2023’s Top Off Trade Trends

It may seem as if life has returned to normal, but between wellness trends and premiumisation, drinks trends and the way people are buying, are shifting.

Looking ahead to what the new year might have in store for the UK Off Trade, we take a look at the top wine and spirits trends for 2023 and what they mean for the industry. Here are Walker & Wodehouse’s top 10 trends, uncovered by PROOF Insight*.

 

  • Premiumisation

Consumers are buying less but spending more. One third of consumers between the ages of 25-44 are drinking less often but are treating themselves to better quality products.

 

  • Balanced wellness

Consumers are exhibiting contradictory behaviour as they look to achieve wellness – with a balance between treats for mental wellbeing and healthy living for physical wellbeing.

 

  • Conscious convenience – caring about people and the planet

The cost-of-living crisis has compounded consumers’ need for brands to do the hard work for them when it comes to reducing their impact on the environment, while making a difference in society. Sustainable and organic producers are gaining popularity thanks to this trend.

 

  • Escapism

During times of instability, consumers look for an escape from everyday life. They are venturing into nature more and engaging in mindful activities – and food and drink can be the perfect accompaniment to those low-tempo moments. Think of someone popping into a shop to grab a bottle of wine on the way to a picnic.

 

  • Austrian wine

There is a growing presence of Austrian wine listings in the premium trade sector. Austrian Zweigelt and Saint Laurent listings are up by a third since 2019, and don’t forget about the excellent wines of Markus Huber.

 

  • Low, no and softs

Carbonated soft drinks and fresh juices are by far the most popular option for consumers moderating their alcohol intake, with price being a key sticking point. However, the trade sector is expected to get creative with their soft and low-alcohol options to try and capture more spend.

 

  • Engaging younger drinkers

We expect to see renewed focus to make wine more accessible for younger consumers – who are driving the trade. Staff recommendations, POS nudges and food pairing suggestions will help drive engagement.

 

  • German Riesling

Having long been a favourite of those in the know, Riesling is set to make a comeback in the mainstream, with growth set to be driven by Germany (68% of consumers prefer this origin), followed by New Zealand (28%) and Alsace.

 

  • Indigenous grapes

There has been an increase in indigenous grape varieties from across the globe listed in trendsetting venues – from Greek Assyrtiko to the likes of Grillo from Sicily.

 

  • Asian spirits and liqueurs

Asia continues to inspire cocktails in MODE trendsetting bars, and the trend is spilling over to the off trade, particularly with drinks from Japan such as Sake, Shochu and Umeshu increasing in popularity.

 

  • Sustainability and refill shops

As the number of refill shops in the UK grew fivefold from 38 to 208 in five years, 31% of wine drinkers state that environmentally friendly packaging such as boxed wine or lighter weight bottles would encourage them to choose one brand over another.

 

Wanting to identify some key business opportunities? Contact PROOF Insights.

 

Adriana Schmidt
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