Mixed trading period for wine and spirit sector

The latest WSTA market report reveals a mixed trading period for the wine and spirit sector with volume growth stagnant across the on and off trade although value growth was largely positive.

Sales of wine in shops and supermarkets fell by -3% over the latest 12 months while sales of wine and spirits in pubs, bars and restaurants were flat. 

The result was a +3% increase in like-for-like sales of wine in the on-trade over the last 12 weeks, while sales of imported whiskey grew by +9% in the on-trade.

The growth of sparkling wine shows no sign of abating with like-for-like sales in the last 12 weeks up +20% in the off-trade and +14% in the on-trade. 

The report also reveals wine and spirits sales now make up 41.45% of the value of all drinks sold in pubs, bars and restaurants.

The WSTA's market report draws on data from leading independent sources including Nielsen, CGA Strategy and the Wilson Drinks Report. The report captures off-trade data for the 12 weeks to 26 April and on-trade data for the 12 weeks to 19 April, too soon to measure the impact of the duty changes following the decision to scrap the duty escalator in the 19 March Budget. 

Analysis by Nielsen indicates many consumers are moving towards higher-priced premium products, a trend also mirrored in other grocery categories.

The report shows: 

Off trade

* Wine sales fell by -4% in the last 12 weeks and -3% in the last 12 months, although value was up +2% for the year. 

* Spirits sales declined by -1% in the last 12 months with strong growth in imported whiskey (+9%) offset by a fall in sales of blended whisky (-3%).

* Sales of gin and vodka grew by +1% and +3% in the latest 12 weeks, primarily due to an increase in premium offerings. 

* Sparkling wine was the only category to experience double digit growth in both the short (+20%) and long-term (+10%) at the expense of a decline in Champagne sales.

* The fastest-growing wines are those priced over £5 per bottle, which now account for 46% of the market.

On trade  

* Wine and spirit sales remained flat over the year, while beer sales fell by -5%.   

* Sparkling wine enjoyed the largest category growth in the on-trade, up +14% in the short-term and +13% in the latest 12 months, the sixth consecutive quarter of growth.

* Sales of malt whisky also enjoyed strong growth, up by +20% in the last 12 months. In the short-term, sales of rum grew by +6% and gin by +4%, however sales of vodka, blended scotch and liqueurs all declined as like-for-like spirits sales fell by -2% in the last 12 weeks.

* Sales of red wine grew by +4% in the last 12 months and 3% in the last 12 weeks.

Commenting on the latest market report, WSTA Chief Executive Miles Beale said:

“Despite stagnant sales volumes, members - and the trade in general - will be buoyed by signs of improving consumer confidence. 

The growth of sparkling wine shows no sign of abating, while imported whiskey is emerging as a stand-out spirits performer.”


About the WSTA:

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 work with our members to promote the responsible production, marketing and sale of alcohol.

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