Healthier lifestyles are boosting sales of lower abv wines

Healthier lifestyles are boosting sales of lower abv wines

UK sales of lower-alcohol wines rose by 40% to around GBP23m (US$37.4m) in 2011/12, but only a fifth of wine drinkers are interested in the category, according to latest research.

One in three (27%) UK wine consumers expect lower abv wines to taste inferior, but around a third (32%) prefer the taste of normal-strength products, figures published today (21 September) by market research firm Mintel showed. The market has "benefited from lower duty on wines ... and a growing emphasis on healthy lifestyles and lower alcohol consumption", Mintel said. 

Around 7m bottles of wine with an abv of less than 8.5% were sold in the UK last year, 2m more than the previous year.

“Many wine drinkers are becoming increasingly price-sensitive and unwilling to pay more for their wine," said Chris Wisson, Mintel's senior drinks analyst. "The opportunity for wines with an abv of 5.5% or less is that some of the tax savings could be passed onto consumers, encouraging less affluent users in particular to remain engaged with the market."

The research also found that half of the 1,916 drinkers surveyed believe that English wines have improved in quality. UK sales of English wine in 2011 rose around 50% in value terms and 25% in volume compared to the previous year, the report said.

Screw tops, boxed wine and pouches are also increasingly finding favour with UK wine drinkers. Around four in ten (39%) of those surveyed agreed that wine in a box or a pouch is equally as good quality as bottled wine.