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UK Wine Market Increasingly Reliant on Young Professionals, According to New Research by Wine Intelligence

Posted on December 02, 2013

Regular wine drinkers under 35 with relatively high incomes and an interest in wine now account for a quarter of the total spend on wine in the UK, as older consumers rein in both spending and drinking habits, according to the Wine Intelligence UK Portraits 2014 Report, published today.

This group, known as “Generation Treaters” in the Portraits segmentation, represent about 9 percent of UK monthly wine drinkers or 2.5 million consumers. Their growing importance—in 2011 they accounted for 16 percent of spend compared with 24 percent in 2013—is partly driven by their strong affinity for drinking wine in the on-trade, where prices are much higher.

Their relative prominence is also a function of declining spend among older, less well off consumers, who are reining in both spend and consumption in the face of declining real incomes and increases in excise duty.

The core everyday wine drinker, known as the Mainstream At-Homer, is declining in numbers, from 31 percent in 2007 to 26 percent today, and their share of spend has fallen to 22 percent, down from 28 percent 6 years ago, and below that of Generation Treaters for the first time.

At the same time the proportion of infrequent, low involved and low spending monthly wine drinkers, known in the report as Kitchen Casuals, has jumped from 7 percent of the population in 2007 to 16 percent today, and yet their share of spend is unchanged at 5 percent.

The high-spending, older and highly involved Adventurous Connoisseurs segment, meanwhile, has seen an influx of female consumers and has a slightly older profile than it did two years ago.

Wine Intelligence chief operating officer Richard Halstead says: “Since we started the Portraits project in 2007 the UK economy has endured one of the longest and deepest recessions in living memory, and at the same time duty on wine has shot up from £1.30 to £2 a bottle. We are seeing some of the consequences of these changes reflected in our Portraits segments, some of whom are now finding it much harder to enjoy wine on a regular basis compared with a few years ago.

“On a more positive note, the Generation Treater segment looks like one of the more exciting groups emerging. Just as with the “Millennials” generation in the United States, these are consumers who are interested in wine as an experience and a social marker, and are prepared to pay for it.”

Report details:

Wine Intelligence UK Portraits 2014 is published by Wine Intelligence and available from the Wine Intelligence Reports Shop, priced at GBP 2500 / EUR 3000 / AUD 4250 / USD 4000 or 5 Report Credits.
Further details about the report can be found here.

Requests for purchase should be directed to

For full details on the methodologies used in Wine Intelligence research, please contact

About Wine Intelligence Ltd

Wine Intelligence is the leading research-led strategy consultancy serving the global wine industry. It conducts client-specific research projects to aid companies to gain greater insights into wine markets and wine consumers, and helps business leaders develop business strategy and marketing plans. The company also assists businesses in developing new brands, and in formulating and communicating marketing messages within the industry.

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