The UK thirst for Champagne and Prosecco helped online retailer Virgin Wines to achieve its best Christmas ever, with like-for-like December sales up 20%.
UK off-licence group Conviviality Retail has bucked the trend by reporting “strong” Christmas trading announcing a first half pre-tax profit rise of 46.7%.
Majestic Wine’s margins took a hit over Christmas as the retailer embarked on an aggressive promotional push to keep pace with supermarket rivals.
Prosecco continued its seemingly unstoppable rise over the Christmas period, with one UK retailer reporting that sales outstripped milk.
Justin Knock MW has hailed the independent retail sector as “one of the biggest success areas” for the UK wine trade in recent years.
UK sparkling wine sales shot up by £70 million last year, making it the country’s fastest growing alcoholic drink category.
A Kent merchant is dipping its toe into the London retail scene with the launch of a 12 week pop up wine bar and shop on the South Bank this month.
Prosecco’s explosive UK growth has not come at the expense of Champagne, which held its volume and saw value sales increase by 2.2%, according to the Lanson Champagne Category Report 2014.
The UK independent retail scene is too crowded, with new arrivals simply stealing each others’ sales rather then supermarket share, warns one merchant.
Molson Coors has added Red Berries to its Carling Zest range, with the brewer putting £3.5 million of marketing support behind the flavoured beer category in 2014 alone.
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