wine drinkers

Wine sales have been driven by the boom in at-home dining

Vintners have cause to raise a glass. Still and sparkling wines have together enjoyed the biggest boost in booze of the past year, with £428.7m of added sales. That’s an extra 34.2 million litres sold by the supermarkets – driven by the boom in at-home dining.

“With cooking becoming a key activity during lockdown, consumption of table wine has increased over beer and cider,” says NielsenIQ wine consulting lead Ana Garcia Anchustegui.

The reopening of pubs and restaurants has done little to change that trend, she adds. “Despite the on-trade reopening in March, good category performance has continued for table wine, meaning that some of the changes in drinking habits we’ve seen might stay beyond the pandemic.”

In still wine, more innovative brands have generally performed best. Treasury Wine Estates’ 19 Crimes brand (see Top Launch, below) has delivered the most growth. It’s up by £53.4m. The next fastest is Accolade Wines’ Jam Shed, which has added £29.1m.

Both brands claim to be luring millennials, a demographic that has long under-traded in wine, with more accessible flavour profiles and clearer language and branding.


“19 Crimes is known for pushing the boundaries when it comes to innovation,” says TWE head of marketing Ben Blake. “Millennial consumers are always on the hunt for new and exciting products, and exploration is an area 19 Crimes particularly succeeds in.”

Accolade marketing director Tom Smith also hammers home the importance of NPD, having added a rosé to Jam Shed in May. “We hear constantly from customers and consumers that the wine category isn’t innovative enough,” he says. “The risk of not being innovative is that we don’t recruit younger consumers, which is a disaster for the long-term health of the category.”

Meanwhile, sparkling wine and champagne have relied on Britain’s improved mood to add £227.4m in sales, suggests Garcia Anchustegui. “With more reasons to celebrate now that restrictions have been lifted, both bubbles are seeing strong growth, recording even larger sales than pre-Covid.”

Top Launch 2021

19 Crimes The Deported | TWE


With the wine category struggling to attract younger adults, this coffee-infused Australian red may be just the sort of innovation that’s needed. Launched in March, The Deported (rsp: £10/750ml) is aimed at tapping interest in “wine-fusion” products among drinkers under 35, says Treasury Wine Estates. The tipple – made with Colombian cold brew coffee – has helped to drive a 124.6% surge in value sales for 19 Crimes, making it the fastest-growing wine brand of the year.

The Grocer’s Top Products Survey 2021: who’s up, who’s down – and our overview of the key trends