Room for more growth as casual dining’s wine value sales rise

The value of wine sales in casual dining restaurants has jumped by close to 7% in the last year, says new CGA report in partnership with The Buyer.
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The value of wine sales in casual dining restaurants has jumped by close to 7% in the last year, with nearly half of guests choosing to drink it—but only a quarter of them rate the wine choice as very good.

Those are just three of a host of important takeaways from CGA’s Wine Insight report series, produced in association with on-trade drinks website The Buyer and available to purchase now. The reports are a rich source of wine category facts and figures, which combine with expert analysis of market contexts to deliver actionable insights for drinks companies, restaurants, suppliers and others seeking to grow wine sales.

Data from the first in the series of reports, Casual Dining – Changes in the High Street, highlights the huge scale of the market at casual dining brands, with 46% of consumers choosing to drink wine on their visits to the sector in 2018. The figure is up slightly on 2017 and is significantly higher than all other drinks including lager (31%) and cocktails (21%). Italian-focused brands including Carluccio’s, Prezzo, Jamie’s Italian, Zizzi, Bella Italia and PizzaExpress are the casual dining brands most closely aligned to the profile of wine consumers, the research reveals.

Delving deeper into what wine consumers are looking for from operators, the report highlights consumers desire for quality, the importance of the wine menu and range and engaging consumers with the category, be it through wine tasting or a focus on the “sharing” aspect of wine. By putting wine consumers under the microscope, the report also offers actionable insight into how to appeal further to those already drinking wine at casual dining venues, along with how to draw in those who are reluctant to consume the category in these outlets.

Casual Dining – Changes in the High Street launches CGA’s 2019 series of Wine Insight reports, with more briefings to follow bi-monthly over the course of the year. They will include ‘Global Origins and Price Polarisation, which will review drinkers’ latest country and varietal preferences, important movements in pricing and the balance of demand between premium and standard wines.

CGA experts will also be gazing into their crystal balls in two more reports: Wine Threats: Competitive Categories, which will look at challenges to wine from drinks like premium spirits, cocktails, craft beer and fruit cider, as well as the potential impact of Brexit; and The Future for Wine, which will consider how the wine category will change over the next decade, including via innovation, dispense technology, product diversification and education.

The reports are based on a nationally representative sample of wine drinkers surveyed via CGA’s BrandTrack service, and industry data from the On Premise Measurement service. Statistics are complemented by commentary from wine expert Richard Siddle of The Buyer.

Mark Newton, senior category development manager for wine at CGA, said: “Our new Wine Insight series provides a 360-degree view of the fast moving out of home wine drinking market. It shows how wine is flourishing in the dynamic casual dining sector, but also indicates that restaurants and suppliers could grow sales further if they properly understand consumers’ needs and habits. In such a competitive wine drinking market, intelligence like this is absolutely crucial to success.”

Richard Siddle, co-founder and editor of The Buyer, said: “This new series of category reports from CGA is a great way to understand the key questions and changes currently facing the wine industry in the UK on-trade. Through a combination of industry-leading data and expert insight they will help you to recognise opportunity, unlock potential and increase sales.”

Subscriptions to CGA’s second series of Wine Insight reports are available to purchase now, with special individual report rates also available. To express an interest and for more information, please contact Mark Newton at

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