Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.

Wine Christmas sales uplift driven by inflation

Published:  30 November, 2023

Circana, a leading advisor on consumer trends, has revealed in its ‘12 weeks till Christmas tracker’ an upward trend in wine sales in terms of value.

However, over the same period, unit sales for wine are in decline, which suggests any value growth is down to consumers paying more per bottle, most likely as a result of inflation.

Formerly of the IRI and The NPD Group, the Circana data compares wine and spirits sales from all major multiple grocers (bar the discounters) and independents. 

The most up-to-date figures from the 12-week tracker suggest wine sales by value are phasing upwards. By week six in 2023, total sales of wine in terms of value amount to £739m, which is 2.3% up on the same period last year.

However, unit sales of wine are in decline over the same period with 109m units sold by week six, a drop of 3.2% compared to 2022.

For spirits, the situation is a little worse, as both value and unit sales are in decline versus last year. 

In the first six weeks of the Christmas tracker, sales of spirits in terms of value amount to £481m, a drop off of 0.7% compared to the same period last year.

By week six, unit sales for spirits totalled 29m, a decline of 5.3% versus 2022.

Alex Lawrence, senior strategic insight director, Circana, told Harpers: “I think that people are obviously struggling a little bit with the cost-of-living crisis, which is why the growth we are seeing is being driven by inflation. 

“Wines and spirits are in a higher price bracket so it’s quite an easy thing to pull back on for consumers looking to save money.”

Whilst sales figures may look positive for retailers at first glance for wine in particular, a closer inspection would suggest that any growth is driven mainly, if not solely, by an increase in price per bottle.