by a need to trust in the product, which is driving consumers towards familiar and reassuring brands.”
Promotions remain paramount as a choice cue, with grape variety and brand or product familiarity the next most important decision influence, according to the Wine Intelligence UK Market Trends Report 2012.
Total consumption occasions are down slightly, reflecting a trend over the past 4 years. This is especially true in the on-trade, where the “big night out” occasion is significantly down, though the “formal meal” and “informal drink” occasion are staging something of a comeback having hit their low points in March 2010.
Wine Intelligence Trends Report 2012 is available at [email protected]