Kingsland Drinks has released its third phase of Wine Pro research, which shows that the proportion of wine occasions involving food is now at 84%.

To conduct the research – which seeks to better understand the wine-drinking consumer in the UK – Kingsland worked with Kantar World Panel using the Wine Pro tool.

The research examined occasions that involved food as well as delving into the consumer needs that drive choices, such as health, refreshment, convenience and personal treating.

One of the findings from the report showed that while 84% of wine occasions involve food, there are now 100,000 fewer evening meal occasions than four years ago – despite a growing population. In contract, there are 172 million more evening snack occasions, showing that consumers are eating main meals less and snacking more.

Kingsland points to various reasons for this, such as the fact that in general we are eating and drinking alone more and more often, which means we are less likely to cook traditional meals from scratch. Younger consumers – aged 25 to 35 years – are also more concerned with their health so could be eating fewer large main meals, and many choose not to drink alcohol with meals in the week.

Andy McIvor, research and insights manager at Kingsland Drinks, said: “Food and wine have a relationship across planned meal occasions, which continues to be enviable to most other drinks categories. However, growing demand for healthier, convenient and more refreshing food and drink occasions means that wine needs to innovate to maintain its relevance in the long run.”

As a result of the research, Kingsland highlights the snacks occasion as a “real opportunity” for wine drinking, but it said currently they are associated with lighter alcoholic drinks, such as lager and cider.

The company suggests innovation in smaller and on-the-go formats, such as single-serve or pouch, which it says could also increase frequency of use during the week.

DRN recently reported that retailers, including both Waitrose and The Co-op, were seeing strong sales in smaller formats of wine and both were working on improving the offering of these products.