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Rising price of wine threatens half of UK shoppers

Published:  07 February, 2020

The average retail price of a bottle of still wine will break the £6 barrier in the UK for the first time this year, according to new figures from the WSTA.

The average price currently sits at £5.93, up 3.5% from £5.73 at the same time last year.

The news could hit wine sales hard: 9.7 million consumers, equating to 54% of wine buyers, do not buy wine above that price point, data from Kantar shows.

The groups hardest hit by rising prices are families with children and those with an annual household income of less than £30,000. Wine sales to the former fell 2.1% in the year to December 2019, while 61% of the latter only buy wine which costs less than £6.

Laura Christen, client manager at Kantar, said, “Rising duty and reduced promotional activity has contributed to the increasing price of entry into wine.

“This is a trend which risks alienating value-conscious shoppers as it has hit those who spend on lower-priced wine the hardest, meaning that households with a lower disposable income could be priced out of the category altogether.”

Wine Drinkers UK, a new pressure group campaigning for lower taxes on wine, has joined the WSTA in calling for a cut in wine duty at the next Budget on 11 March.

Speaking for the group, wine commentator Joe Fattorini said: “If the average price for a bottle of wine tips over the £6 mark as is predicted, we risk freezing out millions of hard-working people from a drink that they enjoy.

"The new government has an opportunity to cut wine duty for the first time in over 35 years and give those people a break. I think it’s high time they did so.”