Asda shifts to group wines by grape instead of region

Asda has moved away from the conventional supermarket strategy of grouping its wine by region and instead it is listing wines by grape.

Research conducted by the supermarket shows 74% of UK wine shoppers declared grape to the the most significant factor in their purchase decision. Two thirds of Brits (60%) revealed they had tried a wine from a different grape for the first time this year, with a quarter (26%) trying at least three new varieties, while one in five (20%) believe they could now correctly identify a certain type of wine by taste.

Asda said Brits explores new wines and different varieties during lockdown and Merlot has come out on top as the most tried varietal, followed by Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio.

The retailer launched a pilot programme in several of its stores nationwide to understand how the change could benefit UK consumers. It said the changes were warmly received by the nation’s wine shoppers, and it saw an increase of almost 20% in customer ratings for how “inspiring and engaging” their wine shopping experience had been.

The move will now roll out to every Asda store across the country this week with the aim of helping Brits to navigate the supermarket wine aisles with ease and encouraging experimentation with new varieties.  

Helena Nicklin, Wine Expert, said: “The world of wine is social and exciting but it can also be daunting as there is so much to learn. I built my wine communication career teaching people to start by getting to know the key grape varieties as it offers wine lovers a solid place to begin their journey, so I am delighted to see Asda taking this bold step to help their customers navigate the wine aisle. Asda’s research has shown that their customers understand wine almost entirely by grape, so it’s fantastic to see them change their wine layout, not just to help customers find what they are looking for, but to easily help them discover new varieties and styles that they know they are most probably going to like.” 

Ross Watson, Senior Manager for Asda Wines, said “At Asda we’re committed to delivering a brilliant shopping experience and to help our customers discover exciting new Wines. We’re delighted to announce that from this week we have launched an exciting new wine range, grouping wines by grape type and style rather than by country of origin. We know wine can often seem like an intimidating category to shop for many people and so we believe that the change we have made will make it really easy for customers to find more of the wines they love.

“We have also grouped wines of a similar style in with some of the most common grape types to help shoppers to explore new wines safe in the knowledge they will be of the style they know and regularly enjoy.  We hope customers will love the new range and enjoy (…responsibly) some great new wines as we head towards Summer.” 

Asda’s wine aisles will now be grouped by grape and similar styles, to help consumers discover new flavours. As an example the supermarket said Sauvignon Blanc fans will be able to try similar styles in the same area of the store, such as its “zesty” Extra Special Albarino or “crisp and citrussy” Picpoul de Pinet.

The “Shiraz and similar” aisle will have its Extra Special Barossa Shiraz while also leading consumers to similar options to try such as its Extra Special Châteauneuf-du-Pape from the grape’s spiritual home in France.

Asda is also launching 95 new wines to its popular selection, including 11 from the Extra Special range for its customers to try.

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