The equivalent of 152 million bottles of sparkling wine and champagne have been sold in the UK so far this year, according to the Wine and Spirit Trade Association’s end of year market report. This compares to 132 million bottles during the same period in 2015.
The data from sales in UK shops, supermarkets, restaurants and bars does not include December and some of November, but has already reached over £1.9bn.
The report said the lion’s share of fizz flying off shelves is sparkling wine which in the off trade in twelve weeks (to 5/11/16) sold the equivalent of 24million bottles, +25% than the same period last year. Champagne sold just short of 3 million bottles in the off trade, +7% more in the twelve weeks (to 5/11/16) than the same period last year.
Sparkling wine sold the equivalent of over 16 million bottles, worth £768 million, in the on trade in the 12 weeks (to 1/10/16), a +37% increase on the same period last year. The sparkling wine category includes prosecco, cava and English sparkling wine.
English wine makes up just 1% of sparkling wine sales, however production is set to double to 10 million bottles per year by 2020 and by 2022. Six vineyards alone are planning on producing more than 1 million bottles per annum.
Miles Beale, chief executive of the Wine and Spirit Trade, said: “There is no sign of the bubble bursting when it comes to the British drinkers’ love for fine fizz. Wine is now the nation’s most popular alcoholic drink and continues to play an extremely vital role in our pubs, including as part of the broader British food and drink revolution.
“Fizz in particular, is a now mainstay of a successful pub, showing the increasing diversity of our industry and the modern consumer. It is vital that government comes out in support of the wine trade, which as a whole generates £17.3bn in economic activity.
“We would like to remind government that cutting excise duty boosts business and brings more money into the Treasury. Following the freeze in wine duty in the 2015 budget, wine duty income increased on the previous year by £139m (+3.6%) from April 2015 – March 2016 inclusive.”