Is the demand for low alcohol wine only in the eyes of producers?
Whilst the government pushes supermarkets and other retailers to stock more low-alcohol products for health reasons, Morrisons Steve Mosey argues that this new wave of 5.5%ABV wines is not something the consumer actually wants and is purely being supplier driven. Indeed his point that the flavour and taste profiles don't make them conducive to being sipped rather defeats the object of encouraging lower consumption. Many retailers have taken lower alcohol products off the shelf due to lack of demand and yet many companies such as Accolade Wines, Brand Phoenix, Gallo and Percy Fox are still heavily investing in wines with less than 5.5 percent alcohol.
The latest findings 2012 Insight Report from International Wine & Spirit Research (IWSR) says that in Europe, the switch to low-alcohol wines is mainly due to increased taxes. As a result, producers are reducing the alcohol content to keep prices low in a climate of price sensitivity.
So do we really want low alcohol wines or is the consumer being driven by wine producers?