Spirits were the star performers in the market, with sales up 5% compared to the same period last year. Nielsen said vodka and gin, up 4% and 9% respectively, were key growth categories, adding £17.5 million to the market between them.
Growth is coming mainly from established brands, with Smirnoff up £5.7 million, Russian Standard up £4.7 million and Gordons up £1.4 million.
Single malt whisky, American whiskey and non-cream liqueurs all enjoyed double-digit growth.
Meanwhile sales of sparkling wine topped £157m in the 12 weeks to August 15, an increase of 23% on the previous summer. Light wine was down 1%, with rose the worst hit, down 7%. White wine was down 1.5%, while red grew 1.8%.
Lager has endured a torrid summer, down 4% on last year, which equates to an £18 million drop, with disappointing weather plus the absence of a major football tournament blamed.
Cider was also hit by poor weather and sales dipped 65. Apple is down 9% but flavoured grew 4%.†