Nearly half are feeling gloomy about prospects for the UK wine market

Nearly half are feeling gloomy about prospects for the UK wine market

Levels of pessimism around the UK wine market have hit a record high, with nearly half the trade downbeat about prospects for the next 12 months, a survey has found. 

Just-drinks’ sixth annual survey of global wine professionals found 49% saying they had negative feelings about the year ahead for the UK, compared to 25% last year. Levels of optimism grew slightly, but only 47.5% said they were positive about 2012.

Richard Woodard, who complied the survey and just-drinks’ State of the Nation UK report, said the pessimism was due to a “combination of negative factors” pointing to  “the fragility of the economic recovery as the UK slips officially into a double-dip recession, ever-increasing levels of excise duty and tough pricing policies from extremely powerful multiple retailers.” 

The survey also found that an increasing number of people are disputing the UK’s historic claim to be the most important and dynamic wine market in the world. Last year was the first time more people said the UK could not make this claim - and this year the naysayers rose to 48%. 

“More companies are realising that they can make more money elsewhere, most notably in the emerging markets of Asia, but also in Latin America, northern Europe and in the recovering economy of the US,” said Woodard. 

However, despite the doom and gloom, Woodard pointed to respondents who still talked up the positive sides of the UK wine market. “The UK remains a huge wine market with more diversity than many of its European neighbours, a wine culture that has grown massively in significance over the past few decades, and a consumer base that remains open to new ideas and new wine-producing regions,” he said. 

The results of the survey were presented during a briefing and Q&A hosted by just-drinks managing editor Olly Wehring at last week’s London International Wine Fair. 

A full copy of the report, recording of the briefing, and pdf of the slides, is available free of charge to just-drinks subscribers by clicking here

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