UK How People Shop for Alcoholic Drinks Market Report 2022
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"Meal deals’ important role in driving alcoholic drinks sales, particularly among younger adults, suggests that more brands should look to be included in these promotions. Meal deals can help to…

UK How People Shop for Alcoholic Drinks Market Report 2022

£ 2,195 (Excl.Tax)


The UK How People Shop for Alcoholic Drinks Market Report examines consumers’ behaviours in relation to the retail purchase of alcoholic drinks, retail purchase channels for alcoholic drinks, and the impact of the cost of living crisis on the UK alcoholic drinks market. This report covers the UK alcoholic drinks market price inflation, market forecast, market segmentation and UK alcohol industry trends.


UK Alcoholic Drinks Market Current Landscape

The UK alcoholic drinks market has an inherently discretionary nature, which puts them in the firing line for cutbacks while household incomes are under pressure. However, the income squeeze will also continue to favour the lower-priced retail at the expense of the on-trade. The UK alcoholic drinks market has good potential to drive the purchase of new brands and variants of alcoholic drinks by using prominent in-store displays which play an important role in prompting the purchase of new alcoholic drinks.


Alcohol Industry Trends, Market Share and Key Statistics

With wage growth continuing to lag behind inflation, the situation for the UK alcoholic drinks market in 2023 will largely continue the patterns from 2022. Retail sales should pick up in 2024 as consumer finances improve, however, this will be tempered by people returning to the on-trade pub market.

  • 8 in 10 adults in the UK buy alcoholic drinks.
  • 70% of adults who bought alcoholic drinks purchased them from a supermarket.
  • 50% of consumers stock up on alcoholic drinks when they are on promotion.
  • 62% of Brits agree that discounts allow them to purchase alcoholic drinks they wouldn’t usually be able to afford.


Future Alcohol Industry Trends

In the longer term, the ageing population of the UK, in particular, the projected 1.1% decline in the population of 18-34s over 2021-26, will erode category sales in the UK alcoholic drinks market. This trend will also hinder on-trade sales growth, with younger adults being the key pub-goers.

To combat this, the UK alcoholic drinks market can lean into the important role that meal deals play in supporting alcoholic drinks sales, 31% of category buyers bought alcoholic drinks as part of a meal deal, therefore more brands should therefore look to be included in these promotions. Improved household finances should give some further support to the sales of the UK alcoholic drinks market.

To discover more about the UK How People Shop for Alcoholic Drinks Market Report 2022, read our UK Alcoholic Drinks Market Report 2022, or take a look at our Alcoholic Drinks Market Research Reports.


Quickly Understand

  • The expected impact of the income squeeze on the alcoholic drinks market.
  • Changes in consumer shopping habits in relation to alcoholic drinks as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Trends in in-store and online retail activation involving alcoholic drinks.
  • Retail purchase channels for the alcoholic drinks market.
  • Explores alcoholic industry trends and flavour innovation.
  • Means to drive trial of alcoholic drinks.
  • The importance of price promotions in the alcoholic drinks market.


Covered in this Report

Brands: Brewdog, Beavertown Brewery, Deliveroo, Green & Blacks, Diageo, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Bestway, Costcutter, Bargain Booze, Spar, Majestic, Tesco, Aldi, Lidl, Waitrose, M&S, I Heart Wines, Mionetto Aperol, Bombay Sapphire, Bailey’s, Southern Comfort, Heineken, Amstel, Opihr, 19 Crimes, Ketel One.

Products: Beers, ciders, wines, spirits.


Expert Analysis from a Specialist in the Alcoholic Drinks Sector

This report, written by Alice Baker, a leading analyst in the alcoholic drink sector, delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends in the UK alcoholic drinks market and add expert context to the numbers.

Meal deals’ important role in driving alcoholic drinks sales, particularly among younger adults, suggests that more brands should look to be included in these promotions. Meal deals can help to cut through decision paralysis among people feeling overwhelmed by retailers’ selections, and can also help to drive sales of alcoholic drinks during the income squeeze by positioning the drinks as part of an alternative to eating out.”

Alice Baker
Senior Food & Drink Research Analyst

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

      • Key issues covered in this Report
        • Market context
          • Products covered in this Report
          • Executive Summary

              • The five-year outlook for retail sales of alcoholic drinks
                • Figure 1: Category outlook, 2022-27
              • The market
                • Inflation hits household finances and all parts of the alcoholic drinks category in 2022
                  • COVID-19 effects lasting changes in the nation’s shopping habits
                    • Companies and brands
                      • Retailers and brands look to capitalise on pandemic-driven shifts in consumer behaviours
                        • Alcoholic drinks brands continue to target occasions through in-store activations
                          • The consumer
                            • Eight in 10 adults buy alcoholic drinks
                              • Figure 2: Purchase of alcoholic drinks, by category, by how people describe their household finances, 2022
                            • Online is a major purchase channel for alcoholic drinks, discounters will gain from the income squeeze
                              • Figure 3: Retail channels for buying alcoholic drinks, by retailer type, 2022
                            • Encouraging recommendations and in-store displays are among leading means to drive purchase
                              • Figure 4: Prompts to buy a new alcoholic drink, 2022
                            • Promotions will be especially important during the income squeeze
                              • Figure 5: Alcoholic drinks buying behaviours, 2022
                            • Meal deals warrant further exploration, consumers need guidance
                              • Figure 6: Attitudes towards alcoholic drinks, 2022
                          • Issues and Insights

                            • Make judicious use of promotions to navigate the income squeeze
                              • Meal deals warrant further exploration for their role in driving sales
                                • Satisfy shoppers’ need for guidance to drive purchase
                                • Market Drivers

                                  • The conflict in Ukraine will hurt the UK economy
                                    • GDP reached pre-pandemic levels in November 2021…
                                      • …but the post-COVID-19 bounce-back will be followed by a period of slower growth
                                        • Employment has held up better than expected
                                          • Inflation is the key concern in 2022 for consumers, brands and the economy
                                            • Inflation hits all parts of the alcoholic drinks category in 2022
                                              • Figure 7: All items and alcoholic drinks price inflation, 2017-22
                                            • Inflation runs faster in the on-trade
                                              • Consumers’ financial wellbeing has slipped from its recent high point…
                                                • Figure 8: Household financial wellbeing index, 2016-22
                                              • …and concerns over inflation are coming to the fore
                                                • Income squeeze to impede volume sales of alcoholic drinks over 2022-23
                                                  • Patterns from the 2008-09 recession will not necessarily be repeated
                                                    • Shifts to lower-cost channels will undermine category value
                                                      • Any decline in the on-trade channel could impede retail take-up of new entrants
                                                        • COVID-19 effects lasting changes to consumer shopping habits
                                                          • Growth in online retail boosts online purchase of alcoholic drinks
                                                            • Localism trend boosts specialist alcohol shops
                                                              • Pandemic boosts the popularity of alcohol subscription services
                                                                • Alcohol moderation trend likely to gain from income squeeze
                                                                  • Figure 9: Alcohol usage and reduction, 2021 and 2022
                                                                • Ageing population poses a challenge for certain segments and for on-trade sales
                                                                  • Wine industry raises concerns that alcohol duty reforms will raise costs and reduce supply
                                                                    • HFSS regulations open opportunities for alcoholic drinks
                                                                    • Innovation in Retail Channels

                                                                      • Retailers redesign their store layouts
                                                                        • Asda moves to group wine by grape variety instead of region
                                                                          • Bestway trials merging Costcutter and Bargain Booze in ‘store within a store’ format
                                                                            • Spar creates a dedicated area for alcoholic drinks and lists Laithwaites wines
                                                                              • Retailers and brands launch their own subscription services
                                                                                • Majestic looks to educate consumers with its new wine club
                                                                                  • Craft beer brands launch their own subscription services
                                                                                    • Leading grocers trial rapid delivery services over 2019-22
                                                                                      • Retailers look to guide consumers around the wine category
                                                                                        • Tesco launches charitable wine recommendation service
                                                                                          • M&S revives the ‘Wine of the Month’ campaign
                                                                                            • Waitrose revives its at-home wine tasting service
                                                                                            • Selected Retail Activations

                                                                                                • Beer brands take meal pairing suggestions a stage further
                                                                                                  • Spirit, wine and liqueur brands put cocktail/mixed drinks recipes in shoppers’ path
                                                                                                    • Sparkling wine brands look to find new usage occasions
                                                                                                      • Figure 10: Instagram post by I Heart Wines as part of its ‘Movie Nights’ campaign, 2021
                                                                                                    • Alcoholic drinks companies target seasonal events
                                                                                                      • Diageo links up with chocolate brands
                                                                                                        • Figure 11: Examples of seasonal displays grouping alcoholic drinks and chocolate, 2021-22
                                                                                                      • Various brands use on-pack features to further engage consumers
                                                                                                        • Figure 12: Bottles in-store featuring Bombay Sapphire’s ‘Festive Cocktail Experience’ promotional materials, 2021
                                                                                                      • Free gifts can help to build an aspirational lifestyle positioning
                                                                                                        • Beer brands look to build associations with healthy lifestyles
                                                                                                          • Figure 13: Heineken’s in-store displays highlighting its sponsorship of the Euros 2020 Finals, 2021
                                                                                                        • Brands use serving glasses to enhance drinks’ visual appeal
                                                                                                          • Heineken links with James Bond release, Opihr offers free globe glasses
                                                                                                            • Figure 14: In-store display by Opihr as part of its ‘Let the Taste Take You There’ campaign, 2021
                                                                                                          • 19 Crimes links up with Asda to provide further details about wine
                                                                                                            • Figure 15: 19 Crimes’ ‘Infamous Origins’ campaign display in-store at Asda, with screenshots of on-shelf display screens, 2022
                                                                                                          • Alcohol brands use in-store displays to highlight their charity link-ups
                                                                                                            • Figure 16: Examples of in-store displays by alcoholic drinks brands highlighting their support for ocean conservation projects, 2021
                                                                                                        • Purchase of Alcoholic Drinks

                                                                                                          • Eight in 10 adults buy alcoholic drinks
                                                                                                            • Figure 17: Purchase of alcoholic drinks, by type, 2022
                                                                                                          • Some alcoholic drinks will fare better than others during the income squeeze
                                                                                                            • Figure 18: Purchase of alcoholic drinks, by category, by how people describe their household finances, 2022
                                                                                                        • Retail Channels for Buying Alcoholic Drinks

                                                                                                          • Four in 10 category buyers buy alcoholic drinks online
                                                                                                            • Figure 19: In-store and online buying of alcoholic drinks, 2022
                                                                                                          • Online buying of alcoholic drinks peaks among parents of under-16s
                                                                                                            • Supermarkets lead both on in-store and online buying
                                                                                                              • Figure 20: Retail channels for buying alcoholic drinks, by retailer type, 2022
                                                                                                            • Discount supermarkets will benefit from the income squeeze
                                                                                                              • Under-35s are more likely to buy from convenience stores…
                                                                                                                • …and from specialist drinks retailers
                                                                                                                  • Figure 21: Purchase of alcoholic drinks from selected retail channels, by age, 2022
                                                                                                                • Online drinks specialists will be more affected by the income squeeze than specialist shops
                                                                                                                • Prompts to Buy a New Alcoholic Drink

                                                                                                                  • Various means to tempt shoppers to new products
                                                                                                                    • Income squeeze will not necessarily make people less adventurous
                                                                                                                      • Figure 22: Prompts to buy a new alcoholic drink, 2022
                                                                                                                    • Friend/family recommendations are the leading prompt to try a new drink
                                                                                                                      • Figure 23: Selected prompts to buy a new alcoholic drink, by age, 2022
                                                                                                                    • Offer shared discounts to incentivise recommendations
                                                                                                                      • Capitalise on the positive self-image around alcohol knowledgeability
                                                                                                                        • In-store positioning is particularly important in convenience stores and specialists
                                                                                                                          • Under-35s are especially likely to have bought a new drink after trying it in the on-trade
                                                                                                                          • Alcoholic Drinks Buying Behaviours

                                                                                                                            • Companies are under some pressure to maintain promotions
                                                                                                                              • Figure 24: Alcoholic drinks buying behaviours, 2022
                                                                                                                            • Link up with supermarket loyalty schemes on targeted and personalised promotions
                                                                                                                              • Personalised promotions can tap into the emotional associations around ‘savvy shopping’
                                                                                                                                • ‘Switch and save’ suggestions appeal widely
                                                                                                                                  • Promotions enable purchase of high-end brands for many
                                                                                                                                    • Meal deals warrant further exploration for their role in driving sales
                                                                                                                                      • Meal deals can help alcoholic drinks to find new usage occasions…
                                                                                                                                        • …and can appeal during income squeeze as alternative to going out
                                                                                                                                        • Attitudes towards Alcoholic Drinks

                                                                                                                                          • Fulfil consumers’ need for guidance to drive alcoholic drinks sales
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 25: Attitudes towards alcoholic drinks, 2022
                                                                                                                                          • Meal deals appeal strongly to those who find supermarkets’ alcohol selections overwhelming
                                                                                                                                            • Place user reviews in shoppers’ paths at point of sale to help guide their choice
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 26: Examples of POS display and on-shelf labelling highlighting Vivino ratings at Sainsbury’s, Didcot, 2021
                                                                                                                                            • Promote subscription services as helping people to navigate the category
                                                                                                                                              • Many feel positively about independent shops, but few act on this
                                                                                                                                                • Supermarkets must boost their image as supporting their local community
                                                                                                                                                • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                                                                                                    • Abbreviations
                                                                                                                                                      • Consumer research methodology

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