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New findings from the most recent WSTA & Wine Intelligence "Consumer Intelligence" report confirms anecdotal evidence that glass weight and colour are not important choosing cues for consumers buying wine and therefore that industry-led moves from heavy to lighter glass was not likely to encounter heavy consumer resistance.

The results showed that when choosing a wine, variations in glass packaging are not "top of mind" choice cues for most consumers. Only 10% considered the colour, and just 7% thought the weight of the bottle were important, compared to other factors like grape variety (74%), promotional offer (66%) or country of origin (63%).

60% of wine drinkers consider glass bottles to be environmentally friendly, and 84% think they are easy to recycle.

Only 13% of consumers (16% of men and just 10% of women) think that that lighter bottles signify cheaper wine, although only around a third of wine consumers think that lighter bottles are better for the environment. Glass weight does not figure as an important issue for consumers of either red or white wine, so it is likely that consumers would not be greatly resistant to a change of glass weight.

Also 37% of consumers indicated that they would be prepared to consider alternatives to glass bottles for wine packaging with PET and Bag-in-Box having most consumer? support. 63% of wine consumers think wine should only be packaged in glass bottles, but when shown other forms of packaging, five out of six were neutral towards or indicated they were likely to buy at least one type of alternative packaging.

The appeal of alternative packaging also varied by occasion: when considering various options for buying wine in alternative packages such as parties, picnics or informal meals at home, 82% of consumers would consider a PET bottle, 79% a bag-in-box, 65% a pouch, 59% a tetrapak carton, but 61% ruled out wine in a ring pull can for all occasions.

Commenting on the quarterly Consumer Intelligence Report, WSTA Chief Executive Jeremy Beadles said: "Many of our members are currently looking at ways of reducing their environmental impact and for some this includes considering alternative packaging solutions: lighter weight glass bottles, plastic bottles, pouches, cans and cartons. I hope that this research will help them understand consumer attitudes towards these developments.
One of the key messages from this research is that consumers are open to change, especially if they understand the benefits but that they are conscious of how others will judge the quality of their wine purchase. Older consumers appear to be more receptive to innovation away from the traditional wine package with screw-cap, lighter glass and alternatives to glass."

Notes to Editors
Please note: neither WSTA nor Wine Intelligence are seeking to take a position on packaging or promote different packaging types with this study. The objective is to establish consumer opinion and report these opinions to the industry candidly and impartially.

1. The Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) is the only UK organisation representing the whole of the wine and spirit supply chain including producers, importers, wholesalers, bottlers, warehouse keepers, freight forwarders, brand owners, licensed retailers and consultants. The WSTA has 310 member companies.

2. Wine Intelligence is a consultancy that helps industry leaders tackle business and marketing strategy problems that make the difference between success and failure in the global wine market. They provide a unique combination of wine industry experience, the best techniques available in market research today and comprehensive understanding of major wine export markets.

3. WSTA & Wine Intelligence produce the "Consumer Intelligence" briefing quarterly to provide insight on what is happening in terms of consumer behaviour in the wine category. This quarter the survey included a focused set of questions asking consumers about their views on packaging.

4. What consumers consider when buying wine... See the PDF

For more information please contact the WSTA on 020 7089 3877