Bargain Brits buy 80% of wine for £6 or less

The vast majority of UK wine is sold for little more than a fiver with most Brits unlikely to pay any more than £6 a bottle, figures have revealed.


According to figures obtained from Nielson and the Wilson Drinks Report (WDR), 80% of off-trade wines by volume were sold by the UK’s major supermarkets for £6 or less in the 12 months up to 1 March, with just 2% of UK wines selling for more than £10.

By total value of wine sold, 71% was sold at £6 or less, with 4% of wines sold at £10 or more, with the average price of a bottle of wine in the UK currently £5.27 – a price point which has always operated on a consistently upward trend.

Online sales of wine are expected to follow a similar pattern, but at a higher price point, according to Tim Wilson, managing director of the WDR, which will soon publish new analysis of the UK’s online wine market.

The findings come following a survey by Harpers which found that 54% of people would not be prepared to spend more than £6 on a bottle of wine, and that only 7% would be wiling to pay more than £10 for a bottle of wine in the supermarket.

Supermarket price wars have been blamed for the increasingly thrifty wine spends of Brits who are said to be encouraged to put price before quality when it comes to wine.

Tim Wilson, of the WDR, said supermarket offers were lowering the average price of wines sold with consumers increasingly choosing to wait for wines to be put on promotion before spending, preventing wine suppliers from reaching higher price points.

He said: “The typical British wine shopper is very keen on promotions, and those that buy in supermarkets have got used to seeing a number of key brands on offer. Many shoppers also wait for the next Waitrose 25% off week and then stock up.

“However, we are also seeing a lot of growth in wine courses and wine education, which would support the view that many of the more enthusiastic wine drinkers are keen to know a lot more about wine.”

He added: “The reality is that consumers expect the wine to go up year on year about budget time.

“It becomes about how much the wine companies and retailers want to discount the wines. Is it to £10 or £5. It happened with lager, the price of which became driven by how much was on promotion, and it is the same issue with wine.”

Elsewhere off-licenses have been able to maintain a higher average price point because of their specialist knowledge.

Wilson said: “If you get away from supermarkets and into the off-trade like off-licences some of those have very successful average prices of £15 or £20 because they can explain to customers what they are buy and therefore put the price up.”

“But it is complicated as there is so much for the consumer to choose from and if you have limited knowledge you will look for promotions.”


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