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Port sees solid UK growth in 2015

Sales of Port wine grew at steady levels in 2015, increasing by 1% in volume and 2% in value compared with 2014.

Cockburn's Special Reserve Port
Cockburn’s Special Reserve Port

The latest market figures from Nielsen show Port is the fastest growing fortified wine category in the UK with sales of £79 million, exceeding Sherry, Vermouth and Madeira. It also has the largest market share of fortified wines in the UK.

Overall, branded Port now accounts for 71% of total Port sales by volume in the UK.

Symington Family Estates, which is one of the largest Port producers in the world, was one of the standout performers in the UK in 2015.

Sales of its Cockburn’s brand, which celebrated its bicentenary this year, grew by 14%, and its Special Reserve sub-brand grew by 23%.

Its Graham’s Port brand grew by 13%, also helping to drive the category. Growth came from Graham’s Late Bottled Vintage, 10 and 20 Year Old Tawny and Quinta dos Malvedos Vintage Port.

Paul Symington, head of the family-owned producer, said: “The new data confirms our conviction that Port would perform exceedingly well in 2015 despite some pessimistic forecasts.

“The category has gone from strength to strength, proving the doubters wrong. Our determination to revive the quality of Special Reserve and to recover its iconic status has certainly paid off.”

Similarly, the Fladgate Partnership of Port brands Taylor’s Fonseca and Croft posted positive growth figures in the important Christmas trading period.

Andrew Hawes, managing director of Mentzendorff & Co, which represents The Fladgate Partnership, said: “Port’s 2% value growth was driven by its two strongest brands, with Taylor’s leading the 12 week Christmas 2015 period with a 27% off-trade value share, with the nearest competitor at 20.2%. On an MAT basis Taylor’s holds a 21.8% value share with Cockburn’s at 22.2%.

“Taylor’s Late Bottled Vintage is also the number two Port line by value on an MAT basis behind only Cockburn’s Special Reserve.

“The rise of Aged Tawny is another notable trend.  Once again Taylor’s leads the market in this premium segment with Taylor’s 10 Year Old Tawny enjoying growth of +14% by value on an MAT basis and +23% by value over the Christmas period.”

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