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Sparkling wine sales up 80% in UK

Sales of sparkling wine in the UK have shot up by 80% over the last five years according to HM Revenue and Customs, while sparkling magnum sales are up by 140%.

Accountancy group UHY Hacker Young reports that fizz sales in the UK have rocketed from 17.6 million gallons in 2011 to 31.6m gallons this year.

Britain’s unquenchable thirst for Prosecco is driving the boom, and magnum sales of the fizz are flying. According to Nielsen, 719,000 magnums of sparkling wine were sold in the UK this year, a 140% increase on 2014.

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Just 51,000 magnums and Jeroboams of Champagne were sold over the period. A growing interest in English sparkling wine is also fueling the fire. Last year 37 new wine estates opened for business in England due to a rising demand for homegrown fizz.

Earlier this month Nyetimber 2010 made history by being the first English sparkling wine to be traded on Liv-ex. A six bottle case of the Sussex sparkler traded on the platform for £120 in bond.

“It’s uncertain what will happen after Brexit to UK imports of Prosecco and Champagne, but what is clear is that English sparkling wine is already a viable alternative,” James Simmonds of Hacker Young told The Guardian.

UK consumption of sparkling wine by volume is expected to rise by 13% between now and 2019 compared with modest still wine growth of just 0.6%.

This year, sparkling wine sales in the UK soared past the £1 billion mark for the first time according to the WSTA, with retail sales during the first three months of the year enough to fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool.

Sparkling wine sales in the on-trade are up 50% year-on-year, while off-trade volume sales are up by 20% with Prosecco now accounting for over half of the sparkling retail market in the UK.

For more on the sparkling wine market in the UK see the August issue of the drinks business, out now, which features the results of our inaugural Global Sparkling Masters competition.

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