Injecting fizz into the UK wine market

Q&A
May 2015

On an action-packed second day of the London Wine Fair, senior analyst for trade body The IWSR, Ania Zymelka, led an illuminating discussion on the state of the UK wine industry.

Overall alcohol sales in the UK have been in decline for a decade, exacerbated by the financial crash of the late-noughties, which led consumers to seek out less premium products as a result of tighter disposable incomes.

However, Ania highlighted that in 2014, the wine industry showed signs of bucking the trend – and in fact grew by 0.3 per cent. The decline, it seems, is slowing.

The rise in popularity of Prosecco – from a relatively niche product to steadfast consumer staple – is one of the biggest success stories in the UK market of recent years, with Italian sparkling wines outgrowing all other sparkling wines in the UK combined in the past year; an impressive feat.

Prosecco has been a recipe for success. Its accessible flavour stirs the right notes with consumers looking for a relatively premium product that isn’t as intimidating to the palate in the way that the more complex flavours of Champagne can be.

What’s more, the price point of Prosecco places it in a very good corner of the market; at around £7 to £12, it is considered a similar expense to still light wines. This means consumers have embraced Prosecco as an everyday – yet luxurious – option.

Younger consumers are also behind Prosecco’s impressive trajectory. Millennials – or consumers born in the 1990s – are image-conscious and money-minded. Prosecco has been embraced by the major retailers and can often be seen on promotion. Naturally, millennials have flocked to the product as an affordable and tasty sparkling wine for all usage occasions.

And it’s not over yet – Ania predicts that Prosecco is here to stay.

Look out for more on this fantastic talk on our Twitter page and follow the hashtag #LWF2015.


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