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“Bamboozled Brits” still have no idea how to navigate the wine aisle

Published:  21 July, 2017

New research from Asda has shown the extent of consumers’ mystification around wine, with over a third of UK drinkers sticking to the same bottle of wine every time they shop.

It’s a well known fact that the wine mainstays have remained the same for well over a decade, with consumers repeatedly filling up their baskets with Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay on trips to the supermarket.

But a new study by Asda has highlighted the gap between how far Brits are willing to explore in the food aisles and how that has yet to translate to wine.

Some of the report’s key findings include the statistic that 15% of consumers spend less than 10 seconds picking a bottle as ‘wine fright’ sets in and they become overwhelmed by the amount of choice available.

42% said they find wine jargon confusing and misunderstand commonly used terms, while a third (37%) of UK drinkers admitted to buying the same bottle of wine and never trying anything new.

Over one fifth of those surveyed (22%) said they can find the vast amount of wine to choose from intimidating and don’t know where to start when it comes to picking a new bottle.

Perhaps most concerning, is that two fifths (39%) of Brits cannot name any wine varieties, and a further 17% think there are only three grape varieties: red, white and rosé.

Habitual shopping patterns have led Asda to dub one of their wine experts, Ed Betts, a “sommeasier” – making him the face of the supermarket’s efforts to make wine more accessible to "bamboozled" British consumers. 

As part of this new push, Asda is also putting together The Sommeasier Guide to help furnish consumers with confidence and knowledge to explore. 

A keen advocate of taking the simple approach when it comes to marketing wine to consumers, is Copestick Murray MD Robin Copestick.

In 2010, Copestick launched its successful I heart range and since then, the range has had considerable success with its a varietal-led approach.

While Asda’s report found that 39% of Brits find it difficult to name even one grape variety, we know that British consumers often shop by varieties that they are familiar with and find the prospect of hunting for alternatives hugely overwhelming.

“In such a competitive and challenging market it’s not surprising that consumers feel nervous about stepping outside of their comfort zone,” said Copestick.

“In order to grow the industry, we need to make it easy for audiences to learn about the different varieties of wine available.

“Consumers need to feel inspired and confident about trying something new through a varied range, at a reasonable price which clearly communicates tasting notes alongside pairing suggestions.”