UK consumers deserting cheap vino?

Drink less, drink better. The average bottle of UK wine now costs £5.11, thanks to increased taxation and VAT. But British consumers are also choosing to buy pricier wine, despite the economic woes.

And sales of wines costing more than £7 are increasing by 16% in volume terms. Why the change? %VIRTUAL-SkimlinksPromo%

Less = more

"With the £5 price threshold being crossed, we would expect to see volume fall, but whether or not it's a doomsday scenario very much differs by retailer and wine producer," Helen Stares from market analyst Nielsen told Off Licence News. "They may be selling less, but if it's at a more profitable price then this is surely good news.'

One retailer that is seeing wine sales surge is the Wine Society. Spokesperson Ewan Murray told AOL Money that paying "a quid or two more" for a bottle of wine can give you a considerable quality jump.

"When you consider that for every £6 bottle of wine you buy, half of that goes to the Chancellor of Exchequer - duty costs £2 and VAT costs you £1." Murray confirms that average spend is also rising, while claiming Wine Society prices have been held down in the last 12 months.

But cheap is okay

Sales of Australian wine to the UK continue to surge with total sales surpassing the £1bn mark with Italy (£830m), France (£765m) and the US (£686m) lying behind. Although Spain lay behind the market leaders, it saw total sales climb 17% in total to almost £540m.

Don't forget the cheapies. British consumers are becoming less sniffy about buying wine from retailers like Aldi and Lidl. Last year Lidl whacked the competition with a humble £3.59 Rioja that managed to outclass rivals costing up to ten times as much.

Quite an achievement given that the Coalition has the highest wine duty in Europe - up +50% in five years.

Seven of the craziest supermarket glitches
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UK consumers deserting cheap vino?

One of the most popular glitches, was a wine deal at Tesco back in November 2012, where a series of offers clashed, leaving a bottle of £9.99 wine selling for £1.50.

The 'three wines for £10' deal apparently clashed with a '25% off when you buy six or more bottles' deal. The 25% was accidentally taken off the original price rather than the reduced one, leaving the wine at rock bottom prices. Deal-hunters cleared the shelves around the country.

Perhaps the most popular glitch from Tesco came in June 2011, when instead of taking £4 off the cost of a £20 case of beer, the supermarket accidentally started selling the cases for £4. The ensuring rush was nicknamed the 'beer stampede'.

Sadly not every supermarket pricing glitch comes with such a happy ending for consumers. In March last year the bargain-hunters thought their luck was in, when Tesco accidentally priced the new iPad at just £44.99 instead of around £650. Sadly it spotted the mistake before shipping the goods. The small print on its website meant it could refuse to sell at this price, and refund their customers instead.

In September 2012, Asda was responsible for one of the most expensive glitches. The Asda Price Guarantee offered vouchers to customers who could have got their shopping cheaper elsewhere.

However, when certain trigger products were in the basket, the supermarket massively under-priced the shopping at other supermarkets, and offered huge vouchers to shoppers. In many instances the vouchers came to roughly the same as the cost of the shopping.

In April, a mistake on their website resulted in Tesco selling 8 packs of Bulmers cider 568ml bottles for £5 - rather than a six pack for £8.

Deal-hunters snapped up the deal online, and had varying degrees of success. Some had their order delivered in full, others had six delivered for £5 - and were able to negotiate their way to another two, while others were offered six for £5 or their money back.

October last year saw one of the most famous glitches, when Tesco Terry's Chocolate Oranges were subject to two deals at the same time, and the price dropped from £2.75 to 29p. There were plenty of people getting chocolate oranges last Christmas.

A buy-one-get-one-free deal went awry at Tesco in March. People putting four tubs of I can't Believe It's Not Butter or Oykos yogurt packs into the trolley were only being charged for one.

Soon the online deal-hunting community was in action, with one person bagging 50 tubs of butter and 22 pots of yogurt for £8.79 - a saving of £133.89.


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