Essential Guide to Fruit Wine

18 July, 2017

What was once regarded as a small sub-category of wine can now be seen as a thriving category in its own right. Retailers are still a little unsure about where these products should sit in BWS, but many are seeing strong sales and have been willing to experiment with  merchandising, and this is one of the subjects we examine in detail in this supplement.

As a category it now has enough brands – from a core group of focused suppliers – to justify giving it a prominent position and plenty of space on shelf. There is now a good mix of well-established wine brands, which have invested in fruit wine brand extensions, and smaller producers who have seen a gap in the market for something new.

Over the past year, the category is into double-digit growth, with strong sales in both grocery multiple outlets and the convenience sector.

It lends itself well to the off-trade but less so the on-trade – something that retailers should both celebrate and take advantage of. The wine trade is often accused of being cautious with innovation and has lost younger drinkers to beer, spirits and cider. Fruit-flavoured wine can bring the theatre and new consumers needed to encourage innovation and galvanise the still wine sector in general. The future looks positive for this category and it’s likely we will see new brands, more NPD and refreshed images for existing products.

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Richard Hemming MW asks: what’s the next step for indies?

In the not-too-distant future, when all humans are born with inbuilt VR headsets and Trump is Supreme Commander of the Known Universe, how will students of wine look back on the present era of retail in the UK? And, in such a dystopian world, why would anyone care?

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