What lies ahead for the UK drinks industry?

Michèle Haddon, managing director, Sopexa UK

“It is clear that the next two years will be a challenge for the UK wine industry. We have seen exchange-rate fluctuations and duty increases before, and the industry manages to find a way through, but the complication and, moreover, the uncertainty of the tariff situation post-Brexit is probably the biggest cause for concern. Some industry experts are predicting significant changes in the wines we will see on shelf in the UK should higher tariffs be imposed on imports from EU countries, particularly at the entry-level and mid-price sectors, with opportunities appearing for non-EU wine-producing countries offering keenly-priced wines.

“But one thing is clear – the UK remains an important and influential market for all wines; the trends and tastes here affect buying patterns and perceptions across the world. So, while it is possible that volumes of EU wines may decline in the short term, the majority of EU producers will continue to invest in and communicate in this market to protect and maintain their profile in an increasingly competitive environment, perhaps using it as a shop window for global sales.”

 

For a run-down of what is in store at this year’s London Wine Fair, check out our guide in the May issue of the magazine, or click here.

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