glasses of wine, beer and spirits

Belgium, people are consuming better quality wines

1. The on-trade market
2. The retail market
3. Wine consumption
4. Leading wine origins
5. Bottle Size
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Belgium enjoys one of the highest per capita incomes in Europe. It has a complex federal political structure. Political divisions between Dutch-speaking Flanders in the north and French-speaking Wallonia in the south have led to constitutional amendments granting these regions formal autonomy. The Brussels-Capital Region is an officially bilingual enclave within the Flemish Region. A German-speaking Community exists in eastern Wallonia.


The Belgian economy is heavily service oriented and shows a dual nature with a large economic gap between the Dutch speaking Flanders region in the north, and the French speaking Wallonia in the South. While Flanders is very trade-minded, Wallonia tends to mimic France’s positions.

Belgium economic indicators

The On-Trade Market

Consumption of food products in Belgium mostly happens at home, but the food service market in Belgium features a very high number of independent outlets in all of the main categories, such as full-service restaurants, fast food, café and bar has been difficult for independent foodservice operators, as they face both tightening fiscal legislation and increasing competition from more modern and dynamic concepts, especially in fast food, full-service restaurants and cafés/bars.

In 2018, there are about 58,391 horeca-businesses in Belgium, of which 34,102 in Flanders. About 54% of these in Flanders are restaurants. In Belgium, there is a tendency to serve both drinks and food, compared to neighboring countries where there is usually more interest for solely drinks in these establishments based on consumer demand or preferences.

The Retail Market

In terms of market share, large supermarkets represent 50% of annual revenue of the Belgian food retail sector, medium-sized supermarkets represent 30%, small retailers/convenience stores represent 5%, and hard discounters represent 15%.

The Belgian retail market is fairly consolidated. Eight different international groups dominate the Belgian retail market- Alhold Delhaize Group, Carrefour Group, Colruyt Group, Louis Delhaize Group, Lidl, Aldi, Intermarché, Metro Group – and represent 92% of the market share.

Belgium wine market

Domestic beers vs. imported wines

Belgium is a country with numerous breweries and different beers. Nowhere else in the world can you encounter so many local, authentic and colorful beers with such an enormous range of tastes and flavors. While there are only 12 Trappist beers in the world, 6 of them have a Belgian origin and are brewed by the monks in abbeys.

The consumption of wine is very culturally rooted

Belgium has 11.5 million inhabitants, of whom almost ¾ buy wine for home consumption (compared to 55 in Germany, for example), 12 times a year on average.

For wine, although the value of imports has increased compared to last year, the volumes have been decreasing for several years. Belgians are consuming better quality wines. The most popular price range is between EUR 5 and 8.

The Belgian market is a historical market, and wine consumption is very culturally anchored. Red and white wines are the most popular. Rosé wines come in third place, and are consumed more by the younger segments of the population and in Wallonia.

French wines are very present on the Belgian market, but they are losing ground and are less and less dominant in Belgium. French production is still the most popular, but Spanish and Italian wines are the main competitors, taking more and more market share. The Belgian consumer is also increasingly open to New World wines, in particular Chilean wines.

Wine consumption in Belgium, by volume

The leading wines in Hypermarkets in 2021

Nielsen figures released by Carrefour Belgium show that Belgians increased their consumption of all types of wine between August 1, 2020 and July 31, 2021. The increase in sales is generalized to all mass-market retailers, with gains of 10% for red wine sales (48% of sales), +8% for whites (35%) and 10% for rosés (17%). Champagne jumped 30%, while Prosecco was up 21%.

In terms of origins, Delhaize sees Australia and Spain as the big market share winners in all colors in its stores, while in reds, Argentina and Chile are making particular progress.

For whites, France is well placed with gains for Rhône, Bordeaux and Alsace. Finally, in rosé, Argentina, Greece, the Loire and Alsace recorded gains in market share, with overall rosé sales increasing at Delhaize, despite the rather gloomy weather last summer and no doubt thanks to the increased deseasonalisation of its consumption.

Wine consumption in Belgium, by value

Delhaize offers various wine containers

In a context marked by a boom in wine sales in Belgium, Delhaize is following a trend among Belgians to vary containers. Starting with bag-in-boxes, whose sales at Delhaize are up this year by more than 15% compared to last year, which was already characterized by a very strong increase.

Small formats are also on the rise, with over 150,000 small bottles sold this year. At the same time, more original containers are on the rise. This is the case for pouches, which are becoming more and more popular, with more than 400,000 units sold this year. Delhaize intends to promote this format by marketing, among other things, a Côtes de Provence rosé in a pocket, to play on the “over-value effect”. But the big news this year in terms of packaging is the recycled cardboard bottle, which makes its appearance with a new Spanish wine, “Planet B”, both vegan and organic. The bottle weighs only 83 grams, five times less than a traditional glass bottle.

In addition to facilitating transportation, this new packaging has a carbon footprint that has appealed to the distributor.

glasses of wine, beer and spirits
Belgium, people are consuming better quality wines
The Belgian market is a historical market, with many wine connoisseurs. There is a difference depending on which part of the country they come from. The language border is a taste-and-supply boundary.
High diposable income
Trends in favor of EU products
An a historical wine market
A multi -language / -culture country
Fierce competition on price
Direct cellar purchase due to high taxes
Wine Market Attractiveness