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On-trade back in growth

Published:  23 July, 2008

The UK on-trade wine market is back in growth after a poor performance in 2005, according to the latest figures released by AC Nielsen.

Sales in the year to May 2006 reached 18,592,000, up from 17,920,000 in the year to May 2005, representing an increase of 4%.

The market still hasn't recovered to the heights set in the year to May 2004, when sales surpassed 19 million cases for the first time.

Sales by value did reach a new high, however, with sales increasing 9% to 2.68 billion compared to 2.48 billion in the year to May 2004.

Sales increased fastest in leased and managed pubs, which grew their share of the market to 19.5% and 14.9% respectively. The share of wine sales in hotels and restaurants fell from 49.2% to 47.6%.

In terms of country of origin, the fastest-growing major nation (by volume) was the USA, which increased its sales by a massive 39%, moving it up one place to become the fourth-largest supplier to the UK on-trade. Other notable increases were seen for Chile (16%, fifth place), South Africa (10%, seventh place), Italy (10% second place) and Argentina (51%, ninth place). France's sales continued to decline, by a worrying 9% this year, but it remained top of the pile with 5,462,000 cases sold. Australia in third place saw slight growth of 3%. Germany continued to decline, by 8% this year, and now sells just over a million cases a year.