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Organic wine sales ‘consistently growing’ in UK

Sales of organic wine in the UK have grown across the independent on and off-trade in the UK, according to organic specialist company, Vintage Roots.

The company, which supplies specialist and organic food shops as well as bars, pubs and restaurants, said turnover had surged 20% in the last two years, following a three-year “flatline”.

Director and co-founder Neil Palmer told db it was good to see the growth returning to the UK, especially at a time when the multiple retailers were cutting back and honing their ranges, rather than pushing organic.

“Where the action is in in the organic and smaller shops, and it’s come back and that is reflected in general organic food, in general, not just in wine,” he said. “It is good to see growth back and it seems to be ongoing. Demand in the UK is consistently increasing.”

Although around 85% of the company’s business comes from wholesaling to the on- and off-trade, direct to customer sales online had also grown, he noted, albeit of a smaller based.

“In the last three months it has turned around, following a bit of a decline, and it was a bit slow to pick up, but we had 10-15% growth over Christmas, so we’re pleased with that” he said.

Interest is growing in no-sulphur added organic wines, he added, as well as organic spirits and beers.

Although organic wine production in the UK had leveled off, it is still rising in France, Spain, Italy, Chile and Argentina, he noted.

Although there was still some “dross and average organic wine out there”, which had historically given organic wine a bad name, he said the choice and quality had “massively” increased very quickly.

However a leading producer recently told db that organic winemakers need to communicate to the trade and consumers better, as the public is still confused about what organic wine stands for. The comments came after an IPSO survey commissioned by organic trade show Millésime Bio found the UK lagged behind other European countries, with less than half of British consumers knowing about organic wine, and only 21% having tried it.

Around 900 organic producers will be exhibiting at this year’s Millésime Bio, which opens its doors on 25-26-27 January at the Exhibition Centre in Montpelier in the South of France.

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