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Summer boosts sales of sparkling wine, says Nielsen

Published:  16 July, 2014

Fizz has fared well thanks to summer weather, with sales of sparkling wine up 18.9% on last year, according to the latest Nielsen data for the off-trade.

Taking a closer look at Italian sparkling wine - dominated by Prosecco - volumes are up 58.3% versus last year, and now make up one out of every two bottles sold (53.9%).

Nielsen data to June 26 2014 shows that compared to a year ago overall light wine is still seeing value growth, of 1.5%, but volumes are still declining at 3.6% MAT.

Champagne & Sparkling wineSparkling wine performs well in summerSummer weather has boosted the coffers of sparkling wine, which is still performing strongly.

The average price for a bottle of wine is up 28p on one year ago to £5.32, while the most popular wines remain those priced between £4 and £5, which account for 36.7% share. But Nielsen points out that sales are falling in this price bracket.

Almost one quarter (23%) of all wine sold over the last three months was sold between £5.01 and £6

Meanwhile, the other major summer event - the World Cup - saw a lacklustre performance for the drinks trade. Although it was not expected to have much influence on wine sales, beer and cider were down £16 million for the first half of the tournament compared to South Africa's 2010 World Cup. Nielsen said later kick off times meant many customers went to the pub rather than watching at home and England's early departure also curbed some enthusiasm.

On the spirits front, the latest Nielsen update showed growth of 3.6% compared to a year ago, now valued at £3.8 billion. If growth continues at this level, in three years from now spirits will be worth £4.2 billion, up 11% on current market value.

It said vodka is driving growth, adding £51 million compared to one yar ago and growing ahead of the market by 4.9%. Other top performers include American spirits, flavoured spirits - which are up 21% - and spiced rum.