Cider enjoys a merry Christmas

26 January, 2007

Cider and Champagne have emerged as the off-trade winners in the Christmas sales war, according to latest ­ACNielsen figures for the 12 weeks to Dec 30.

Cider - the champion of the festive ­season - achieved a 22 per cent increase in volume and 28 per cent boost in value.

But the cider over ice phenomenon impacted on RTD sales, which ­plummeted by 15 per cent in volume and value.

Champagne delivered impressive results, growing 1 per cent in volume and 8 per cent in value, mostly due to a strong week of trading in early December.

Shoppers also clamoured to buy ­sparkling wine for their seasonal celebrations, with value up 5 per cent in the last four weeks of December.

Table wine was another star performer with a 2 per cent volume and 5 per cent value rise.

But the outlook wasn't entirely rosy for the UK off-trade with spirit volumes falling 3 per cent.

Cognac, imported whisky, speciality drinks and vodka all grew sales, but white rum and cream liqueurs turned in a poor performance.

ACNielsen's Graham Page reviews the off-trade Christmas - page 12.

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