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On-trade benefits from Jubilee bank holiday

Published:  07 June, 2012

The Jubilee bank holiday weekend boosted bar and restaurant coffers as operators cashed in on the British theme and English sparkling wines soared. 

The Jubilee bank holiday weekend boosted bar and restaurant coffers as operators cashed in on the British theme and English sparkling wines soared.

Joan Torrents, group wine buyer at Mitchells & Butlers, said English sparkling wine performed strongly at its 39 Village Pub Kitchen gastropubs. VPK sold 42% more Ridgeview than branded Champagne. What's more, each outlet sold more than 100 glasses of English sparkling wine each on Monday and Tuesday.

Browns' 27 brasseries saw an overall increase in sparkling wine volume, especially on house Champagne and English Sparkling while Prosecco was down slightly.

Meanwhile, the group's 48 All Bar One venues saw "an important increase in Pignoletto", which was introduced as an alternative to Prosecco and now accounts for one in three bottles of Prosecco sold. As for Champagne, "people were prepared to spend a fraction more" and sales of premium Champagnes grew.

"It is satisfying to see how the listings of English sparkling wine are getting good traction and we can get more people to discover some of the great winemaking from this country," said Torrents.

Jo Davy, marketing manager at Davy's Wine Bars, which operates over 25 venues in London, said: "Five Davy's bar and restaurants that would not usually open on a weekend benefited greatly from the crowds over the Jubilee celebrations. Sunday saw the highest volume of customers visiting Skinkers, More Bar and Brasserie, The Mug House, The Wine Tun and Champagne Charlies. Davy's Wineshop in Greenwich also saw a boost in sales with activity both for the Jubilee and the start of English wine week including tastings and prize draws being held. The celebrations certainly had a positive impact and we're looking forward to the sporting summer ahead."

Adnams trade & agency manager Camilla Nash said: "We've had a very positive trading period, across all parts of our business. We've had some new and interesting bits to promote for the Jubilee with a real focus on all things British, which is where we've seen the biggest wins. We brewed our Diamond Ale which has sold fantastically well, both in casks in the on trade and mini kegs in the off trade. We also had a limited edition Diamond Ale teatowel which proved to be a hit.

Mark Reynolds, co-owner of Renaissance Pubs which owns The Avalon and The Abbeville in Clapham, The Bolingbroke in Battersea and The Rosendale in West Dulwich, said that overall there was an increase, but mostly on Monday and Tuesday. "Sunday evening was particularly busy as people filled the pubs after the pageant finished at approximately 4pm. Within the group, The Tommyfield in Kennington, which is close to the river and The Stonhouse, which is a neighbourhood pub were the busiest out of all our pubs within our group."

Bestsellers over the break included Nyetimber, while Pimms sales weren't as strong as expected thanks to the dismal weather.

She added that the group's biggest successes had been "where we've focused on 'British-ness' and offered the customer something a little bit different".

Operators across the sector saw sales uplift thanks to the celebrations around the Queen's 60th year on the throne: independents, supermarkets and producers also benefited.