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Wine still one of the most heavily promoted grocery categories

Published:  12 June, 2014

Almost six out of every 10 bottles of wine are sold on promotion in the UK, according to figures from Nielsen for the past year. 

The firm's latest analysis shows that wine, of which 57% of sales are via promotions, is still "one of the most heavily promoted categories in FMCG".

NielsenNielsen says 57% of wine is sold on promotion in the UKWine is still one of the most highly promoted categories across FMCG, says Nielsen - this graph shows that in the last six months most categories have become immune to promotional activity.

According to Nielsen's State of the Nation report, wine has been struggling - down 3% by volume, but 2% up by value over the past year. But it predicts the picture will improve for the second half of 2014.

In the past year sparkling wine has been the great success story, with growth of 17% by value and 10% by volume. Consumers are choosing Prosecco over cava, even though cava is £1 cheaper than Prosecco on average.

Speaking about Britain's Savvy Shoppers at London Wine Fair last week, Nielsen's Natasha Kendall said convenience is a fast-growing opportunity, with most of the major multiples ramping up their convenience store openings. The currently account for 33% of BWS sales. Wine has taken off in the convenience sector, and is growing "way head of the market" with sales up 5.4% by value and 3% by volume in the past year.

As for online, total grocery shopping has grown by 24% year on year, but BWS is streets ahead, having grown 46% in the last year. Kendall says there is still room to grow, as it still accounts for only 3.7% share of total sales, compared to 4.4% across other categories. Sparkling wine and beer are the biggest sellers online, while only 2.5% of spirits bought online.

She predicted that: "Internet grocery shopping has yet to come of age."

Taking a look at the wider own label category and Kendall said the premium end has grown 5.9% in the last year. Budget own label has seen sales decrease, and Kendall predicted that this will further diminish and "potentially disappear".

But in BWS specifically, own label constitutes 24% - one of the smallest shares in grocery. For wine that represents one quarter of volume sales and one fifth of value sales. Kendall said "consumers are increasingly seeing own label as being as good quality as brands".

Britons are consistently seeking good value, but have become more savvy around promotions and are shopping more at discounters. Price cuts are now seen as better than multi-buys, which are viewed as wasteful. The main methods favoured by consumers are Every Day Lower Pricing, Price Match, discounts and coupons. Consumers would prefer greater flexibility around vouchers - for example if they forget to bring them, Kendall said.