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Argentina and South Africa lead growth in off-trade sales in UK

Published:  11 September, 2014

Off-trade sales of Argentinian wine increased 21% while South African wine was up 14% in the last 12 months, according to a report released yesterday by Bibendum. 

In the 10 countries considered in the report, which included several Old World producing countries, Argentina and South Africa were the best performing nations in volume and value growth.

Argentina value sales grew by 24% while South Africa's value sales grew 16% in the off-trade over the last 12 months.

Argentina's stellar growth is linked to the the rise in the profile of South American cuisine in the on-trade in the UK, Bibendum said.

The Beautiful South Tasting report said: "The continuing trend for premium steakhouses and South American barbecue restaurants in the UK is raising the profile of Argentinian wines and it's not all just about Malbec either - producers are now cashing in on their established reputation and diversifying to produce high quality Bonarda, Pinot Noir & Cabernet Franc."

Both countries have had strong years. "South Africa & Argentina have performed particularly strongly in terms of value sales in the last year. Chile has also seen some growth in value sales, though not to the same extent. They were the only countries to experience positive volume growth over the last 12 months," the report stated.

This is good news as other countries such as Chile, France, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, Spain and the USA all showed declines in volume sales in the off-trade.

South Africa's premium wine segment is a major focus for several producers at the Beautiful South Tasting.

Rollo Gabb, owner of Journey's End winery said: "The UK market, whilst still significantly affected by the economic downturn, is showing positive signs of life for producers and categories who continue to produce and supply good quality wines at sensible prices. The premium South African sector is one such category where ongoing innovation and focus on quality and value are beginning to pay dividends. We are seeing increasing... understanding and excitement in high quality wines from not only Journey's End but many other producers of quality South African wines."

The on-trade overall has been a challenging channel, with all producing countries reporting a decline in value sales. Old World wines are faring better than their New World counterparts in terms of volume growth with France posting a 10% gain in volume sales. Both Chile and Argentina saw volumes in the on-trade decline over the past 12 months, with Chile was showing a 11% decline in volume sales and Argentina posting a 9% decline in volume sales. South Africa posted a 1% gain in volume sales.