Quality concerns must be addressed

Improved taste could boost low-alcohol wine sales


CONCERNS about the quality of low-alcohol wines must be addressed if the category is to attract more consumers.

That’s the message from the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA), whose research claims consumers are not satisfied with the quality of lower ABV wines.
More than half of the red wine drinkers (55%) and consumers of white wine (51%) polled said they had concerns about the taste of wines with a lower alcohol content, according to the WSTA, which represents more than 340 wine businesses in the UK.
Wine drinkers also expressed concerns over the quality of low-alcohol wines, with 41% of red wine drinkers and 36% of those who drink white wine reckoning lower ABV wines were of a lesser quality than standard wines.
The survey of 1693 adult drinkers also found more than a third of red (39%) and white (34%) wine drinkers would be encouraged to buy low-alcohol wine if they could be satisfied that the product was the same quality as standard-strength wine. Almost a third (32%) of red wine drinkers and 28% of those who drink white wine said they would consider buying lower ABV wine if they had the chance to taste the product before buying it.
Price was also a factor, with 12% of red wine drinkers, 16% of white wine drinkers and 22% of rosé drinkers saying they would be more likely to buy low-alcohol wines if they were between 11% and 20% cheaper than standard wines.
“These figures will be of interest to both the wine trade and to policy makers who are looking at ways of encouraging a wider range of lower alcohol products,” said Jeremy Beadles, chief executive of the WSTA.
“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.”