2020 Vision – Majestic’s Seven Trends To Watch In Wine, Beers and Spirits Next Year

With the New Year fast approaching, Majestic have looked closely at customer data to predict the drink’s trend they anticipate will dominate the first year of the next decade – and beyond.

A range review is currently underway, overseen by the stewardship of new Trading Director, Robert Cooke. Here are just some of the categories to keep an eye firmly on – both on Majestic’s shelves and the UK as a whole. 

Appassimento Italy To Overtake Malbec?

The word ‘appassimento’ is now all over Majestic’s website, emails, Google searches and wine labels. It’s a wine style which is in huge growth – and recently came out on top right across the country at the launch of Majestic’s wine fitting service (where over 40,000 blind tastings were conducted). Sales are up a whopping 93% year to date in volume too and shows little sign of slowing into 2020.

The key area it seems to be attracting people, is in the easy drinking style traditionally dominated by malbec drinkers. Could we be seeing wines from Sicily replacing those from South America?

Rum Is Just Getting Started 

First gin, next rum? As spirit hunters search for the next big thing, retailers and start ups are certainly turning their attention to the category – it increasingly feels like it could well be the next big thing. Now Majestic is also expanding its range – with new listings from English drinks producer Rockstar Spirits. 

“Customers want a spirit they can connect with – not just with a mixer, but over a prolonged period of time. That includes a compelling story, an ingredients list and a seriousness and depth of flavour. The innovations in flavouring are really helping to broaden the category too. It’s a really exciting time for rum-fun and they’re learning the lessons of the gin boom well” explained James Reed, Spirit Buyer at Majestic.

Back To The Nineties For Chardonnay

In the nineties, the robust, full-flavour, sun-rich Chardonnays were often paired with new oak to impart maximum depth and flavour. Since the rise of Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc, however, customers have been switching to fresher, lighter styles of wine. 

But Majestic is increasingly seeing customers take up the oaky mantle with wines which are often deemed ‘unfashionable’, usually with the ABC crowd. Big, bold styles of the grape from the USA were up over 130% from the start of April, whilst richer offerings from South America, South Africa and Limoux are also enjoying success.

Low and No Alcohol Wines And Beers 

According to Google, searches for “low alcohol wine” have been rising dramatically in recent years, up over 120% in a three-year period. Both in store and online, customer demand for good-value, zero or low-alcohol options is growing. 

And now in response, Majestic will be rolling out a range of zero-alcohol wines the Winter – as more consumers opt for healthier options even during the Festive Season.

Whether for health or lifestyle reasons, the trend seems to show little sign of slowing down right across Europe. Driven by awareness raising months, like Dry January and Stoptober, more and more (particularly younger) people are foregoing booze. A 2018 study found that there was an 18% increase in teetotal 16-24 year olds between 2005 and 2015. It’s a trend we can expect to continue into next year and beyond.

English Sparkling Diversity

The debate around the right way to produce English Sparkling Wine is one that doesn’t seem to be going away, and yet more and more consumers are eyeing the success of styles like Prosecco with glee.

Majestic predict there may well be a split between those producing traditional method sparkling wine in the UK, and those experimenting with single  varietals, tank fermentation or carbonisation. Either way, the result will mean a wider array of English wines for consumers to browse than ever before.

A Spanish Renaissance

Despite sales of Spanish wine falling flat or declining across the UK, Majestic repositioning its Rioja offering is paying dividends, with sales growth (and growth in our share of the category) – with volumes up 12% for the last 12 months.

Majestic believe that there is still a huge amount of headroom for the country in the UK – and particularly in natural and organic wines. One to watch.

Vegan, Vegetarian and Organic Boom 

With an increase from 39 to over 200 vegan wines in a year – Majestic are putting their sights on further increases to their range of wines in the category, alongside vegetarian and organic listings.

“The way we all eat, and drink, is changing – people are more aware.” explains Trading Director, Rob Cooke. “Wines with no animal or dairy contact are becoming more and more prominent – and we want to make sure the Majestic range reflects that”.

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