The trends of 2013

Lower alcohol wine mirrors international trends

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Two Oceans has announced the addition to its range of three low-alcohol wines, a red, white and rosé, all at 5.5% alcohol by volume. This range echoes an international trend for a more natural and balanced approach to healthy living.

Designed to be deliberately low in alcohol and calories, the range has an uncompromising stance on quality and taste. As the choice of those wine drinkers looking for health benefits as well as enjoyment, Quay 5 is about more than just taste.

Economic growth

Tough economic conditions both internationally and domestically have affected industries across the board, but for the South African wine industry, there is plenty to smile about. According to SAWIS (the South African Wine Industry Information & Systems), more South Africans are drinking wine, with a 3% increase in month-to-month domestic sales for bottled wines over the last year (as at November 2012).

SAWIS says that the wine industry is showing an upward trend, especially so over the last year, when a stronger rand saw more bottled wine entering the domestic market. A growth in bottled wine consumption in South Africa was seen across all ranges, although there was definitely a stronger interest in more affordable wines. "Health is always important in the alcohol industry, so wines with lower calorie and alcohol content are definitely coming to the fore, which is in line with international trends."

Quay 5 is made from chosen grapes with well-balanced ripeness at lower than average alcohol levels and retails at under R30 a bottle. This may be one of its biggest selling points.

According to Ultra Liquors' GM of wine division, Mark Norrish, it is currently all about price for consumers. Norrish said there was a spike in sales of wines in the R20 to R40 bracket, with a strong move towards better value not necessarily lower priced wines per se, but quality wines at more affordable prices. He added that new entrants to the market generally did well as they offered good quality and value for money.

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