‘Tired’ 3-litre bag-in-box wines in long term decline

Three-litre bag in box wines are in long term decline – they plummeted 14.6% in the last year – with consumers being put off by high prices.

Nielsen’s Natasha Kendall said the “the 3-litre is definitely struggling more” than its 2.25-litre rival, and suggested that the price tag was a problem, as many come in around the same price as a 70cl bottle of spirits. The average price for a 3-litre BIB was £15.83 for the year to July 19, 2014, up 3.4% on one year ago. Volume sales of three-litre BIBs have plummeted by 14.6% in the past year, while the whole BIB category has fallen by half that number.

A number of retailers, including Sainsbury’s have stopped selling 3-litre BIBs in favour of smaller options.

Value sales for three-litre BIBs have fallen 11.4% to £163 million – two years ago the category was worth £208 million. Overall the whole BIB category saw value sales decline by 3.1% to £282.8 million in the last year.

Kendall said distribution of BIB was an issue, as the category has been in long-term decline for the last two years. “It looks to me like the grocers have been delisting due to falling rate of sale,” she added.

Guy Young, sales director at Kingsland Wine & Spirits, told Harpers that many retailers say the bag-in-box category “looks tired”.

When you look at other markets – Sweden consumes 55% of its wine through bag-in-box formats - “it’s about thinking differently,” said Young.

Kingsland currently produces around 7 million litres, or 9% of its production, in the format, but has noted a major switch away from 3-litre formats to the smaller 2.25 litres, with sales of 2.25 litres overtaking 3 litres. Young said consumers were scared off the larger size boxes by the high price per unit. 

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