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British wine drinkers lack brand loyalty

The vast majority of British wine drinkers have little or no brand loyalty and frequently switch brands, according to the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA).

Releasing its latest Market Report ahead of its annual conference tomorrow, which will focus on brand loyalty in the drinks trade, the WSTA said British wine lovers were among the most experimental, but also the most fickle when it comes to brand selection.

According to its survey, loyalty to specific wine brands among Brits is weak with 79% of those surveyed admitting that they regularly change brands and hold little loyalty to any particular brand.

Compared to spirits drinkers, wine drinkers were almost twice as likely to try something new with just 5% of wine drinkers stating that they were entirely loyal to the brands they consume. This was compared to 16% of spirits drinkers.

“The research is fascinating and shows the complexity of brand loyalty, even between categories”, said WSTA chief executive Miles Beale. “The nature of the markets mean that wine drinkers react very differently to brands than spirit drinkers and as such companies will have to react in different ways to this.

“It is also interesting to see how highly drinkers of all products place emphasis on recommendations from friends and family, alongside the traditional of factors such as quality and value for money. This suggests that marketing approaches that take this into account will be most successful.”

The report shows that value, quality and recommendations from friends were most likely common reasons for switching to a new brand. Of those surveyed, 41% said they would switch brands because they fancied a change; 30% following friends recommendations and 30% because of value for money. In comparison, just 6% citing an effective advertising campaign.

Additionally, the report found the alcohol industry has the greatest task of all keeping their customers, with 28% admitting that they were less loyal to alcohol brands than other branded products.

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