How long will the fizz last?
Sparkling wine has been a bright spot in the UK for the past five years – but competition is growing
The sparkling wine category has often been cited as the good news story for the UK wine industry in recent years, during which economic uncertainty has led to fading still wine sales.
This upward trend in consumer consumption of sparkling wine looks set to continue. Over 21 million UK consumers now drink sparkling wine, and they consumed around 110 million bottles last year, up by 6 million bottles on 5 years ago.
Over half of the consumption was of Cava and Prosecco, with Champagne showing a slight decline in recent years to around 34 million bottles. Prosecco has shown a phenomenal pace of growth, around 6 million consumers now drink it every month, and rather unsurprisingly Spanish and Italian sparkling wines are showing the strong growth year-on -year while French and Australian sparkling wine volumes have taken a back seat (copyright 2013 – The IWSR).
The sparkling bubble seems to be at the expense of spirits and ready-to-drink alcoholic beverages as 1 in 4 consumers intent to drink these less often in the future.
However, there is evidence that the pace of growth in fizz consumption may be slackening as rival categories such as flavoured ciders gain adherents. The number of sparkling wine drinkers saying fizz is their favourite tipple has fallen to 20% from 24% last year, and 10% of sparkling drinkers now say that cider is their favourite drink, up from 6% in 2013.
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Author: Ali Darke