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Weekly Newsletter from PROOF Insight

29 September 2023

This week: On-trade Wine Share; MUP Increase; Champions League Beer Boost

Research news

Change in wine drinker’s behaviour marks an opportunity within the white & rose wine category

Wine has been struggling to recapture pre-COVID volumes; however, over the past year, white and rose have proved to be the areas of growth within the category. Recent research from PROOF Insight reveals that 71% of wine drinkers have been cutting back on going out for meals compared to last year, perhaps explaining why red wine, traditionally paired with food, has been losing its share of volume within the category in the GB on-trade.

Furthermore, MAT wine volumes to 12.08.23 declined -7.7% year on year in GB restaurants, but wine volumes in GB pubs grew by +2.2%, suggesting wine drinkers are still going out but choosing more low-tempo drink occasions instead. PROOF research shows that 59% of wine drinkers tend to order white or rose rather than red when going out for just drinks.

This highlights the importance of having the right white and rose range, particularly in wet-led sites, to capitalise on this growth opportunity. Italian and South African whites are proving to be more popular this year, as is Italian Blush Pinot Grigio. Although red is losing share, with Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir in decline, Merlot and Portuguese blends are gaining on last year’s volumes, and these will be important to have on the list in the run-up to the festive period when demand for red typically grows. PROOF’s GB on-trade Christmas report is available below for more on what consumers want for this coming season.

Sources: PROOF Insight consumer research, CGA 52 weeks to 12.08.23

Contact PROOF for the Christmas Report

Industry news

Scottish government considers increasing MUP to 65p

The Scottish government has launched a consultation to increase the minimum unit price by 15p to 65p. The current MUP of 50p per unit was introduced in May 2018, but the provisions are due to expire next April. If the increase is to go ahead, this would increase the price of a bottle of whisky at 40% abv by 30% to at least £18.20, and a 700ml bottle of gin or vodka would cost at least £17.07.

Responses to the consultation need to be submitted by 22 November 2023.

Sources: The Spirits Business, Public Health Scotland

UEFA Champions League kick off boosts beer and cider sales

6.6m pints of beer and cider were sold in the UK as the tournament kicked off on Tuesday, 19th, and Wednesday, 20th September, providing a necessary boost to pubs. CGA Daily Drinks Tracker also reflects this uplift; beer and cider volumes in managed pubs were up +9.4% and +8.8%, respectively, on Tuesday vs. the same day last year. Dwell time also increased by an average of 10 minutes on Tuesday and 6 minutes on Wednesday. Many matches will often occur during the weekdays, which publicans feel will help with those quieter evenings.

Sources: The Morning Advertiser, Oxford Partnership, CGA Daily Drinks Tracker

Strange brews & news

Beer spa cures ‘ale’ments?

A centuries-old tradition of beer spas is now revived in Prague, where customers can find relaxation, beauty and health benefits from bathing in beer. In a cellar by a roaring fire, beer barrel tubs are filled with hot water, hops and brewer’s yeast; claimed to provide essential vitamins, proteins, acids and other bioactive nutrients beneficial for skin, organs, digestion and the immune system. Whilst bathing, patrons are encouraged to drink unlimited beer from the taps conveniently located beside the tubs, whilst eating fresh beer bread!

Sources: PROOF Insight, Original Beer Spas Prague

Investments, acquisition & openings

  • Buffalo Trace to open Buffalo Trace Distillery London, an American whiskey experience in Covent Garden
  • Avalon Spirits acquires the Whiskey Row Bourbon brand
  • Longboys announces plans to open its largest site in London’s Borough Yards
  • Greene King’s pub, The Axe & Compasses, reopens after £1.6m overhaul
  • Pasture brand announces plans to open a new site in Birmingham next year

Sources: Restaurantonline.co.uk, The Morning Advertiser

Product launches & campaigns

  • Sharp’s release limited-edition cask hazy pale ale New Zingland to mark Cask Ale Week
  • Casa Lumbre released Alma Finca, an orange liqueur designed to be used in Margaritas
  • Champagne Salon releases 2013 vintage
  • Balblair highland distillery adds a 21-year-old single malt to its portfolio
  • Don Julio launches campaign, Por Amor, which aims to bring Mexico to a global stage and will be rolled out in markets around the world

Sources: The Drinks Business, The Spirits Business

To keep up-to-date on the latest drinks industry research and news, follow PROOF Insight on LinkedIn.

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Heverlee 0623
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