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UK Port sales rising

Published:  11 February, 2021

Port sales to the UK increased by 11.4% in volume and 2.8% in value in 2020, according to the Port and Douro Wines Institute (IVDP).

IVDP said the final Port shipments to the UK were expected to be 985,540 9L cases. As a result, it said the UK became the fourth largest Port market in the world by volume, and the second largest by value – and maintained its position as the largest premium Port market by volume.

Total off-trade Port sales grew by 10.3% in volume for the 12 month period to 26 December 2020, according to Nielsen Scantrack Epos (grocery & convenience stores), representing the largest volume of Port sales in retail since 2015.

Growth was boosted by 20.6% growth of Symington-owned Cockburn’s Port in the off-trade, largely driven by a “remarkable” increase of people buying Port in the run-up to Christmas, said the producer, with the brand reporting a 37.3% increase in sales in the last quarter of 2020 compared to the same period in 2019.

The strong performance increased Cockburn’s UK market share to 25.8%, the largest since Symington acquired the Port house in 2010.

Moreover, Symington's Graham’s Port grew 22.6% in volume in the off-trade.

“With pubs, bars and restaurants closed for much of the year and people confined to their homes, 2020 was devastating for our on-trade customers. We were fortunate, however, that demand for Port soared in the rest of the UK wine trade,” said Johnny Symington, chairman, Symington Family Estates.  

“Port has long had a strong association with moments of comfort and time spent with family. In 2020, there were more of these opportunities for people to treat themselves with a glass of port or open a bottle of something special that they have been keeping,” he added.

In July last year, Symington launched a new digital platform named The School of Port.