After years of record-breaking sales, experts have claimed that Britain has passed 'peak Prosecco' after sales of all fizzy wines – including Champagne, cava and English varieties – dropped 3m bottles last year.
According to accountancy group UHY Hacker Young, 3m fewer bottles were sold last year, with sales dropping from 217m bottles in 2017 to 214m in 2018.
The firm added that alternative drink trends, the loss of Prosecco’s luxurious image and a rise in price are said to have contributed to the drop in sales.
The study, which analysed HMRC data, revealed the first dip in sparkling wine sales in five years following the phenomenal rise in popularity of Prosecco as the party drink of choice over the past decade.
UHY Hacker Young partner Martin Jones said he believes Britain's younger people are ditching the fizz for trendier tipples.
“After years of growing popularity for sparkling wine, we have finally passed peak Prosecco,” explained Jones.
“Prosecco very quickly went from chilled bottles in expensive bars to T-shirts across the country.
“For a drink that trades on its luxury, being available everywhere can damage its image.
“Can anyone blame drinkers in the UK for not cracking open the sparkling wine at the same rate?”
The money expert’s findings suggest that the celebratory connotations of sparkling wine does not fit in with the current economic climate, while the growing popularity of artisan gin and rum cocktails have turned younger drinkers away from fizz.
According to Jones the popularity of artisan gin and rum cocktails has also turned younger drinkers away from fizz.
“Just as quickly as Prosecco became the must-buy drink for young people, pink gin and rum could replace it.
“I’m not sure 2018 will be looked back on as a vintage year for celebrations by very many people.”
The so-called ‘ginaissance’ could also explain the fall in sales, as consumers turn away from fizz to the latest trendy tipple.
The Wine & Spirit Trade Association last week revealed a staggering £2.1bn worth of gin was sold in the UK in 2018.