Potential £1bn growth in wine
Published:  30 May, 2008

Constellation boss says industry can massively boost category in the UK

Wine in the UK has potential to grow by £1 billion if suppliers and retailers take the right steps, Constellation Europe president Troy Christensen has said.

Speaking at the London wine fair, he identified a number of category drivers that could boost wine sales in the UK - including making wine easier to understand and more relevant, which he said could bring in an extra £262 million; and encouraging shoppers to treat themselves, which could bring in another £139 million.

The UK wine market was worth £5.6 billion in the 12 months to Feb 23, according to Nielsen, and grew 6% -

by £315 million - from the year before.

Christensen said: "In the UK, wine sales are up but prices are not. The only growing part of wine is VAT - if you think about the increase in tax, that is in many cases more than the value of the wine in the bottle. If you are going to build an entire category with stable price points it is counterproductive.

"It is great that we have this many people drinking wine, but now let's change their behaviour and really engage them at a different level," he said. "We are the largest wine producer in this country and we are comfortable that there are alternative ways to drive value for everyone."

Constellation came up with the figures

from its biggest piece of customer research

- a £1.3 million investment including 11,000 interviews with wine drinkers, 500 in-store interviews, 200 hours of wine workshops and sending customers into shops with eye-tracking technology to see how they see drinks fixtures.

The survey - Wine Nation - found that customers spend longer browsing wine than other categories, and that wine shoppers' basket spends are worth more to retailers than non-wine shoppers' - by 145% in convenience stores and 143% in multiple grocers.

Constellation Europe has repackaged its flagship South African brand Kumala

to create a "cohesive, more premium overall look " .

The line-up is divided into

Cape Classics, Core, and Zenith/Eternal, each with its own packaging and price point.

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