After a long period of growth in the 1990s and early to mid-2000s, the UK wine market stalled against the backdrop of the global economic downturn, and has still not returned to the levels of growth we had come to expect.
In the year to March 28, 2015, value sales remained flat while volumes slipped 2%, according to Nielsen.
Whether punitive tax increases, the so-called wall of wine, cash- strapped consumers, innovative rival categories or a combination of factors are to blame, wine isn’t drawing in the new consumers the market needs.
Fruit-flavoured wines and infusions could be the drinks to change that. They may be growing strongly from a tiny base, but suppliers believe they will become the bridge from popular fruit ciders and RTDs to full-strength, full-price wines.
With typically lower alcohol than standard wines – many hit the tax break at 5.5% abv and under – fruit infusions tick responsible retailing boxes for government and shops, while also hitting key price points.
In this Essential Guide, Off Licence News looks at the way the market is developing, investigates the millennial consumer that is its key target, and asks what lessons can be learnt from the last wave of lower-alcohol wine releases.