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Matthew Clark predicts adventurous 2016 for consumers

Published:  15 December, 2015

Leading online distributor Matthew Clark is predicting that UK consumers will become yet more inquisitive in 2016.

Leading on-trade distributor Matthew Clark is predicting that UK consumers will become yet more inquisitive in 2016.

This year has seen UK's wine drinkers being more interested than ever in exploring less varietals, the supplier said in its end-of-year predictions.

Rachel Love, Matthew Clark's wine development specialist, said: "We expect to see customers moving away from perennial favourites and delving into something a little different. New Zealand Pinot Gris is one to watch."

Grüner Veltliner, Verdejo, Aglianico and Carmenère were also singled out for growth by the distributor.

Love also sees packaging and design playing an increasingly important part in wine selection, following the premiumisation of the spirits market.

"We're seeing customers attracted to wines with bright colours, eye catching designs, and more playful names, like our recent range additions from Casa Rojo," she said.

Assistant wine buyer Judith Nicholson added: "We're seeing labels becoming a key focus for suppliers like the Georg Sandeman's 2000 vintage special edition Ports, where the labels feature all the key moments in the house's history. Consumers love a good story."

Sandeman 225th Anniversary Range

Simon Jerrome, purchasing director at Matthew Clark, sees the quest for difference extending to bottle formats."Magnums are great for sharing and we've seen an increase in demand for larger formats recently, which I predict will continue into 2016," he said.

These trends in packaging and format will come together in Prosecco, Simon Grayson, Matthew Clark's wine development specialist, believes.

"Prosecco was such a big hit in 2015 and we foresee continued growth, with 2016 witnessing the premiumisation of Prosecco with customers buying 'blingier' looking larger formats like Bottega Prosecco's Gold Magnums," he said.

The best opportunity for the on-trade to sell more premium wines will come though food-and-wine pairing menus, the company predicts.

Love said: "Food pairing is a trend that is continuing to grow. Consumers enjoy learning about what works well with food and also see it as an opportunity to trade up on wines without breaking the bank. I believe we will continue to see this trend in 2016."

In spirits, the company reports that its customers are buying an average of four more bottles of premium vodka a month than they were last year, and an additional 1.6 bottles of spiced rum.