Vodka to eclipse blends

16 November, 2007

Next year is likely to see vodka outselling blended Scotch in the off-trade for the first time, according to Nielsen data.

And 2008 is also likely to be the year in which the on-trade overtakes the take-home sector as the most valuable market for Champagne.

Statistics for the year to Oct 6 show a 7 per cent sales increase for light wine, and a 4 per cent rise in volume. Beer volumes were up 1 per cent but static in value terms and spirits up 3 per cent, with imported whiskey and golden rum achieving the biggest rise in sales.

Vodka is now within a whisker of catching blended whisky. Off-trade sales stood at £705 million, up 10 per cent, while blended Scotch reported a decline of 1†per cent to £735 million.

In the on-trade, vodka is already almost three times as big as blended and malt Scotch whisky put together.

The latest figures broken down

Position Category Sales value Change Off-trade's market share

1 Light wine £4,549m +7% 62%

2 Lager £2,726m +1% 25%

3 Blended whisky £735m -1% 67%

4 Vodka £705m +10% 37%

5 Cider £508m +28% 30%

Source: Nielsen take-home value sales data for year to Oct 6




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Looking back to look forward

Wine is a liquid time capsule. Drinking older vintages not only recalls the weather conditions and winemaking styles of the past, it encourages us to reflect upon our own histories. Such reminiscence often inclines towards romanticised nostalgia. Especially after the second bottle. But looking back is a great way of learning about the future.

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