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UK wine consumption to fall 4% by 2015, says Vinexpo

Published:  11 January, 2012

UK wine consumption will drop between 2011 and 2015 as consumers "drink better and less", according to new figures released by Vinexpo.

UK wine consumption will drop between 2011 and 2015 as consumers "drink better and less", according to new figures released by Vinexpo.

The International Wine & Spirit Research's five year forecast predicts a decline of 4.13% in UK consumption as the economic crisis continues to bite.

Current declines in consumption means the UK has fallen from fifth position in the top five wine-consuming nations worldwide. Swooping in at number five, and forcing the UK down to sixth position is China, which consumed 156.19 million 9-litre cases in 2011.

Per capita consumption is also predicted to fall in the UK, with consumers drinking an average of 24 litres per year by 2015 - representing a 6.6% drop.

Despite the lacklustre figures, the UK trade has reasons to be cheerful, according to Vinexpo's chief executive Robert Beynat. "In a tough crisis, people will continue to drink. New consumers and young people are interested about wine because it's more natural and there's culture in wine. People will prefer to drink better and less," he said.

The current economic crisis "means people will buy wine bottles not cases" in the UK, he added, but what they'll be drinking will be of higher quality.

Beynat urged suppliers to "review the quality of wine and price levels" and to supply consumers with "more information".

Across all markets, and especially the UK and Asia, he added that the trend towards drinking less, better quality wine will mean more consumers choose to buy wines from the off-trade. "The consumer will drink more and more at home," he said.

In 2010, total worldwide wine consumption reached 2.64 billion 9-litre cases, equivalent to 31.68 billion bottles; a 4.5% increase compared to 2006.

Between 2011 and 2015, consumption will grow at a rate of 6.17%, the research predicts, reaching 2.844 billion cases.

The IWSR study covers 114 consumer markets and 28 producing countries.

Vinexpo around the world
In just one year between 2009 and 2010, wine consumption grew 33.4% in China (including Hong Kong) - and that figure is expected to continue growing with the IWSR study forecasting a further 54.25% rise between 2011 and 2015.

To keep up with Asian demand, the fifith annual Vinexpo Asia Pacific show will be taking over the whole of the Hong Kong Convention Centre for the first time. The trade fair runs from May 29-31 and will feature 20% more exhibitors from 35 countries and new New Zealand and Australian wine generic pavilions.

Vinexpo also revealed its first foray into business to consumer shows, with the introduction of its first wine and spirits show in New York on November 16-18.

Rendez-Vous by Vinexpo is expected to attract between 5,000 and 6,000 visitors, with a one day ticket costing around US$180. Exhibitors will be limited to around 150 and there will be a full programme of masterclasses and tastings.