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The UK consumer is spending more per bottle and increasingly requesting lower alcohol wines, according to the first Wine Intelligence UK Independent Retailer Report.
UK independent wine sector has reported a growth in both these areas, with some merchants also enjoying healthy growth in sales despite the economic gloom.
When asked, almost half of the retailers answering the survey said they expected sales of wine between £8 and £15 to grow over the next 12 months, with just a small minority of respondents predicting a decline in sales at those price points.
Retailers also reported growing demand for wines below 12% abv, and for lighter, fruit-driven red wines, with the suggestion by Wine Intelligence, that the decade-long fashion for heavy, alcoholic reds may be on the wane.
Many retailers in the £300 million revenue category reported buoyant Christmas trading, with sales of Prosecco and English sparkling wine becoming more popular.
However, there were several hints that previously high-spending customers were trading down – data from the report suggests that wines over £20 will not grow sales in this channel over the next 12 months.
Richard Halstead, Wine Intelligence chief operating officer, said: “The UK independent wine merchant scene has changed substantially over the past few years, with lots more innovation and creativity at work thanks in part to the demise of chains such as Threshers and Unwins.
We are seeing renewed consumer interest in this channel, particularly among high involved wine drinkers, which may also be part of a broader trend towards shopping locally and supporting independent retail.”
The Wine Intelligence UK Independent Retailer report is published by Wine Intelligence email@example.com
Story by Carol Emmas
Courtesy of Harpers Wine & Spirit Trades Review