A survey of 2,000 people by Wine Intelligence shows supermarket consumers spend the least on wine, at £4.97 a bottle, and are not willing to pay more than £6.97.
The figures are considerably lower than those for the highest spending sector, the local independent off-licences, of £7.14 and £9.02.
The findings were presented at a London International Wine & Spirits Fair conference which looked at how retailers and suppliers could convince
shoppers to trade up in their wine choices.
David Muir, group development director of brands communications specialist Ogilvy, said shoppers were intimidated by a “wall of wine” in aisles. He suggested classing wines into categories such as ‘everyday drinking’ and ‘special occasions’.
“I don’t understand why retailer and manufacturer haven’t joined hands in a more effective way on this,” he said. “Supermarkets are failing to help consumers get over their fear of making bad wine choices.”
Muir claimed Tesco was being very “un-Tesco like” through its unimaginative wine displays, but praised Waitrose for helping customers to easily trade-up.
The research showed that under-35s spend 5% more per bottle, and are prepared to tolerate price increases of up to 13% before switching brands.
The £6-a-bottle barrier is a myth, according to the findings. About 60% would spend more, but were not persuaded by retailers it would be worth it.