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Top 30 suppliers control 90% of wine lists in UK on-trade, says new study

Published:  05 December, 2014

The top 30 wine distributors in the UK are responsible for supplying 89% of all on-trade wine lists in the UK, according to new research released this week from Wine Business Solutions.

The Wine On-Premise UK 2014 report is based on the analysis of around 1,000 wine lists, featuring 20,000 different wines. It illustrates how mergers, partnerships and closures among wine distributors are having an increasing impact on wine supply in the on-trade with an over reliance on a decreasing pool of players.

In last year's report the top 30 operators controlled 75% of wine lists, but that has now increased to nearly 90%. Branded wines are also now playing a stronger role within those lists, with 5,346 wines listed as brands up by 5%.

Wine Business Solutions estimates that 19% of wine drunk in the UK is now sold through the on-trade, the same percentage as in the US and Australia. This is the equivalent of 29 million 9-litre cases.

Its report finds that Spanish wines are the fastest growing in the UK on-trade with listings up 25% in the past year, largely at the expense of French wines, whose listings have fallen by 11%.

It also reports a solid year for Australia with listings up 2%, which means it now has 5% of all UK listings.

Prosecco continues to win the sparkling wine battle with an eye-watering staggering 35% increase in listings compared with a 11% fall for Champagne. The Languedoc has better news for France with listings up 11%.

New Zealand enjoyed its sixth consecutive year of growth - with listings up 4%. It is the only major supplier country to see sales increase over such a sustained period of time.

Chile had a more difficult year with listings down 10% as more UK restaurants look to escape the under-£20-per-bottle segment of the market.

The report rates UK distributors, and highlights the most listed brands and styles, as well as which countries and regions perform best.

It also breaks down restaurant prices by the bottle and glass, and offers insight into how much business owners can expect to make from on-trade wine sales.