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Wine News

Wine's not expensive - unless it's over £5 a bottle, say UK drinkers

Two-thirds of UK wine drinkers don’t consider wine to be relatively expensive, though we still don’t want to spend over £5 for an everyday bottle, according to a recent survey by Wine Intelligence for the Wine and Spirit Trade Association.

Typically, consumers say they are happy to spend £4.64 on a bottle for relaxing at home and £4.85 on wine for an informal supper. So where does that leave some of the big brands when recent increased production and fuel costs, higher taxes and poor exchange rates have all contributed to force many key ones into the £5 plus bracket?

At Sainsbury’s, media assistant Rachel Bell told ThirtyFifty, £5 is seen as a key price point, with not many wines able to sell at significant volume above this level. As a result, Sainsbury’s has tried to balance the increased costs across the portfolio, meaning that some wines have gone up while others haven’t.

Rachel said, ‘Especially given weakening UK economic conditions, it is important to maintain a representation of key price points for our customers, both on and off promotion. It would be ridiculous to just blanket increase all additional costs across every product.’ She added that, ’There are no brands strong enough to protect sales against above average inflation.’

However, surprisingly, half of wine consumers surveyed haven’t noticed any real change in wine prices in the past six months. Certainly, wine prices are perceived not to have moved upward as much as several other categories, such as bread, cheese, fresh fish and poultry.

Whatever the case, consumers will break the £5 barrier when buying wine for certain occasions. The survey showed that the typical spend is £6.01 on a bottle for parties or celebrations, £.6.25 for a formal dinner at home and £7.02 for wine bought as a gift. While, according to Sainsbury’s, the single most important factor determining purchase - even ahead of price - is recommendation.