As suppliers and operators plan strategies to preserve wine sales when consumers return to restaurants, pubs and bars, CGA research shows how menus are more important than ever in unlocking spend.

The Wine Menu in Focus report is the first in a four-part series of Wine Insight Reports from CGA, combining in-depth consumer, sales and outlet data with expert analysis by Richard Siddle at The Buyer. It shows that around three quarters (73%) of wine consumers use menus when deciding what to drink when they are out—and nearly half (44%) always do so.

With drinks service in many venues limited to tables rather than at bars, menu engagement soared in 2020. Many venues migrated to mobile digital menus, and CGA research show these are now a preference for one in three 18 to 34 year-olds. This gives wine brands a chance to increase their visibility and appeal, and CGA’s consumer survey suggests good flavour descriptions and deals can be particularly valuable on digital platforms.

The report offers more recommendations for optimising wine menus, and suggests that the optimum number of listings on a list is 15. Research also reveals some of the secrets of menu engineering, including around positioning, the level and structuring of information and the questions that consumers want answered.

It’s clear that menus have never been more crucial to guest engagement, and in 2020 it was often the only way to influence choice,” says Mark Newton, Client Director and CGA’s wine category specialist. “They provide suppliers and operators alike with the chance to educate and entertain guests and inspire them to trade up—but in such a brief window for engagement, menu design and copy has to be spot on.

With table service likely to be the norm for some time, it is so important to understand what does and doesn’t work on menus. Investing in menu optimisation now is very likely to pay off when people are able to enjoy drinking wine out of home again.”

The Wine Menu in Focus report comes with a comprehensive PowerPoint deck of findings that is ideal for strategy meetings and sales presentations, plus a concise executive summary. The report is available to purchase individually for £875, and the complete set of four can be bought for £2,600 (excluding VAT).

To learn more about the reports, click here to download more information or contact Mark Newton, Client Director at 


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