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Educate consumers to boost wine sales, says CGA

Operators and suppliers should use recommendations, tastings and other tools to help consumers improve their knowledge of wine and rejuvenate sales, the CGA has said.

The hospitality research group’s latest ‘Next Big Thing For Wine?’ report has also revealed the major market trends and forecasts. The publication comes as the group hopes to see “restaurants, pubs, bars and suppliers reverse a trend that has seen still wine sales dip by 5.9% year-on-year”.

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Research for the report found that two in five “out-of-home” wine drinkers had an active interest in the category, yet only 6% considered themselves to be knowledgeable about wine. 

The group said that knowledgeable consumers are “much more likely” to try new drinks, so  there is a “clear incentive” for the industry to improve customer’s understanding of aspects of wine, such as the grape, origin and vintage.

The report also suggested ways to increase the appeal of wine to different age groups. The 18 to 34 group “feels most knowledgeable” about wine and is “much more likely” to be influenced by staff recommendations and tasting events. 

Those aged 35 to 54 are “more inclined to self-learn rather than seek advice”, using wine menus to make their choices. Consumers over 55 and over were the “most demanding of staff knowledge”. 

Mark Newton, senior partnership development manager at CGA, said: “We know that wine can be a daunting drinks category for consumers to navigate, and this report shows how a big knowledge gap is holding back sales. 

“Tools like recommendations, menus and tastings can all help people to feel more comfortable about choosing wine, and greater confidence leads to greater spending. But consumers behave very differently in this complex market, and it is crucial to know which marketing levers to pull for which age groups.”

He added: “Operators and suppliers have done a great job lately in telling consumers stories about provenance and flavours in drinks categories like craft beer and gin. Learning a few tricks from these booming markets could help to inject fresh energy into the wine market in 2020 and beyond.”

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