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German drinkers drinking less but trading up

Published:  08 April, 2019

The latest Wine Intelligence report on Germany says consumers are drinking less but buying more expensive wine when they do.

“German regular wine drinkers have been consuming wine less frequently for casual and more formal on and off-trade occasions since 2016,” said Wine Intelligence project executive Tina Fruth.

“Hand in hand with this, however, comes an increased willingness to trade up when purchasing wine, due to both the increasing value per bottle as well willingness to spend more on a bottle of wine, especially in the on-trade."

The report also identified several other key findings, including that purchases are increasingly driven by regionality and locality. Six of the top 15 most powerful brands in Germany are domestic brands.

“German wine drinkers like to be patriotic in their choices,” said Fruth. “German regionality trends are prevalent as German wine drinkers are increasingly driven by supporting local producers. More specifically, Germany displays the highest country of origin awareness and purchase levels amongst German regular wine drinkers and holds six of the top 10 places for region of origin purchase amongst German wine consumers.”

She added that wine brands in Germany are “not as strong as brands in other markets such as in the US or UK. Despite being a strong wine-producing country, only six of the top 15 most powerful brands in the German market are domestic brands. Along with this, German wine drinkers do have lower overall brand awareness and purchase compared with other major wine markets".

However, this situation presents an opportunity to “educate consumers about wine and bring them closer to the category,” she added. “This may provide industry professionals the chance to immerse consumers in the category and develop products that are both authentic and approachable, therefore being able to attract more consumers.

“As one of the world’s biggest imported wine markets, wine education could lead to exciting prospects for both those who already dominate the category, as well as those who are seeking to establish or boost market presence.”

The report questioned over 3,000 German wine drinkers in March 2016, March 2018 and January 2019. It also spoke to six representatives from the trade in March and April 2019, including managing directors, one retailer and one buyer.