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Consumer Trends - 2018 Reflections...

In our second blog looking into wine trends now that we are over a quarter into 2018, we take a moment to reflect on aspects affecting consumers.  

How much are we drinking? Statistically, the proportion of British adults who said they drink alcohol is at its lowest level since 2005 according to the Office of National Statistics. However, it is interesting to note that 74% of adults are now drinking wine (WSTA).  Sales data shows that in 2017 more than 120m bottles of fizzy wine were sold in retail outlets, worth more than £850m (WSTA). 

There is no doubt that consumer interest in wine continues to increase and it is most likely that consumer tastes are evolving with a preference for quality over quantity in not just wine but other alcohol based drinks too - for example the rise of craft beers would not have passed many people by. 

In parallel, there is an increasing focus on wine within the media - to name a couple, there are events such as 'London Wine Week' and the 'Three Wine Men' days that tour the UK in different cities. Combine this with weekend food and drink shows on national free to air television channels all highlighting wines and pairings with food - it is becoming an ever more natural conversation to have. 

As a result (and thankfully too!) wine is losing that ‘snob factor’ of yesteryear and is becoming widely embraced. Television shows such as the Wine Show on Channel 5 provide further information on wine and take the opportunity to compare and contrast wines - so often the joy in exploring different flavours and aromas of the same grape from different producers. One can see a real emergence behind the continued growth of consumer interest not just in enjoying wine but also the type of wine and its characteristics. 

Greater consumer interest in any product is often partnered with fashionable innovations - some of which may stand the test of time and some that don’t. These often take time to develop and we look at some from recent years below: 

For example for wine itself who doesn’t remember ‘blue wine’  introduced in 2017 by Gïk where wine pigmentation of some French and Spanish wines were amended to change the colur to blue. Colour, and clarity of colour, in wine is of course not new - recently there has been a trend for natural wines which may have a cloudy hue and also for orange wine. How long these will stay is likely to depend on how the producers are able to demonstrate true quality through differentiation in the eyes of consumers. 

There has also been the 'Coravin' wine preservation system first introduced back in 2013 - a great invention that has allowed consumers at home to have more access to their wines regardless of the volume of wine that is needed to be drunk. This opportunity has also been taken by some restaurants and bars where previously unaccessible wines due to their value are now available by the glass for more to enjoy. 

What’s next? - there is already growing appetite for access to wine at the lower end of the price bands too with bars introducing wine and sparkling wine on tap. For the summer picnic and festival market - wines in a can will continue to develop from a very slow start in the early 2000’s but are likely to see more consumer acceptance in the coming year or two. 

Of course not all of these trends will appeal to all individuals within the marketplace but one cannot deny that with greater interest in the product coupled with producers able to access innovative ways to sell them, the industry as a whole will grow. 

After all one of the key benefits of wine is that there is something for everyone whether it be to suit the palate or the pocket. 

What should we continue to look out for? 

Keep an eye for evolving innnovation in the marketplace - there are too many producers out there doing many great things to list them all but to pick two: clearly a rise in the popularity of riesling should continue; and taking what one may see as ‘traditional’ grape varieties from one country to another continues - a particular example of this would be Italian grape varieties being produced well in Australia. 

As you know, here at Woodshire Wines we are passionate about our wines and the great winemakers that make it possible for us all to enjoy them. Please feel free to leave a comment on the blog. Indeed if there is a topic you’d like us to blog about or a particular wine you’d like us to consider adding to our range just let us know.


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