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Changing attitudes to meals in the UK are having an impact on the amount of wine consumers drink, recent research suggests.

UK consumers are drinking less wine as they eat fewer evening meals

UK consumers are drinking less wine as they eat fewer evening meals

According to Kingsland Drinks' WinePro research, compiled in association with Kantar World Panel, consumers are drinking less wine, as fewer people sit down to an evening meal. According to Kingsland, 84% of wine occasions involve food, however, despite a growing population, there are now 100,000 fewer evening meal occasions compared to four years ago.

The research suggests snacking is on the rise as health-conscious consumers ditch larger meals, while time-poor consumers look for convenience. 

"There are 172m more evening snack occasions," Kingsland added.

Here's a closer look at some of Kingsland's key findings:

  • Weekday Drinking

According to the research, more 18- to 35-year-olds who eat alone during the week are opting for water or adult soft drinks. When it comes to alcohol, this consumer group favours lager or cider. "This is driving down use of white wine," Kingsland said. However, older consumers (45+) continue to drink more wine as they look to "relax after a long day".

  • Food and wine matching

The research suggests that wine is more popular with planned meals for two, which tend to be cooked from scratch. "However," Kingsland added, "in the week, and particularly if a larger group is getting together, they are more likely to be eating convenience food or a takeaway and pairing with lager, cider, sparkling wine, or non-alcoholic drinks."

  • Changing consumers

Different consumer needs, such as refreshment, trying something new, health, convenience and treating, are driving growth for total alcohol. However, wine is seen as a "planned complement to traditional food," the firm said.

  • What does this mean for wine?

According to Kingsland's marketing director Neil Anderson, the increase in snack occasions provides an opportunity for wine to be more than just a complement to a traditional meal. "It can provide refreshment, convenience and lighter alcohol alternatives to go with snacks," he said. "The wine industry needs to adopt some of the behaviours we see in the wider (drinks) category, making better use of innovation in marketing, format and formulation."

Anderson outlined innovation around social media, smaller and on-the-go formats, such as single serve or pouch, fusions and carbonation.

"By making wine more accessible, more refreshing and more convenient, we can grab the opportunities the change in weekday eating habits provide."

Last year, Kingsland unveiled a carbonation line, with two sparkling wines, Shorn Pinot Grigo and Live White Zinfandel, the first to come from the Manchester plant. 

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Sectors: Wine

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