Ten million shoppers could be priced out of wine in 2020

The average price of a bottle of wine is expected to break the £6 barrier in the UK this year and this could alienate 10 million wine shoppers from the category, according to new figures from the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) and Wine Drinkers UK.

The data, compiled by Kantar, shows that the latest price hike risks alienating 9.7million shoppers who don’t buy wine over the £6 barrier. This is equivalent to more than half (54%) of shoppers who buy 75cl bottles of still wine.

As a result Wine Drinkers UK and the WSTA have joined forces to call on the Government to cut wine duty at the Chancellor’s Budget on March 11, and help bring the cost of wine down for consumers.

The two organisations note that those with a household income less than £30,000 and families with children, and therefore less disposable income, are the two distinct groups who will feel the price rise most intensely.

Wine purchases by families with children dropped 2.1% between December 2018 and December 2019, and 61% of shoppers with a household income of less than £30,000 only buy wine which costs less than £6. These figures could increase further with the average bottle price set to continue to rise.

Wine expert Joe Fattorini said: “It is time for a fairer deal for the 33 million wine drinkers in the UK. Too many people still think wine is enjoyed by ‘wealthy’ or ‘posh’ people meaning price rises aren’t a problem, but that clearly isn’t the case.

“If the average price for a bottle of wine tips over the £6 mark as is predicted, we risk freezing out millions of hard-working people from a drink that they enjoy. The new Government has an opportunity to cut wine duty for the first time in over 35 years and give those people a break. I think it’s high time they did so.”

Laura Christen, client manager at Kantar, said, “Rising duty and reduced promotional activity has contributed to the increasing price of entry into wine. This is a trend which risks alienating value-conscious shoppers as it has hit those who spend on lower-priced wine the hardest, meaning that households with a lower disposable income could be priced out of the category altogether.”

Taxes on wine in the last decade have increased nearly 40% - far outstripping the increases on beer (16%) - as well as cider and spirits (27%). This has been compounded by rising import costs due to the impact of Brexit on the pound.

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