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Top 10 wine trends of 2012 – part 7

Steady volume declines in the on-trade

Barring some happy anomalies created by the Jubilee, Olympics and Euro 2012, the general outlook for the UK on-trade offers little cause for excitement.

Offering his own overview, CGA’s Mark Newton, comments: “Overall, we feel that the main driver of on-trade wine during 2011 – voucher culture and the uplift in wine value – will slow down in the coming year.

“Wine as a category will continue to see gradual volume declines across both still and sparkling as the economic climate remains uncertain.”

Although there will inevitably be exceptions to the rule, Texture’s Rousset paints a picture of restraint at the fine dining end of the market, reporting that “big bottle” sales “are not as frequent as they used to be even six months ago. People are a bit more cautious and probably expenses are being cut a bit”.

Focusing on the broader wine categories, Newton forecasts: “Red and white still wines are likely to remain stable, while the performance of rosé is more dependent on any continued product innovation and further marketing initiatives from the primary mainstream wine brands.”

He also picks out a need for fresh ideas to reinvigorate the sparkling wine category, arguing: “Sparkling wine needs an injection of innovation if it is to maintain its performance uplift over Champagne which will continue to struggle in the face of reduced personal incomes.

“Prosecco appears to have peaked as a sub-category and perhaps it is the turn of some of the overlooked French quality wines – outside of Champagne – to take some of the limelight.”

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