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UK sparkling wine industry takes off

Sales of sparkling wine produced in the UK have more than doubled since 2010, rising to £6 million in 2014 from £2.9m in 2010.

According to statistics released by the Office of National Statistics (ONS), cider and sparkling wine both achieved strong growth in 2014, while beer sales grew slightly following a period of decline from 2009 to 2012.

The UK sparkling wine industry grew by 105.1% with sales totalling £6 million in 2014, more than double the 2010 figure of £2.9 million. It follows a record-breaking 2014 harvest which saw 47,433 hectolitres, or 6.3 million bottles, of English wine produced – up 42% on 2013 – with almost 500 vineyards now operating throughout England and Wales.

Meanwhile sales of cider produced in the UK have increased by 58.8% since 2010 to £911.2 million in 2014 – a figure the ONS said may have been buoyed by the recent popularity of alternative fruit ciders.

The cider category has been gaining share in the global markets recently, becoming particularly popular in New World countries such as as the US, South Africa and Australia which industry analysts Rabobank have reported to be the “next frontier” for cider.

In terms of beer brewed in the UK, sales increased for a second year to £3.4 billion in 2014 following a decline in 2009 to 2012. The ONS attributed this growth the the rise of the UK craft beer industry, with 170 new breweries having started up in the last 12 months.

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