Weekly Newsletter from PROOF Insight

This week: PROOF – Women in Wine Survey; Climate change & beer production; Modernising recruitment

Research news

Sexism, gender bias, harassment and underrepresentation in leadership: the top issues facing women in wine

Research by Proof Insight – the drinks and hospitality insights agency, and Curious Vines – the community that connects women in wine, highlights the challenges facing women working in the UK wine industry. Sexism, gender bias, harassment and underrepresentation in leadership were found to be the top issues that women want addressed, based on responses from over 700 women.

More than three-quarters (78%) of women feel that sexism/gender bias is an issue in the UK wine industry, and the same proportion (76%) that there is an issue of women being underrepresented in leadership roles. Over 1 in 3 women in wine have faced harassment whilst working, including 1 in 2 18-34-year-olds. Hospitality and sales roles were the more affected; 3 in 4 women in sommelier/ hospitality roles say they have been affected by sexism/gender bias and 62% have faced harassment. 45% in sales face discriminatory pay and conditions.

There is a risk of these issues draining talent: 44% of women have considered leaving the wine industry because of challenges faced, showing how inaction would be to the industry’s detriment. It is hoped the research can now be used to “kickstart conversations for real action to create a new world in wine, where we protect, retain and uplift female resource”, as commented by Queena Wong, Founder of Curious Vines.

The results were presented in-person to industry bodies including WSTA, Drinks Trust, WSET, IMW, UK Sommelier Academy and WineGB. For a copy of the webinar recording, please contact PROOF: [email protected]

Sources: PROOF Insight & Curious Vines, Women in Wine report

Industry news

Research paper suggests climate change is putting beer production under threat

A study focusing on the historic hop-growing areas in Germany, Czech Republic and Slovenia, warned that European hops will become increasingly difficult to grow unless action is taken. A decrease in hops yields and a drop in alpha acid levels, which adds bitterness compound, will make the brewing process more expensive. However, Global Technical Director of Charles Faram hop suppliers, suggests there is an opportunity to grow more hops in England which will have the ideal climate and will provide a good alternative.

Sources: Nature.com, The Drinks Business

Modernising recruitment process could help with hospitality staff shortages

The number of vacancies in the three months to September 2023 is 36% above those in the three months to March 2020. Buzzworks shed light on their recruitment problem, stating their current annual staff turnover is 45% while their goal is 25%. Buzzworks’ Managing Director suggests it is worth adopting faster, tech-driven methods inspired by other industries rather than using traditional job applications and CVs. He cited their latest successful £30,000 recruitment campaign on Tiktok which received a flood of applications and filled all vacancies.

Sources: ONS, The Caterer, Propel

Strange brews & news

A pint or a coffee? Why not both?

BrewDog has launched a coffee stout in collaboration with Grind, the sustainable coffee company. The release comes after Grind opened a café in Brewdog’s bar in Waterloo, London last year. Craft beer has followed cocktails in exploring coffee flavours, particularly when it comes to dark beers. From a consumer perspective, the cocktail market has become saturated with coffee flavours – only 10% of cocktail drinkers want to see more bitter (including coffee) flavours in cocktails going forwards.

Sources: Retail Times, PROOF Intelligence – The Future of Cocktails

Investments, acquisition & openings

  • JD Wetherspoon has put its sites in Republic of Ireland outside of Dublin up for sale
  • Elegant Hotel Collection has launched 25 luxury hotels with plans to reach 50 globally by summer 2024
  • Boutique bowling venue operator, Lane7 is to open its largest UK venue in Birmingham
  • 150 cover restaurant to open in Milton Keynes by Dipna Anand, offering Punjabi and South Indian cuisine
  • Ketel One Vodka owner, Nolet Group, has acquired remainder of Dutch distiller Lucas Bols

Sources: Drinks Business, Restaurant, Langton Capital

Product launches & campaigns

  • Pernod Ricard and The Coca-Cola Company are collaborating to launch Absolut Vodka & Sprite RTD
  • Molson Coors announce plans to launch Happy Thursday, a line of spiked RTD with 4.4% abv, targeting 21-26-year-olds
  • The London Essence Co has added Aromatic Orange & Fig and Raspberry & Rose to its range, they are available in 500ml bottles in retailers
  • St Austell becomes the first pubco to join food waste app Olio
  • Redbreast whiskey has launched a limited edition bird feeder edition of its 12yo whiskey, in collaboration with BirdLife charity
  • Jean-Claude Van Damme has launched an Irish whisky named ‘Old Oak’ from Northern Ireland

Sources: BeverageDaily, Drinks Business

To keep up-to-date on the latest drinks industry research and news, follow PROOF Insight on LinkedIn.