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In the UK, Vegan Wines Are Becoming Part of the Christmas Holiday Tradition

12/12/2018

There are already a growing number of vegan wine brands that consumers are starting to reward with increased purchase volume.

Christmas is a time for celebrating traditions with family. And for many UK families, that has always meant a Christmas turkey and a bottle of wine. However, according to the latest statistics from research firm IGD, nearly 10% of UK families will be opting for a vegetarian or vegan meal alternative on Christmas and will be looking to complement that vegan meal with a vegan wine. As a result, 2018 might end up becoming the year vegan food and drink went mainstream.

The findings from IGD are similar to those recently published by Waitrose, which found that nearly one-third of British consumers (33.5%) are cutting down on their consumption of meat, while fully 9.5% identify themselves as vegetarian and another 3% as vegan. And, according to the Vegan Society, the UK has more than 542,000 full-time vegans, with nearly one-half of them under the age of 34. Based on this data, this push toward vegan meals and vegan wines appears to be coming from younger millennial drinkers.

For UK wine retailers, the chance to show off “vegan credentials” could become a way to win over consumers looking for vegan wines. As some UK wine retailers have already noted, the vegan trend is a potentially huge opportunity for vegan wine producers (and the stores that carry them). If the labels on bottles are clearly marked as “vegan” or “vegan-friendly,” that could be the impetus for consumers to reach for that bottle of wine on the shelf.

Moreover, these vegan consumers might not be as price-sensitive as other consumers, raising the prospect that they would be willing to pay a premium price for vegan wines. According to IGD, the typical British consumer will spend an average of £90 on their main Christmas Day meal. And nearly one-third (32%) will actually spend more than £100 on their main Christmas Day meal. In contrast, only 8% of British consumers will spend less than £25 on their holiday meal.

The problem, of course, is that most wines on retail shelves are not vegan. That’s because many winemakers use gelatin or protein from animals, fish or eggs for fining. In contrast, vegan winemakers use earthy substances such as bentonite clay, carbon, limestone, kaolin clay or silica gel for fining.

That being said, there are already a growing number of vegan wine brands that consumers are starting to reward with increased purchase volume. Three wine brands that really stand out as being vegan-friendly include Meiomi, La Crema and Girasole Vineyards. All are California wine brands that have attracted considerable buzz and attention within the wine industry.

As the vegan trend continues to take off, it’s easy to see how these vegan-friendly wines will become even more popular. And the Christmas holiday season may be the time when UK consumers make their preferences known. Retailers that act early – such as by stocking vegan wines and making them easy to find in their stores – are likely to have a competitive advantage over their rivals.

Christmas is a time for celebrating traditions with family. And for many UK families, that has always meant a Christmas turkey and a bottle of wine. However, according to the latest statistics from research firm IGD, nearly 10% of UK families will be opting for a vegetarian or vegan meal alternative on Christmas and will be looking to complement that vegan meal with a vegan wine. As a result, 2018 might end up becoming the year vegan food and drink went mainstream.

The findings from IGD are similar to those recently published by Waitrose, which found that nearly one-third of British consumers (33.5%) are cutting down on their consumption of meat, while fully 9.5% identify themselves as vegetarian and another 3% as vegan. And, according to the Vegan Society, the UK has more than 542,000 full-time vegans, with nearly one-half of them under the age of 34. Based on this data, this push toward vegan meals and vegan wines appears to be coming from younger millennial drinkers.

For UK wine retailers, the chance to show off “vegan credentials” could become a way to win over consumers looking for vegan wines. As some UK wine retailers have already noted, the vegan trend is a potentially huge opportunity for vegan wine producers (and the stores that carry them). If the labels on bottles are clearly marked as “vegan” or “vegan-friendly,” that could be the impetus for consumers to reach for that bottle of wine on the shelf.

Moreover, these vegan consumers might not be as price-sensitive as other consumers, raising the prospect that they would be willing to pay a premium price for vegan wines. According to IGD, the typical British consumer will spend an average of £90 on their main Christmas Day meal. And nearly one-third (32%) will actually spend more than £100 on their main Christmas Day meal. In contrast, only 8% of British consumers will spend less than £25 on their holiday meal.

The problem, of course, is that most wines on retail shelves are not vegan. That’s because many winemakers use gelatin or protein from animals, fish or eggs for fining. In contrast, vegan winemakers use earthy substances such as bentonite clay, carbon, limestone, kaolin clay or silica gel for fining.

That being said, there are already a growing number of vegan wine brands that consumers are starting to reward with increased purchase volume. Three wine brands that really stand out as being vegan-friendly include Meiomi, La Crema and Girasole Vineyards. All are California wine brands that have attracted considerable buzz and attention within the wine industry.

As the vegan trend continues to take off, it’s easy to see how these vegan-friendly wines will become even more popular. And the Christmas holiday season may be the time when UK consumers make their preferences known. Retailers that act early – such as by stocking vegan wines and making them easy to find in their stores – are likely to have a competitive advantage over their rivals.

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