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Neil Anderson's Key Trends for 2019

Published:  28 January, 2019

Kingsland Drinks’ marketing director Neil Anderson gives his view on eight trends that will impact the wine industry through the coming year

2018 showed us that the trend for low and no alcohol is not a passing phase but it’s here to stay. Younger drinkers who have traditionally come into the alcohol category are now faced with concerns about health and well-being. The amount of 16-24 year-olds that identify as teetotal has risen from 18% in 2005 to 29%, according to a recent University College London study.

So how can we breathe new life into wine while responding to the consumer need for reduced sugar, smaller formats, lower calories and ingredients that have added benefits?

1. Take the health message seriously

NO/LO variants are no longer pushed to the bottom shelf, they take significant space in the fixture. We also need reduced sugar, smaller formats, lower calories and ingredients that have added health benefits – gin has done this effectively by highlighting ‘medicinal’ botanicals, such as pink peppercorns and rosemary.

2. Focus on Convenience ‘on the go’

Clearly signpost wines that match with meal solutions and snacking. We know more people than ever are now bypassing a weekday meal for a snack on the sofa – we need to give solutions, more useful formats and ideas for matching wines with snacks

3. Increase the consumer experience/engagement with product and brand

The nascent use of technology in the wine category has seen some interesting wine and food matching apps with brands such as 19 Crimes using AR (Augmented Reality) to engage in the labels. Use of technology such as AR, personalisation and apps for gifting and in-store information is not fully exploited yet, but will become more significant as consumers demand more information about the products they are consuming.

4. Continued increase in flavours

Consumers repeatedly tell us in our Kingsland WinePRO consumer research that taste is number one in importance when purchasing a wine. The more we can identify unique, interesting and delicious flavour combinations, that bring genuine benefits to health as well as fantastic taste, the better.

5. Consumers wanting to give back

This is particularly true of the millennial generation. They are prepared to pay and do more to fulfil this desire – this is an area that has significant scope in our industry

6. Bringing it home

The trend, as identified by Kantar, describes massive growth in in-home entertaining and self-indulgence Netflix evenings, so how can products in our industry exploit this more?

7. Classic drinks with a modern twist

We have seen what has happened to Gin. The revival of this classic white spirit is just the start. Other categories and products showing areas of growth and engagement are Port, sherry, vermouth and rum. Lillet (a classic French wine-based aperitif) has seen significant focus recently with increased online presence and influencer outreach.

It’s all about the aspirational lifestyle characterised by the serve. All sponsored posts include a serve or recipe idea and the positioning is challenging the ‘go-to’ aperitifs Pimms and Aperol. On Instagram #Lillet has 75k tags and they use fashion and lifestyle influencers to engage a younger audience, along with sponsorship and in-store events with Topshop. This is surely a rallying cry for traditional wine varietals to contemporise.

8. Varietal-led Eastern European Wines

These were once the last stop option when other core countries had a glut, but now credible, award-winning wines are coming from Bulgaria, Romania, Greece, etc. These categories are in growth and I would expect to see more listings of products from this area in the future.