Beer, cider and sparkling wine enjoy volume growth

12 December, 2013

Alcohol volume sales dropped 1% in the past 12 weeks but beer, cider and sparkling wine all enjoyed growth.

The Wine and Spirit Trade Association’s latest market report shows that while BWS volumes were down 1% on last year, value sales were up 3% to £3.4 billion (Nielsen, 12 weeks to November 9).

This trend mirrors alcohol’s off-trade performance over the past year, with volumes down 1% to 33.1 billion hl and value sales up 3% to £15.1 billion (Nielsen, 12 months to November 9).

In the past 12 weeks volume sales of beer grew 1%, cider grew 3% and sparkling wine grew 6%.

Sparkling wine has been the star performer over the past year, with volume up 10% to 505 million hl and value up 14% to £444 million.

In the latest 12-week figures, wine was down 5% in volume, spirits were down 1%, RTDs dropped 6%, fortified wine slipped 9% and Champagne was down 3%.

It means that the only categories currently showing volume growth in the past year are cider – driven by the summer heatwave – and sparkling wine.

Within wine it was another good 12 weeks for Australia, South Africa and Argentina, and those three, along with Spain, are the only countries growing in volume sales within the top ten.

Spain had a torrid 12 weeks, with volumes sliding 18%, but it is still 3% up in the year.

The biggest fall was suffered by New Zealand, which dropped 22% and is now 21% down in the past year. 




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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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