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Consumers keen to experiment

Published:  23 July, 2008

UK consumers appear quite open to experimenting with wines from non-traditional countries of origin and with wines using non-traditional varietals, according to a new piece of research conducted by Wine Intelligence.

In a nationwide poll of 1,000 consumers last month, a third of consumers said they would be quite likely or very likely to try a wine from an unusual country of origin. Some 40% said they would be quite likely or very likely to try a wine featuring an unusual grape variety.

Follow up interviews, to be broadcast exclusively to participants in the Wine Intelligence Leading Thinkers Seminar on 24 November at the Great Eastern Hotel, show consumers talking quite openly about trying wine from countries such as Moldova, Uruguay, Hungary and India. They also enjoy trying non-mainstream wine styles, with several interviewees mentioning varietals such as Viognier, Gewrtztraminer, Carmenre and Malbec.

The interviewees also indicated that they would prefer to experiment with something new and unusual at the price they normally spend on wine rather than to spend more money on their everyday purchases, showing that there is still reluctance

among many consumers to trade up.

There appears to be more of a market opportunity in the UK for unusual styles or countries of origin than we might have realised,' said Lulie Halstead, research director of Wine Intelligence. The urge to discover is still strong among many mainstream UK consumers, which is the good news, but we need to understand why these same consumers are still reluctant to part with an extra pound or two for familiar wines.'