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Organic still wine consumption to increase 50% by 2022

Published:  26 November, 2018

Organic still wine consumption in the UK is poised to soar, with research released today predicting more than a 50% increase by 2022.

The forecasted growth will result in still organic wine almost doubling its market share in the UK, albeit from a small platform, from 5% to 9% in the period, according to the new study - The Future Potential for Organic Wine, commissioned by SudVinBio for Millésime Bio and produced by IWSR.

The positive forecast follows a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of over 11% between 2012-2017 in the UK – despite there being a downturn in consumption of still wine on the whole, according to the research, with stated that when studied in isolation, organic still wine consumption had seen growth of 70% over the past five years, up from 3.36 million 9 litre cases in 2012 to 5.72 million 9 litre cases in 2017.

“Recent years have seen the profile of organic wine boom across the globe, and what was once considered a niche market has become more and more ubiquitous,” said IWSR consultant Giles Gough.

The news was particular pleasing at a time when the UK wine industry was experiencing a “period of instability between Brexit, rising tax and tee-total millennials”, he added.

In terms of category segmentation, red wines from the Old World continue to dominate, with those accounting for 72% of overall sales, and six in every 10 bottles sold being red, according to the study.

This, said Gough, was due to the price position of organic wine, with organics tending to be more expensive than non-organics and therefore falling into the price segment of Old World reds.

“From a health perspective, there is a continued perception that red wines have more benefits than whites – a credential that will ultimately appeal to the typical organic consumer and influence their purchasing choice.

“Furthermore, as people become increasingly wary of preservatives and draw a link between greater sulphite content - organic wines note necessarily being completely sulphite-free, but low - and next-day hangovers, non-organic will begin to lose out to the more ‘natural’ connotations of minimal-chemical organic bottles,” said Gough.

In addition , the organic wine category was in a perfect position to benefit from the ‘trading up’ trend among UK consumers, the report found.

“With UK drinkers increasingly leaning towards quality over quantity, this presents a platform for the organic wine category to capitalise on the current appetite for premium produce.

“Organic wines are on the whole more expensive than non-organic (averaging, on a global scale, £10.21 per bottle to £7.38 market average), however the findings showed that UK consumers are willing to pay on average 38% more for a bottle of organic versus a non-organic wine,” said Gough.

The study also predicted that organic still wine value will outperform volume growth, at a CAGR of over 10.5% between 2017 and 2022, to surpass £1.15 billion.

Total sales of organic products, including wine, increased 6.5% in 2017 (UK Soil Association), with the rise of organic food consumption expected to have knock-on effect on organic wine, as both consumers and trade (restaurateurs, hoteliers, bartenders) look to offer organic drinks to pair with food.

“Of all organic produce, wine is the product that causes the most confusion amongst consumers, as there is little awareness or understanding around what constitutes an ‘organic wine’. However, the association with the ‘umbrella term’ is enough to encourage sales of wine as a sub-category,” said Gough.

Looking ahead to the next 12 months, the research predicted that while the impact of Brexit could not be ignored, given the growing popularity of organic products it was unlikely that it would have as strong an impact on organic wines as it was likely to have on non-organic wines.