Sparkling wine breaks another sales record

Fizz sold in the UK in the run up to Christmas peaked at more than 45 million bottles for the first time

A record breaking volume of sparkling wine sold in UK shops and supermarkets at Christmas - over 40 million bottles (up +12%)  - flew off the shelves for the first time during a 12 week run.

The exceptional end of year sparkling wine sales, revealed in the WSTA’s latest Market Report, show stores made £270 million in the three month run up to Christmas, up 10% on the same period in 2015.

A further 5 million bottles were sold in pubs bars and restaurants during in the 12 weeks to 31/12/16, worth £127 million, up a staggering +37% on last year.

The combined on and off trade sales of sparkling wine was over 45 million bottles, up 54% in five years, when during the same period in 2012 sales reached short of 21 million bottles.

In total sparkling wine (not including champagne) sold a whopping 995,000 hectolitres – the equivalent of 132 million bottles - in shops, bars and restaurants during 2016 worth over £1.2 billion.

Britain’s love for sparkling wine means the Chancellor has received a tax windfall of around £468 million last year. If you add in duty paid on Champagne this takes the coffers paid into the treasury to over half a billion at £550 million. Total duty paid on sparkling and Champagne in the UK has doubled in 5 years and is up £60million on last year.

With higher inflation, the impact of the pound’s devaluation and the potential for duty increases, the wine industry faces a potential triple whammy that could be devastating for the trade in 2017.


Miles Beale, Chief Executive of the Wine and Spirit Trade, said:

“The UK saw the largest ever quarterly sales of sparkling wine at the end of last year but with price rises looming we need government support to ensure that the bubble doesn’t burst when it comes to the British drinkers’ love for fizz. Wine is now the nation’s most popular alcoholic drink and it is vital that government backs the British wine trade which generates £17.3bn in economic activity. We are calling on the Chancellor to cut wine and spirit duty by 2% at the Budget on Wednesday. This would benefit our industry, the consumer and boost Treasury coffers - just as it did two years ago.” 

The sparkling wine category includes Prosecco, Cava and English sparkling wine amongst others and attracts 28% higher duty than still wine.

Some three quarters of English wine is sparkling and is benefiting from the Brits' love of fizz with supermarkets reporting exceptional Christmas sales. 

Last year M&S increased their English wine range from 20 to 37 and in 2016 saw a 100% rise in sales of English wine.


 Elizabeth Kelly, M&S English Wine Buyer, said:

“It’s a really exciting time for English wine as the quality continues to go from strength to strength. We’re delighted to now offer a total of 37 English wines from up and down the country, and our customer’s appetite for English wine shows no sign of slowing down, with sales up 100% on last year. Our English fizz in particular has proved popular, with the Marksman Rose from Ridgeview up 200%. It’s really promising to see customers embracing the style and enjoying English wine so much.”


In the six weeks running up to Christmas for every 10 bottles of Champagne sold, Waitrose sold 1 bottle of English sparkling wine – which the supermarket said “surpassed all expectations”.



Notes to editors:

  • Duty on an averaged-priced bottle of sparkling wine is £2.67 which is 28% higher than still.
  • The French pay the equivalent of 6p a bottle.
  • The UK alcohol industry is one of the most heavily taxed in Europe with UK wine drinkers paying 68.4% of all wine duties collected by all 28 EU member states, despite accounting for only 11% of the population.
  • The average-priced bottle of sparkling wine is likely to go up 9% - adding 59p to your fizz.
  • Wine and spirits now make up over 67% of duty receipts, up from 66.4% last year and from 54.7% from 2000. Beer and Cider has fallen from 45.3% to 33.7%.
  • Since 2000 beer duty income has only gone up by £592m, compared to wine that has increased by £2.29bn and spirits by £1.419bn.


The WSTA Q1 Market Report 2017 is published today.

The WSTA is the UK organisation for the wine and spirit industry, representing over 300 companies producing, importing, transporting and selling wine and spirits. The WSTA works with its members to promote responsible production, marketing and sale of alcohol.


For more information please contact:

Lucy Panton - [email protected]

Tel: +44 (0) 207 0893875

Mobile: + 44 (0) 7776422656

Harriet Talbot [email protected]

Tel +44 (0) 207 0893875

Mobile +44 (0) 7587290720

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