Low alcohol: The elephant in the room

Maximising profit in January is tough. But what if it didn’t have to be that way? What if you could steer consumers away from tap water and onto drinks that will actually make you money? The answer could already be on your wine list. 

Research shows attitudes are changing

While Dry January might work for some people, the concept of going completely cold turkey after Christmas isn’t for everyone. So instead of total abstinence, a growing number of customers are opting for lower alcohol wines or adopting the less but better’ approach.

Bibendum’s Taste Test analysis in conjunction with the Wilson Drinks Report consumer research shows an interesting age bias when it comes to this trend. The number of consumers who use alcohol content as their primary means of choosing wine are far more likely to be aged over 45, whereas a disproportionate share of drinkers that use alcohol content as a secondary or tertiary factor are aged below 35. This fits with the general trend of health-consciousness amongst younger consumers but demonstrates that simply putting a bottle of 5.5% de-alcoholised wine in front of them is not enough – they will still demand a quality product. 

What’s already happening

Some operators have taken notice of this trend and have created specific offerings to cater for these customers. Amy Matthews, communications manager at Vinoteca in London says, “We try not to make alcohol the demon. We noticed a lot of people doing dry January. In groups we found there was at least one or two who were looking for low alcohol. We weren’t into any wines that had been through reverse osmosis or anything like that, we wanted them to be genuinely low in alcohol.”

What you can do

The resurgence of styles of wine that were in vogue 30 years ago suggests new consumers don’t have the preconceptions attached to wines like Riesling or Moscato seen previously. More than simply listing the alcohol content, it’s becoming clear that consumers expect a range of choices that include alcohol along a similar footing as grape variety and region. What better time to introduce it than the time of year when a higher proportion of consumers will be looking for drinks that are lower in alcohol.

Speak to your account manager to find out more about our range of lower alcohol wines.

3rd January 2017

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