From sustainability to discovery, the latest look at wine trends from Hallgarten & Novum outlines what consumers want from indies in 2024.

The 2024 Wine Trend Predictions Off-Trade Edition was created using several measures including insight agency KAM’s survey of 1,185 independent specialist wine retailer consumers. The findings have been cross referenced with Hallgarten’s own sales data in an effort to create a holistic picture of consumer trends.

 Here’s a summary of what to expect from drinkers this year:

Conscious consumers

According to the report, 40% of consumers consider sustainability to be important when choosing from an independent specialist wine retailer. Whether that’s sustainable practices in the vineyard or supporting local communities, shoppers are eager to hear more about a company’s ethos before parting with their cash. The report also found that 45% of consumers buy from indies to support local businesses.

Quality and value

The cost-of-living crisis has moved value up the list of priorities for many, and with alcohol consumption in decline, ensuring good value is key for indies. According to the report, 58% of drinkers believe that independent specialist wine retailers “maybe offer good value for money, while an additional 29% say that they definitely do, showing room for improvement”.

In terms of quality, 37% of shoppers choose their preferred wine country based on quality.

Trading up

Despite ongoing economic headwinds, the report shows that consumers are willing to premiumise in certain scenarios. Some 48% say they would spend more on a higher-price wine that was carrying a promotion. Treating also came up, with a third of shoppers saying a visit to an indie is a treat for themselves.

Discovery

A fifth of shoppers visit indies to discover new regions and styles of wine, while 28% believe indies provide an opportunity for them to try something different.

“This thirst to taste and discover is very positive, especially when considering insight showing confident wine drinkers tend to spend more – potentially increasing the bottle spend above the £14.53 average,” the report says.

Tailored experience

Taste descriptors and awards prove influential information for drinkers – 56% are influenced by taste info on the shelf and bottle, while a third are influenced by awards and medals.

Within descriptors, textural descriptions are more powerful, with the term ‘full-bodied’ being the number one taste descriptor preferred by nearly half of consumers (47%).

Elsewhere, consumers say loyalty schemes would influence their visit.

Grape expectations

A third of shoppers buy Australian wine from indies, with reds including Shiraz big news last year, while Riesling showed promise in the whites.

Italy, Portugal and Greece also get a mention as the quest for quality, discovery and good value continues.