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Online Wine Sales Booming in Great Britain


Internet wine sales topped £800 million in 2015, which represents ten to eleven percent of the overall British wine market. Those figures were announced by the German Wine Institute (DWI), drawing on a survey conducted by Wine Intelligence, a market research institute.

Twenty-five percent (7.4 million) of the island's 29.6 million regular wine drinkers ordered wine on the internet last year, the study reports. They spent £7 per bottle on average.

The market researchers are predicting that British online wine sales will continue to grow in the next three years to 14 percent of that country's overall market. By comparison: this same segment represents just four percent of the US market.

On the whole, British online wine buyers are more likely to choose German wines than the overall British wine-drinking public. 18 percent of Britain's internet wine buyers consumed wine from Germany in 2015. That figure drops to just 14 percent when broadened to include all wine consumers.

As with other products, the internet is today a preferred source of information for all topics related to wine. In the last five years, the number of persons searching online for information about wine rose by 28 percent to 17.2 million. The number posting about or otherwise discussing wine online almost doubled (+90 percent).

What stands out however is that the underlying sources for that information remain largely unchanged. The recommendations of friends and family still have the biggest influence on purchasing decisions, even if these recommendations are increasingly being made on social networks. The second most important digital source of data, media and supermarket websites, are in essence just new channels for existing information sources.

The Wine Intelligence study found that British online wine buyers tend to be younger and express an above-average interest in wine. What they most appreciated in online purchasing is the convenience, including for delivery.

Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon were the most frequently purchased red wines consumed by British online wine buyers in 2015. Germany's most important red wine varietal, Pinot Noir (Spätburgunder), was in fourth place, behind Syrah. Among white wines, Sauvignon Blanc took top billing, followed closely by Pinot Gris/Pinot Grigio (Grauburgunder).

Germany is the world's second biggest producer of that latter variety, indicating strong room for growth on the British market. The same applies to Germany's most important variety, Riesling, which was fifth on the popularity chart.

Companies in the German wine industry are being offered a 40% discount on the complete study when ordered from Wine Intelligence.

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