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UK Insights

Brits spent £193m more on wine last year

Kirsty Cooke

UK Editor

Shoppers 21.05.2018 / 16:00

wine-red-white

Research from Kantar Worldpanel and Kantar Media shows the trends in wine purchasing… and the types of shoppers in this category.

2017 was a good year for the wine category (which includes champagne). According to Kantar Worldpanel, the UK spent a massive £5.5bn on wine in 2017. The category grew 3.6% as Brits spent £193m more in the 52 weeks ending December 2017 than they did during the previous year. This comes after slow growth during 2016 of just 0.4%.

Still wine has grown ahead of sparkling wine for the first time since 2013, says Laura Christen, Category Analyst at Kantar Worldpanel. ‘Still wine has overtaken sparkling thanks to the rising popularity of white wine, which has seen 4.8% growth, helped by shoppers choosing alternatives to champagne. ‘Non-traditional Sparkling Wine’ took the limelight during 2017, with 21.6% growth boosted by innovative new products and shoppers’ desire for cheaper alternatives to prosecco and champagne. On average, non-traditional sparkling wine, like Asda’s ‘Progrigio’ hybrid, retails at 20% less than prosecco. Although prosecco is still one of the fastest growing subcategories, its growth has slowed to 7.4% (compared to 30.1% over the year before).’

Price rises have contributed to some of this growth, driven by premiumisation combined with Brexit-fuelled uncertainty. Champagne, for example, has seen a price rise of 9.1% over 2017.

‘Following a grocery-wide trend, there has been a reduction in promotions across all retailers, with price cut type promotions down year-on-year, although volume deals have seen 4% growth,’ says Christen. ‘The increasing popularity of single-serve mini formats has also pushed prices up, as retailers charge a premium price for smaller quantities, catering to consumers who are attempting to drink less alcohol/moderate their alcohol consumption.’

A supermarket sweep

Both branded and own label wine have grown year on year (by 1% and 7.9% respectively), with own label champagne and prosecco both enjoying double digit growth. Own label wine continues to eat into branded’s share of the market, now accounting for 40% of total sales.

One subcategory that has done well in terms of own label sales is (non-sparkling) rosé wine. ‘Despite being in decline across the Total Market, rosé managed to grow by 22% in own label sales this year, with Aldi (14%) and Lidl (54%) leading the way with their impressive ranges priced £5 and under. Once again, the discounters have achieved double digit growth across the category, although Waitrose has overtaken Aldi to grow at 13%,’ comments Christen.

Who is drinking wine?

The latest Kantar Media GB TGI study (Q1 2018) reveals the top differentiating attitudes, both of heavy wine drinkers and heavy sparkling wine drinkers vs the average adult (aged 18+). Based on the data, heavy sparkling wine drinkers are particularly likely to enjoy going out; entertaining; paying more for the finer things in life; and making sure they look good.

Consumers who enjoy 5 or more glasses of sparkling wine per month are 72% more likely than the average UK adult to ‘never leave home without makeup’ and 99% more likely to say they like to go to trendy places to eat and drink. Of interest to those brands trying to target this segment, perhaps, is the fact that they are 75% more likely to be ‘willing to pay to access content on newspaper websites’ and 64% more likely to be ‘willing to pay to access content on magazine websites.’

Prosecco

Top attitudes amongst heavy (non-sparkling) wine drinkers – that is, those who consume 5 or more bottles of wine per month – are broadly similar, though the emphasis on clothes, make up and cosmetics is less evident. They are 54% more likely to read the financial pages of the newspaper, and 34% more likely to ‘read a newspaper most days’. For both groups, engagement with newspapers/magazines is strong, along with a willingness to pay to access such content.

The future of wine in the UK

Looking to next year, moderation is likely to remain a key trend, with smaller formats and lower ABV products already developing a notable presence; in 2017, we saw the launch of low/no alcohol products from brands such as Echo Falls and Broadlands, as well as own label ranges from the supermarkets.

‘Brexit, coupled with record poor harvests in key French and Italian wine-producing sectors, could mean even higher prices for consumers, and British wine could be set to grow exponentially as consumers turn to local produce,’ comments Christen. ‘If this comes to bear, and Non-traditional Sparkling continues its trajectory as the category’s fastest-growing sector, it is likely that it will overtake struggling Cava in market share terms within the year.’

Source : Kantar Worldpanel, Kantar Media

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