Pubs lose out to supermarkets in Christmas fizz sales

By Nicholas Robinson contact

- Last updated on GMT

Pop!: Sparkling sales up in the on-trade over Christmas
Pop!: Sparkling sales up in the on-trade over Christmas
More than 45m bottles of sparkling wine were sold in the UK at Christmas, but just 5m of those were bought in the on-trade, the rest being purchased in supermarkets.

Despite selling significantly fewer bottles than the supermarkets’ 40m, the on-trade sold £127m worth of sparkling wine (+37% on last year), compared with £270m from supermarkets and shops, according to the Wine & Spirit Trade Association (WSTA).

Short of 21m bottles

Sparkling wine in figures:

  • £2.67 – duty paid per average priced bottled of sparkling wine
  • 6p – duty French pay for sparkling wine
  • 68.4% – the proportion of total European Union wine duties paid by UK wine drinkers
  • 9%  –  the amount sparkling wine is likely to go up

Across the off- and on-trades, volume sales were up 114% compared with levels in 2012, when sales for the same period reached just short of 21m bottles.

Sales have not been affected by rising alcohol duty, which sees Brits pay £2.67 on average per bottle of plonk to the taxman.

Last year the Chancellor received £468m in tax on the sale of sparkling wine (not including Champagne).

WSTA chief executive Miles Beale said: “The UK saw the largest ever quarterly sales of sparkling wine at the end of last year, but with price rises looming we need Government support to ensure that the bubble doesn’t burst when it comes to the British drinkers’ love for fizz.

‘Most popular’

“Wine is now the nation’s most popular alcoholic drink and it is vital that Government backs the British wine trade, which generates £17.3bn in economic activity.

“We are calling on the Chancellor to cut wine and spirit duty by 2% in the Budget on Wednesday. This would benefit our industry, the consumer and boost Treasury coffers - just as it did two years ago.”

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