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‘We don’t want your plonk!’ German wine consumers turn to higher quality wine

By Rachel Arthur+

25-Feb-2015
Last updated on 25-Feb-2015 at 13:51 GMT2015-02-25T13:51:37Z

‘We don’t want your plonk!’ German wine consumers turn to higher quality wine

German consumers are prepared to pay more for a better quality still wine, says Mintel, as drinkers become sceptical of mass-production and demand authenticity and quality. 

Consequently, winemakers in the country should focus on improving quality, and promoting their regional origin, the market intelligence agency suggests.

They should also gain an understanding of what younger consumers look for in wine, with this category boosting interest in higher quality wines.

Authenticity and quality

61% of German wine buyers would be prepared to pay more for a better quality wine; 31% would spend more if they understood the product better; and 21% would pay more for good quality private label wine.

In contrast, only 24% of German consumers looked to a low price as a factor when purchasing wine.

The average price of domestically-produced wine is under €3 a liter, and the biggest share of wine launches remain in the low and mid-range price sector.

However, wine consumers are starting to pay more: the share of German wine launches at or above €6 has almost doubled between 2013 and 2014 (from 9% to 16%).

“German consumers are becoming more sceptical towards mass-produced food and drink,” said Katya Witham, senior food and drink analyst Germany, Mintel. “The increase in new products at higher prices reflects a growing demand for authenticity and quality.”

Witham acknowledges that Germany is no different when it comes to competition in the food and drink sector, and warns that the wine market in Germany is price sensitive thanks to discounters.

Nevertheless, young German wine buyers are shifting to higher end buys. Witham says this is a positive sign for the German wine industry – and suggests wine suppliers should pay more attention to what influences young consumers in their wine choice.

German consumers aged 25-34 have the biggest interest in high quality wines, and are willing to pay more for them. This is followed by the 55+ age category. However, over half of consumers in the 16-24 age category also said they would pay more for better wine.  

The research also found the home is the most common place where wine is consumed (42% said they drunk at home with friends or family and a meal). Relaxing at home (38%), at parties (24%) and outdoor events (19%) were other places where consumers said they drank wine.

Red wine was the most popular (46% bought red wine in 2014), followed by 39% for white wine and 18% for rose. 7% purchased organic wine and 4% turned to non-alcoholic wine. 

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