Retailers and suppliers are increasing their ranges of lower-alcohol wines in response to growing demand for lighter styles.

Constellation this week announced it would be rolling out a 5.5% abv Moscato and a 5.7% abv Pink Moscato under the Banrock Station brand. They will go into Tesco stores next month (rsp £4.99) after a successful on-trade debut.

"We want to create a lighter drinking category and this is the first of a number of launches we will have this year," said Claire Griffiths, Constellation VP for brands marketing.

Tom Wallis, VP for sales, added: "I am pretty confident we will see lower-alcohol wine sections in most retailers in the next 12 months."

Retailers have already started making changes. Sainsbury's recently began using in-aisle promotional space to group together some lower-alcohol wines.

"There will be further range developments for quality lower-alcohol wines in Sainsbury's later in 2011," said wine buyer David Peek.

Sales of lower-abv wines have also been growing at Tesco, according to Laura Jewell MW, senior product development manager for wine. Tesco has upped its listings of below-11% abv wines over the past year.

Consumers are far more interested in lower-alcohol wines than they once were, said Adam Wyatt, head of Old World wine brands at importer PLB.

"Our research shows that because consumers are more health-conscious now, they are buying less high-abv wines," he said. "Retailers have already done a lot of research into this themselves, which demonstrates this will be an important category ­going forward."

Wyatt said Moscato, which is naturally lower in alcohol, was likely to do well because of its naturally sweet flavour. "The British wine-drinking palate tends towards sweet flavours."

Tesco already stocks two Brown Brothers variants a 5.5% abv Moscato and a 7% abv Moscato Rosa and a 6.5% abv own-label Moscato Spumante NV.

"These wines sell well within their categories, ­although they make up a small percentage of our overall sales," noted Jewell.