Wine drinkers cutting back

Posted by Isobel Drake on 16th March 2009

The latest survey of wine drinkers commissioned by the UK’s Wine and Spirits Trade Association (WSTA) shows consumers are continuing to cut back spending on wine, with over a third either buying cheaper wines or buying less.

The findings of the Wine Intelligence poll of 1,000 regular wine drinkers reinforced market data suggesting a growing number of low spending consumers are being forced out of the wine category altogether.

Asked about the impact of the economic climate, half those surveyed say they are paying more attention to price, while 1 in 4 say they are drinking wine at home more often instead of going out.

The survey confirms the shift away from pubs and restaurants towards home consumption as the impact of the downturn takes hold.

“The survey bears out the warnings from the trade that in the face of the worst recession for a generation and successive punitive tax increases the market has reached a tipping point,” Jeremy Beadles, Chief Executive of the WSTA, suggested. “The findings from Wine Intelligence come on top of evidence from Nielsen showing sales of wine priced under £4 (about A$8.50) fell by 11% last year. Analysts suggest this indicates many on lower budgets are simply being priced out of the wine category and this survey lends weight to that view.”

The key findings of the poll were:
• 34% of wine drinkers are spending less overall on wine
• Wine drinkers typically spending less than £4 (A$8.50) a bottle are reducing their spending on wine in greater numbers
• 26% of wine drinkers say they are drinking at home more often instead of in pubs and restaurants as a response to the downturn in the economic climate
• 1 in 5 wine drinkers (21%) are buying more wine at once to benefit from a discount