With our head office in Paris, iDealwine has been growing its international reach by opening an office in Hong Kong in 2013 and London in 2014, focussing more time and resources on serving our clients in the UK, Western Europe, Asia and the US.
Based in our London office and following the recent London Wine Fair, I decided to look at the current trends of the UK wine market. An industry briefing at the London Wine Fair, presented by the IWSR’s senior consultant, Ania Zymelka, highlighted some of these:
- While wine and spirits are the only two alcohol categories that gained market share in the UK in 2014, still wine is continuing its decline since the recession in 2009.
- Italian sparkling wine has outgrown that of all sparkling wine in the UK, and this is mainly driven by Prosecco.
- Supermarkets are cutting their ranges. According to Ania, this will not only make the wine aisles less intimidating to consumers, but it can also lead to better brand awareness and loyalty.
- Today’s consumers are “hybrids”: they shop in more channels and will visit a supermarket, independent wine shop and local butcher all on one day.
- Consumers are showing premium resilience – their knowledge and interest is growing and they have gotten used to higher price points.
- The sales volume of still wine in the “per bottle” price ranges of £5 to £7.49 and £7.50 to £14.99 is increasing, while sales under £5 are decreasing. The average price per bottle of wine in the UK, however, remains low at £5.45.
- There is a growing trend for online wine sales, with even supermarket online shops noting that consumers find it easier to choose a wine online, compared to in the actual shop.
- Further opportunities for the wine industry include lower alcohol and fruit-flavoured wine; natural and organic wine; a focus on occasions; understanding millennial consumers; and using blogs and social media to communicate better.
Things are looking up for the UK wine market, particularly in the on-trade, and with our offices centrally located among some great bars and restaurants in Beak Street, Soho, we are seeing – and hearing – that first hand.
Written by Elona Hesseling