The survey of over 2,000 adults in the UK found that 1,244 were wine drinkers. Of these wine drinkers just 5% said they were entirely loyal to the brands they consume compared to 16% of the 915 spirits drinkers in the report.
Consumers were asked for the “most likely” reason for switching brands and were able to choose more than one answer.
Of those responding 41% said they switched brands because they fancied a change; 30% said they switched following friends recommendations; 30% said value was a clincher while only 6% cited an advertising campaign as the reason.
Additionally, the report found the alcohol industry has the greatest task in keeping their customers. When asked if they were more loyal to alcohol brands than other products just 18% agreed. In contrast 28% admitted they were less loyal to alcohol brands than other branded products.
However, there were some encouraging trends with continuing “premiumisation”, where customers drink less but splash out on more expensive products.
Gin, in particular, is seeing value growth outstripping volume growth. According to the report the recent boom in the gin industry has shown drinkers trying more premium and artisanal gin.
Between 2010 and 2014, 73 new spirit distilleries opened in the UK with 56 coming in the past two years alone.
Sparkling wine also continued to buck the trend of falling alcohol sales with no sign of slowing. The on-trade showed a “massive growth” in sparkling wine this quarter at 59% with Champagne in the bars and restaurants growing 4% over the year.
WSTA chief executive Miles Beale said:"The research is fascinating and shows the complexity of brand loyalty, even between categories. The nature of the markets mean that wine drinkers react very differently to brands than spirit drinkers and as such companies will have to react in different ways to this.
“It is also interesting to see how highly drinkers of all products place emphasis on recommendations from friends and family, alongside the traditional of factors such as quality and value for money. This suggests that marketing approaches that take this into account will be most successful.”