Volume sales of all three colours fell, but rosé sufferd the most as it dropped to 10.3 million cases, compared to falls of 3.5% for red and 2.1% for white.
Its market share slipped from 12.1% by volume to 11.9%, and by value from 11.5% of the market a year ago to 11.3% now, reflecting a consumer move away from sweeter entry-level wines to more complex offerings.
Value sales grew to £620 million.
Hatch Mansfield marketing director Lynn Murray said: “Rosé sales seem to have reached their peak and plateaued.”
The US is the biggest supplier of rosé to the UK and sales grew 5% last year, giving it 47% of the market, Nielsen reported. Italy is in second place with 13% of the market, and grew sales 4% in the year to March, while French sales fell 7%, giving it an equal share of the market with Spain, at 7%.
Spanish rosé sales also dropped 9% following steep growth of 26% the year before. There has been a big surge in sales of rosé from unspecified countries of origin – sales grew 132% to give that sector a 2% share of the market, just ahead of Germany.
Suppliers remain positive, with many saying last year’s summer weather helped boost their sales.
Connoisseur Estates director Andrew Steel said: “When the UK rain decided to subside, flooding decreased and the sun came out, our Château d’Anglès rosé sales began to soar. We went from selling a dozen or so bottles of this premium 100% Mourvèdre rosé, to in the region of 1,000 bottles per month.”
Alison Easton, wine brand manager at González Byass UK, added: “Still rosés definitely come into their own when the sun comes out, so we are somewhat at the mercy of the great British weather, but we are now already seeing restaurant customers adding pinks to their lists for al fresco summer dining, and interest from retailers.”
Others reported stable rosé sales.
Anthony Habert, of Stevens Garnier, pointed out that, by remaining steady, Mateus rosé sales were above the market average. “I’m always delighted when we outperform the market,” he said.
Read more about rosé trends in our feature.