Sainsbury's to focus on lighter-style wines
Sainsbury’s plans to double the sales of its lighter-style wines by 2020 as it responds both to growing consumer demand and its obligations under the government’s Responsibility Deal.
Andy Phelps, Sainsbury’s head of beers, wines and spirits, said he aimed to hit this target by boosting the current range of lower-alcohol wines, but by also expanding its offering of single-serve wines (175ml bottles) to around 25. Currently only Sainsbury’s own-label House wines come in single-serve sizes.
This will, he stressed, also only help consumers cut their alcohol consumption, as it removes the temptation to drink more when buying a full-sized bottle.
Phelps told Harpers that Sainsbury’s sales of lighter-style wines have increased by 14% year on year and there was clear evidence customers were making a conscious choice to drink wines with lower abvs as they become more aware of the health dangers of drinking to excess.
Increased availability and visibility of lighter-style wines in store has also been a key factor in the sales surge, added Phelps.
The single-serve bottles will also encourage customers to be more experimental in the wines they try, claimed Phelps.
He said the average wine drinker continues to be quite conservative and sticks to what they know, but given the opportunity to try a new varietal for only two or three pounds they are far more likely to risk it than having to pay for a full-sized bottle they may not like.
New grape varieties to be included in the single-serve bottles include Gavi and Prosecco. The single-serve wines will be merchandised alongside Sainsbury’s bag-in-box range.