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Consumer concerns over lower alcohol products

Research commissioned by the WSTA suggests the wine industry needs to address concerns about quality and taste of lower alcohol wines if it is to attract more consumers to the category.

The concerns are strongest amongst existing wine drinkers:

• 55% of red wine drinkers (51% of white wine drinkers) said they had concerns about the taste of lower alcohol wines

• 41% of red wine drinkers (36% of white wine drinkers) had concerns about the product quality of lower alcohol wines

The findings emerge from the YouGov Omnibus Panel (August 2011) and are based on a sample of 1,693 British adult drinkers.

When asked what would encourage them to buy lower alcohol wines, satisfaction about product quality and the ability to taste and compare before buying emerged as the main priorities among wine drinkers, but price and choice also registered:

• Satisfaction that product quality is the same as standard wine: 39% of red wine drinkers, 34% of white wine drinkers

•Ability to taste and compare before buying: 32% of red wine drinkers, 28% of white wine drinkers

• If lower alcohol wines were a lot cheaper (ie between 11-20% cheaper than standard wine): - 12% of red wine drinkers, 16% of white wine drinkers and 22% of rosé drinkers

• If favourite grape varieties are available: 18% of red wine drinkers, 12% of white wine drinkers

Commenting on the research, WSTA Chief Executive Jeremy Beadles said: "These figures will be of interest to both the wine trade and to policymakers who are looking at ways of encouraging a wider range of lower alcohol products.

"While there's plenty of evidence to suggest consumers are interested in lower alcohol drinks these findings suggest there's work to do to convince drinkers about the taste and quality of products coming onto the market."


1 September 2011 - Felicity Murray