Lowering the bar

26 February, 2016

He says Blue Nun alcohol-free red and white have been launched successfully in Asian markets and Australia.

He adds: “Blue Nun Delicates have a loyal following which has proved to us that this low-alcohol category is not only a fashion but worth investing in the quality of the products and in their consumer marketing.” 

Langguth’s major rival, Reh Kendermann, launched a range of  lower alcohol wines, B by Black Tower. They are 5.5% abv and only 55 calories per 125ml glass. Kendermann has now added two new products – B Fruitiful by Black Tower, a fruit-flavoured wine, and B Secco by Black Tower, with a light sparkling fizz. Both have an alcohol content of 5.5% abv.

Referring to the emergence of flavoured low-alcohol so-called fusion wines, Kingsland Drinks marketing controller Jo Taylorson says: “Consumers’ palates have been moving towards a sweeter taste profile. This has been seen by the surge in popularity of fruit ciders and cocktails in both the on and off-trade over recent years. An increasing number of wine consumers reach out to these drinks when the occasion arises, so wine fusion drinks – which are more similar in taste profile to ciders and cocktails – give them the opportunity to try something new, while staying in the wine category.

“Wine fusion drinks can be viewed by consumers who’d usually turn to cider and cocktails as a new way of entering the wine category. This could be a chance for the wine category to take back some market share, which in recent years has migrated to RTDs, ciders and cocktails,” says Taylorson.

In summary, most consumers buy lower-alcohol wines because of health concerns, wanting to lose weight, having to drive and/or avoiding the deleterious effects of drinking alcohol. Those not inclined to imbibe believe they do not taste nice, are not ‘wine’, do not know what the products are like and possibly are unaware of what is out there. 

Wine Intelligence’s Thompson says: “A crucial factor in determining whether or not this change (in perceptions) can gain momentum will be the ability of lower-alcohol wines to overcome what is, at present, probably still their biggest stumbling block – many people just don’t know about them.”

So, brands, over to you.    

Keywords: low alcohol wine

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