Research by CGA Strategy for the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) showed a huge hike of 20% in the volume of malt whisky being sold in the 12 months up to April in the same period that beer dropped 5%. The amount of sparkling wine being sold was up 13%, translating into a sales boom of 35%. Overall the volume of alcohol sold was down 5% creating a sales dip of 1%.
Consumer research showed a slight rise in the percentage of men who prefer to drink in pubs, bars or restaurants rather than at home (32% - up from 31% in 2013 and 29% in 2012) but the percentage of women fell by 1% to 22%. Overall the figure remained at 27% of adults preferring to prop up the bar compared to 62% who like to drink at their or a friend’s home and the rest either preferring not to drink or not making a distinction.
When consumers were asked what they had drunk in the on trade over the last three months white wine was the leading category, mentioned by 30% of respondents, followed by red wine (27%), standard lager (26%), premium lager (24%) and cider 24%. When the figures were broken down by gender bitter/ale and premium lager were tied on 36% for men’s top choice with 35% mentioning standard lager and 26% red wine. For women white wine was the clear favourite with 39%, compared to 27% for red wine and 23% for cider. A total of 17% had drunk standard lager, 13% premium lager and 7% bitter/ale.
Commenting on the report, WSTA chief executive Miles Beale, said: “Despite stagnant sales volumes, members - and the trade in general - will be buoyed by signs of improving consumer confidence.
“The growth of sparkling wine shows no sign of abating, while imported whiskey is emerging as a stand-out spirits performer.”