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Sales of Port wine increase 4%

Published:  23 July, 2008

Port is making steady gains in the turbulent UK fortified wine market with a 4% volume increase and a 3% increase in value over the last 12 months.

According to Nielsen data, it was one of the few fortified categories in the off-trade to show any positive growth from the previous year with an increase from 861,000 cases in 2006 to 894,000 cases in 2007 (MAT to December 29).

Most other categories declined on 2006 figures, with sherry volumes decreasing by 3% from 1,696,000 cases to 1,651,000 cases (MAT to 30.12.07) as did vermouth with a 6% decrease, down 82,000 cases from 2006 levels of 1,304,000 cases (MAT to 30.12.07).

Port was also one of the few fortified categories in the off-trade to post an increase by value from 2006, rising by 3% from 68.3m to 70.6m, reflecting the port trade's decision to tackle the price-point erosion that had been occurring in previous years.

Sherry values remained static and vermouth declined by 3% in value terms.

Paulo Pinto, marketing manager for the IVDP port regulatory body, said: "The potential of port as an all-year round drink is being realised, as are different serving suggestions, such as chilled tawny port. In 2008, the IVDP will once again be working to educate consumers and retailers as to port's versatility."