According to CGA’s On Premise Measurement data, wine remains a hugely valuable category, but sales have dropped 4.5% in the past 12 months — more than any other category.
The volume of still wine sales has fallen even more sharply, by 7.7%.
The flip side
However, while wine sales are dropping for some bars, pubs and restaurants, the flip side is that there is a big opportunity to revive the market.
Operators could turn things round if they grasp the nuances of the wine market and where its competition is coming from.
CGA’s data shows that wine drinkers are increasingly fickle, becoming more tempted by other categories.
CGA senior wine category development manager Mark Newton said: “The CGA Wine Insight Report lifts the lid on how wine sales are leaking away to other categories, including cider, craft beer and soft drinks – and how each has different appeal to different consumer groups.”
Of the prime competitors, gin perhaps represents the greatest threat to wine sales. As CGA data highlights, gin sales continue to soar, and the number of wine drinkers who also drink it has leapt by ten percentage points in 12 months.
Over the past year alone, the growth in gin sales of nearly £500m has surpassed the total sales of still wine from the US and Spain.
Newton continued: “Cocktails have been another major competitor, their on-trade sales have topped £600m a year.
“With more than 42,000 outlets now stocking cocktails – nearly twice the number just five years ago, and no and low-alcohol mixes also in growth, they have become a potent alternative for wine drinkers.”
Struggle to match
Categories like these offer a “freshness, excitement and theatricality” that wine sometimes struggles to match.
But if bars, pubs and restaurants can lock on to these consumer trends and present similar unique selling points, there is potential to build sales momentum.
CGA’s analysis suggests capitalising on treat and social sharing occasions, playing to the trend for premiumisation, and incorporating more sparkling wines into cocktails as key ways to achieve that.