Food and Beverage Business
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NICE is Innovating the Session Wine Category

Food and Drink Technology

The female-led team at London-based wine startup, NICE, is set to launch its first ever, lower ABV Session Wine in January 2024. The wine will be available exclusively from the NICE website and to the on trade in 75cl bottles (RRP £10).

NICE is recognized for innovating in formats such as can, box, and on tap, attempting to make wine more inclusive and less intimidating, as well as bringing a fresh outlook to the industry.

“Among the biggest challenges consumers face with wine is not enjoying how strong the alcohol content is,” notes a KAM data report from 2023. An average 250ml glass of wine has 37% higher alcohol content than the average pint of lager, for example.

NICE Session Wine has been created to offer consumers the choice to moderate more easily. Co-founder Lucy Busk notes that moderation of alcohol “isn’t new and it isn’t niche.” The market is now starting to see retailers introduce a Mid-Zone in the wine aisle (7-10% abv) but NICE says there isn’t a ‘Sessionable’ option available at a lower ABV like there has been in RTDs and beer. This means there’s a £150m category opportunity just by catching up with the adjacent category market shares.

Whether consumers are trying to avoid the immediate effects associated with the higher level of alcohol, or the after effects the next morning, NICE Session Wine has been created to offer consumers the choice to moderate more easily. “Three out of four UK adults are proactively moderating their alcohol intake,” Busk says. “It’s also not just a Gen Z phenomenon, we can see from the data that it’s happening across all age groups. That’s why we created Session wine, to offer consumers more choice.”

The 3.4% ABV NICE Session Sauvignon Blanc and NICE Session Merlot means that if drinkers fancy three glasses of wine, they’ll have imbibed the strength of just one glass of wine. Beer drinkers are familiar with session lagers and IPAs, now, thanks to Future Wine Company NICE, wine is now Sessionable too.

The market is now starting to see retailers such as Sainsbury’s introduce a Mid-Zone in the wine aisle (7-10% abv) but NICE says there isn’t a ‘Sessionable’ option available at a lower ABV like there has been in RTDs and beer. This means there’s a £150m category opportunity just by catching up with the adjacent category market shares.

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