Four reasons why UK consumers are drinking less wine

A report by industry insight service Wine Intelligence has identified four reasons why UK consumers are drinking less wine, after it revealed that the number of regular wine drinkers has fallen by around one million since 2015.

In its UK Landscapes 2018 report, Wine Intelligence found that the number of people that drink wine at least once a month has fallen by one million in just three years, from 29.5 million in 2015 to 28.5 million in 2018. In 2015, 80% of those 29.5 million people were consuming wine at least once a week, in 2018 this had fallen to 22 million people or 78% of the smaller monthly drinker total (28.5 million).

It referred to 2018 as “another challenging year” for the wine industry in the UK, with volume sales of still wines continuing to fall and price increases hitting the sector. The data analyst referred to the exclusion of wine from the duty freeze given to spirits and beer in the Budget in October as “a hammer blow to the sector”.

Nevertheless, the UK remains the sixth largest market for still light wines in terms of volume sales. Wine Intelligence found evidence to support the trend for drinking less but better, citing an “adventurous attitude and strong interest in wine” as driving factors. Younger drinkers in the 25-54 years age bracket particularly epitomise this trend, the report found, despite noting that the wine drinking population was “ageing”.

According to its 2018 report, more women than men were regular wine drinkers, however the gender divide was fairly evenly split at 51% to 49%. The 65 years and older age group were the biggest regular wine drinkers, with 27% of those surveyed consuming wine at least once a month. This was followed by the 35-44 year bracket and the 45-54 year bracket, each having 17% of regular drinkers.

Of the regions surveyed, it was the south east and east of England that came out on top, with 23% of the UK’s regular wine drinkers. The north placed second with 21%, the midlands in third with 17% and London fourth with 13%. The south west and Scotland both had 9%, Wales had 5% and Northern Ireland had 3%.

The data in the report was gathered in the UK in July 2015, July 2017 and July 2018 in the form of an online survey.

Click through to view the four main reasons that the report revealed for the reduction in UK wine drinkers. 

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