Wine and spirit prices rise well above inflation

The price of wines and spirits has risen by more than twice the level of inflation according to the latest WSTA Market Report, with consumers paying 6.5% more than last year for wines and spirits. Inflation for the year to end of April 2012 was 3%.

Yet against a backdrop of declining sales overall, sales at the upper end of the market continue to grow.  Wine sales above £10 were up 32% by volume in the off trade. This trend was also reflected in the on trade with sales of malt whisky up by 31% in volume.

• Wine and spirit prices in the off trade have increased by 6.5% on average in the year to April 2012 whereas inflation for the same period was 3%.
• Sales of wine in shops were down 3% in volume in the last 12 months and sales of spirits were down 2%.
• Sales of wine dropped by 8% in volume in bars and restaurants for the year to March 2012 and sales of spirits were down 1%.
• Sales of wine in the £7-£8 in the off trade were up 30% by volume for the year.
• Sales of malt whisky have gone up by 31% in the on trade

The WSTA Market Report draws on data and analysis from Nielsen (off trade data to end April 2012), CGA Strategy (on trade data to end March 2012) and the Wilson Drinks Report.

The detailed data reveals that:

• Off-trade sales of wine at higher price points grew significantly
• The average price of alcohol has increased across all categories in the off trade 
• Liqueurs are the only spirits category which showed declines in value in the off trade over the last year
• Sales of Champagne in bars and restaurants have decreased by 13% in volume whereas sales of sparkling wine have increased by 2%
• RTDs continue to decline in the on trade (-3% in volume) as consumers appear to be turning to Cider (+6% in volume)

Commenting on the latest market report WSTA interim Chief Executive Gavin Partington said: 

“The above inflation increase in the prices of wines and spirits comes as consumers are feeling the pinch and being forced to cut back so it’s perhaps not surprising that volume sales overall are depressed.

“But there are encouraging signs elsewhere with wine at higher price points showing strong growth over the year.”

Notes to Editors:
The WSTA Market Report is only available to WSTA Members. Contact us for further details.

The WSTA is the UK organisation for the wine and spirit industry representing over 340 companies producing, importing, transporting and selling wines and spirits. We campaign to promote the industry’s interests with governments at home and abroad. We work with our members to promote the responsible production, marketing and sale of alcohol.

For more information please contact Gavin Partington:
Tel:  +44 (0) 20 7089 3876
Mob:  +44 (0) 7966 014058
Email: [email protected] 

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