Former Booker wine controller Andrea Hargrave warned that wine promotions were in danger of driving value out of the market.
She said: “The wine market is becoming increasingly driven by promotion with sales growth see-sawing wildly depending on promotional activity at any given time.” She added: “There appears to be an ever-increasing promotional dependence in the category, which I believe is a sign, if a rather unhealthy one, of its maturity.”
Hargrave said suppliers, wholesalers and retailers were never going to stop promotional activity. But if they planned carefully they could work together to drive value through the sale of better quality wines.
She explained: “For instance we could see more share of voice for two for £10 deals rather than three for £10.”
And she added: “I also believe we need to consider how honest our promotions are. For example, buy one get one free deals. Are the consumers really that gullible? I have heard many shoppers in Morrison’s and Sainsbury’s discussing the fact that the wine’s price is artificially inflated and then reduced, which is hardly a sound basis for the industry to move forward on.”