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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Rosé tinted glasses

I was asked recently what I thought the biggest change had been in wine fashion in the past five years. My answer was unequivocal: sales of pink wines. From being a niche that expanded and contracted with the sunshine, rosé has subtly but steadily become a stalwart of many merchants’ ranges, with Provence firmly at the top and asked for by name.

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