An explosion in sales of vegan wines helped contribute to an increase in subscribers for online retailer Virgin Wines, as Brits ditching animal products in their food start to pay more attention to what’s in their drinks.
Virgin Wines boss Jay Wright told the Standard: “The popularity of our vegan wine range is increasing over time — our vegan wine sales have gone up 51%. People often don’t realise not all wines are vegan.”
Animal products like egg whites are often used to remove sediment from wines and thereby make them unsuitable for vegans, Wright added.
Fruity Australian wines remain the most popular variety with customers, representing 25% of Virgin’s total sales.
Shares in the company fell 7.6% this morning after it posted a £4.6 million drop in sales, while an 8% growth in membership of the firm’s ‘WineBank’ subscription scheme was partially offset by an increase in subscription cancellations. WineBank subscribers now represent 81% of consumer sales.
“At the moment there’s a bit of uncertainty as to what the next year might bring [but] the business model we have means we can really help to maintain our margins,” Wright said.
The Norwich-based company increased its market share from 6.1% to 8.4% over the past year, according to data from IBISWorld.
The results mark the company’s first full year of trading following its £110 million IPO on the AIM market in March 2021. Its share price has dropped 67% over the past year.
Established in 2000, Virgin Wines sells over 500 different types of wine and delivered more than 1 million cases in 2020.