German study suggests non alcoholic wine should be a priority

A new study from Germany has revealed positive consumer attitudes towards non alcoholic beverages. Is it time the wine industry took this segment as seriously as the beer industry does?

Photo by Chris Montgomery on Unsplash
Photo by Chris Montgomery on Unsplash

 

Nearly eight in every hundred glasses of beer consumed in Germany contains no alcohol. The figure for wine is just six in a thousand. But, according to a new study, this could change.

When researchers from the Speyer-based agency, Carta, working with the Heilbronn University of Applied Sciences and Heilbronn Institute for Applied Market Research, asked 1001 consumers about their drinking preferences, nearly three quarters said that they had heard of non-alcoholic wine and almost 30% had tried it.

Of these just over half – 51% – thought it ‘good’ or ‘very good’, though a third described it as mediocre.

Some of the people who gave the style the thumbs down, were surprisingly open to trying it again. Indeed only 14% of the respondents who’d drunk non-alcoholic wine said that they would not want to do so again.

This open-minded attitude was nearly as apparent among the survey participants who had yet to experience a wine without alcohol. More than half said they would happily give it a try.

When the survey respondents were asked to explain why they thought that non alcoholic wine might have a place in their lives, the largest vote – 34.4% - went to its ability to allow them to drink wine and safely drive their cars. Nearly a quarter of the respondents cited ‘health’, while nearly as many thought that the style would be ideal during pregnancy or breast feeding.

For Ulrich Zehfuss, owner of the Carta agency, the survey results raise a number of issues. If German consumers are this open to experimenting with and possibly regularly buying non-alcoholic wine, shouldn’t the industry be taking the sector more seriously? Shouldn’t there be wider availability of the products, more factual communication, and more advertising and promotion?

Zehfuss also believes that the German wine trade should consider the potential role non alcoholic wines could have in the context of the ‘SAFER’ campaign launched by the World Health Organisation in September 2018 which sets a global target of reducing harmful use of alcohol by 10% by 2025.

“With our Carta study” he says  “we want to lay the foundation for further developments in this area." 

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