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UK Insights

Vinegar is having a moment

Sam Henery

Client Executive

Shoppers 23.01.2019 / 15:00


Sales of vinegar are increasing in the UK, finds Kantar Worldpanel. Is it for health reasons?

As we uncover ever more recipes involving pickling and fermenting, and read about the benefits of drinking apple cider vinegar or using it as an eco-friendly cleaning product, sales figures in the UK suggest the vinegar trend is catching on.

Whilst vinegar overall is seeing growth driven through price increases, we are seeing speciality (+10.2% spend growth 52 w/e Dec 2018 vs Dec 2017) and cider vinegar (15.9% spend growth) both growing thanks to consumption as well as price rises. The strong growth for cider vinegar is partly due to shoppers buying it more often (as well as more when they do buy); the growth for speciality vinegar is primarily coming through penetration gains.

The growth seen for both Speciality and Cider Vinegar are coming through most of the top four supermarkets, with only Tesco seeing a decline for both. Morrisons is seeing strong growth for both Speciality and Cider Vinegar, witnessing growth of 50.7% and 82.3% respectively (52 w/e Dec 2018 vs Dec 2017).

If you are interested, vinegar is made from alcohol that is exposed to air; bacteria can then oxidize the alcohol into acetic acid. You can use red or white wine, or the likes of apple cider, rice wine, sugar cane, or – a British staple – malt.

Malt vinegar is very reliant on consumption with chips (60% of malt vinegar occasions are with chips) but cider differentiates itself by often being consumed in/with salad (on 25% of occasions). There is also a trend for drinking cider vinegar due to supposed health benefits, and Kantar Worldpanel data shows that cider vinegar consumption is drive by health reasons, in particular consumers looking for “health benefits”. 17 in every 20 cider vinegar occasions are for this reason. (Drinking vinegar is not a new thing – the Romans often did it, and there concoction could be considered a pre-cursor of today’s energy drinks.)

It is also a more versatile product than other vinegars, as it isn’t used only with an evening meal and is consumed throughout the day – 24% of occasions when people use cider vinegar is over breakfast.

Source : Kantar Worldpanel

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