Prosecco fuels Aldi’s Christmas

Sales of Prosecco fueled a record Christmas for discounter Aldi in the UK, as it revealed it sold more than 13.5m bottles of wine during December.

Prosecco-1-640x427The discounter reported overall sales up 15% across its branches during the Christmas period, but highlighted in particular the strength of its BWS category, although no like-for-like sales have been released. More than 2 million bottles of the Italian sparkler were sold by the discounter during December – estimated at 69,000 each day across the month, with 13.5m bottles of sparkling and still wine over the month.

Malbec was also a strong seller, it said, which was sold as a Magnum in store this Christmas following the success of last year’s Prosecco Magnum. Wine buying director Mike James told db in the autumn that while it seemed “counter-intuitive” to offer larger bottles with a higher price point, the rationale was in the sociable, sharing nature of the drinking during the festivities.

There was also strong demand for its luxury ‘Specially Selected’ range, which aimed to compete with upmarket retailers such as M&S, Waitrose and food hall of London retailer Fortnum & Mason, and included a selection of Christmas hampers.

“Sales of our premium Specially Selected range in particular surpassed expectations,” chief executive officer of Aldi UK and Ireland Matthew Barnes said, adding that it was a “clear sign that more and more people are realising they can treat their families to products of a quality comparable to Waitrose and M&S at a fraction of the price.”

Last year the discounter claimed it sold more than 8% of Champagne in the UK, with around 750,000 bottles of Champagne expected to be bought in the lead up to Christmas, .The growing popularity of sparkling wine such as Champagne and Prosecco saw the alcohol category grow in value by 11% last year, Kantar Worldpanel said, outstripping grocery sales.

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