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Liberty's tip for a successful on-trade Christmas: traditional wines but more expensive bottles

Published:  06 October, 2015

On-trade operators should look to help consumers trade up in classic wine styles to drive sales growth in the pre-Christmas period, according to a report from agency supplier Liberty Wines.

The report showed that wine consumption in premium on-trade outlets was 20% higher in December 2014 than in the rest of the year.

Wine sales were 11.4% up in volume compared with December 2013 but 23.3% by value, showing that consumers were prepared to pay more for wine when going out last Christmas.

Liberty managing director David Gleave MW said: "The market preference for traditional choices at this time of year should be a key consideration for those making buying decisions at this crucial time of the year for on-trade profitability.

"Consumers willing to experiment with other varieties and styles during the year became more risk averse when spending more money, and while entertaining, in December.

"The savvy wine buyer would make trading up within these traditional choices as easy as possible in order to enjoy a prosperous end to the year."

Liberty said last December saw a sales surge for red wine - particularly Pinot Noir - and Champagne.

Overall, Liberty's report showed that the premium on-trade wine market increased by 17.9% in volume in 2014, with value up 10.2%, against a total on-trade wine market that dropped 0.8% in volume and 0.3% in value.

This was an improvement on six months earlier when the total on-trade wine market was in value decline of 9.3%.