Off-trade volume sales of wine returned to declines in 2021, in line with a longer-term trend, which was only briefly interrupted in 2020, when consumption occasions strongly switched to the home in the first year of the pandemic. On-trade sales only witnessed a modest recovery in 2021, as foodservice outlets remained subject to pandemic-related restrictions, such as only opening for takeaway services in the first quarter of the year, and with food and drinks allowed only for consumption at outdoor terraces from late March.
As consumers continued to seek to treat themselves at home due to the trading restrictions affecting foodservice, they increasingly opted for premium wine, thereby contributing to the rise in unit prices for the category through off-trade in 2021, notably for sparkling wine and still light grape wine. Germans also became increasingly interested in learning about various types of wines, their history and provenance, which continued to drive premiumisation.
Although private label holds the highest combined volume share in wine, it continued to gradually lose ground in 2021. The private label ranges of the two largest discounter chains, Aldi Einkauf GmbH & Co oHG and Lidl & Schwarz Stiftung & Co KG, which occupy the top two spots in the competitive landscape, due to the prominence of discounters as the largest distribution channel for wine, experienced declining share as discounters faced an erosion of its lead against the rise of e-commerce.
Off-trade wine sales are predicted to stagnate over the forecast period, as growth is expected to remain undermined by unfavourable demographic factors. The wine drinking population in German is skewed towards older generations, while young adults, including millennials and Generation Z, increasingly adopt healthier lifestyles, notably by drinking less alcohol.
Despite the overall maturity of wine, the long-term trend towards home entertainment, the growing popularity of home delivery services as an alternative to cooking, and the rising interest in food pairings are likely to remain key drivers in helping consumers become more knowledgeable about still light grape wine, thereby sustaining growth in off-trade value sales.
Still rosé wine is expected to continue to record solid growth in off-trade volume sales and to benefit from a rise in the offer of German rosé wine, although its performance will remain closely dependent on summer meteorological conditions, as consumption is higher during hot and dry weather. Still white wine is also expected to record positive growth, supported by premiumisation efforts by German vineyards, notably with brands seeking to offer a more distinct positioning associated with drinking occasions such as celebrations to target a younger audience.
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This is the aggregation of still and sparkling light grape wines, fortified wine and vermouth and non-grape wine. In terms of alcohol content, light wine usually falls into the 8-14% ABV bracket while fortified wine ranges from 14-23% ABV. Low and non-alcoholic wine is also included in the data (attributed to each sector as appropriate).See All of Our Definitions
This report originates from Passport, our Wine research and analysis database.
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