Winning in Wine in South Africa’s On Premise

CGA by NIQ research into South Africa’s On Premise highlights the scale of the wine category and what suppliers and operators can do to grow sales and share. Here, Scott Elliott and George Argyropoulos share insights from CGA’s latest consumer surveys, presented at recent supplier roadshows in Johannesburg and Cape Town.
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A key category with more growth ahead 

CGA by NIQ’s research shows wine is embedded in On Premise habits, with two in five (41%) consumers typically drinking it while out. What’s more, purchases are likely to increase again in 2024. More than a third (35%) of consumers plan to drink Champagne more often in the next 12 months than they do at the moment—double the number who will drink it less (18%). Significant numbers also plan to drink more red wine (30%), sparkling wine (25%) and white wine (19%). 


“Wine has always been at the heart of South Africa’s On Premise, and it’s clear that the category is in a good place at the moment,” says Scott Elliott. “It’s particularly encouraging to see strong interest in Champagne, which suggests consumers are ready to spend on celebratory drinks and occasions, despite pressure on their spending in recent months.” 


Understanding South Africa’s wine consumers 

CGA’s consumer data highlights the key demographics and characteristics of the consumers drinking wine in South Africa’s bars and restaurants. They are keen users of the On Premise, with more than half (52%) visiting for drinks at least weekly—seven percentage points more than the average of 45% among all consumers. Around half typically visit for a treat (54%) and to socialise (50%)—six and seven percentage points higher than the all-consumer averages of 48% and 43%. 


“Wine drinkers are among South Africa’s most engaged and affluent consumers,” says George Argyropoulos. “They want to enjoy themselves with friends and family and to reward themselves, and they’re much more likely than average to make drinking out a top priority. This is a very valuable part of the population, but suppliers need to find the right strategies to meet their needs and unlock their spending.” 


How to meet wine drinkers’ needs 

Quality is high on wine drinkers’ lists of priorities. More than three quarters (77%) say they are likely to pay extra for a higher quality drink—nine percentage points more than average. Around half (52%) say the age of a wine helps them decide if it’s good quality, and tasting notes (46%), tips from family and friends (44%), price points (39%), reputation (37%), recommendations from bar or table staff (36%), and country of origin (34%) are all important factors.  


“Wine drinkers are much more likely than average to look for quality, which brings some great opportunities for trade-ups,” says Scott Elliott. “Many of them are looking for new, exciting and unique experiences, and suppliers and operators that can position their brands to deliver them will be well placed to capitalise on growing wine sales throughout 2024.” 



Learn more 

CGA by NIQ’s consumer research delivers many more insights into consumers’ engagement with the wine category in South Africa’s On Premise. People’s habits and preferences can vary from group to group, channel to channel and occasion to occasion, so precise, data-led targeting is needed to unlock short-term gains and sharpen long-term planning. To learn more about how CGA’s research solutions support winning On Premise activity, contact George Argyropoulos here.


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