CGA's senior consumer research manager, Chalie Mitchell

On-trade wine sales have been falling, but there are big opportunities to revive interest in a key drinks segment. At the recent Drink Tank conference, CGA’s Charlie Mitchell (pictured left) laid out some of the big trends to follow in 2020.

1 Volume sales down 5.9%—but still a huge market

CGA’s On Premise Measurement service has recorded a 5.9% drop in the volume of wine sold through the on-trade over the last 12 months. Our BrandTrack survey shows one in six (17%) consumers drink less wine than they did a year ago, nearly twice the number who are drinking more (9%). With the value of sales down only 1.6%, people are paying more for their wine when they do drink it out-of-home—and it remains by some distance the most popular alcoholic drinks category for consumers.

2 France and Australia down, Italy and New Zealand up

The breakdown of the value of wine sales by country of origin shows a 7.2% drop for France, and sharp downturns for both Australia (down 6.0%) and the US (down 6.0%). But some countries have bucked the trend: Italy’s sales have risen 6.5% year-on-year, thanks in large part to the popularity of Prosecco, and New Zealand (up 2.4%) and Argentina (up 3.4%) are also faring well.

3 Competition on all sides

Why have wine sales been so squeezed? It’s partly because the competition in out-of-home drinking has got bigger and better. BrandTrack shows that consumers have an average of 21 drinks brands in their repertoires now, nearly four more than they did just two years ago—and among 18 to 24-year-old wine drinkers, that number soars to 35. Increasingly experimental and fickle consumers and are being lured away from wine to gin, cocktails and other innovating drinks. For wine suppliers, standing out has never been harder.

4 Sparkling wine now a £1bn-a-year business

While still wine sales are substantially down year-on-year, on-trade turnover from sparkling wine and Champagne has just broken the £1bn barrier for the first time. Firing this growth is Prosecco, which accounts for 70% of sparkling’s volume and has seen value sales soar by 25.6% in the last year.

5 Spritzes to fizz up the market

The rising popularity of spritzes means sparkling wine is well placed for further growth. Innovation in spritz serve and the ‘Instagrammable’ effect may give wine the shot in the arm it needs, and Prosecco Rose could follow the path of pink gin to become one of the big drinks trends in 2020.

For more deep insights into the wine category, contact Charlie Mitchell.


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