Wine and spirits sales hit almost £6 billion in UK pubs

Sales of wine and spirits in UK pubs have risen by £270 million to reach just under £6 billion in the past year, with gin and sparkling wine performing particularly well, according to the latest figures published by The Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA.)

While synonymous with beer, wine and spirits represent 36% of alcohol sales in UK pubs, according to research conducted by CGA Strategy on behalf of the WSTA.

Following news last month that UK gin sales have doubled in value in the past five years to reach £2.2 billion in a year, it is a similar story of growth in pubs.

The sales of the spirit in UK pubs were up by £190m in the past year, compared to beer which grew by £58 million, although the the average price of the latter is lower.

Total sales of gin in pubs totalled around £620 million. Sales of sparkling wine have also been on the rise with Brits forking out £600 million for the equivalent of 24 million bottles in the past five years.

CGA attributed the rise in gin sales to the popularity of gin-specific menus and found that on average, four new spirit brands have been added to pubs’ bar bars since 2013. This equates to an average of 36 spirit brands sold in a typical pub.

The WSTA has spoken out against pub duty bills, citing figures published by CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) that 18 are closing every week. Total duty collected from British pubs in the last 21 months reached £2.1 billion, according to the trade association.

It added that the Chancellor’s planned 3.4% duty rise would add another 7p on a bottle of still wine, 9p on a bottle of sparkling and 26p to a bottle of spirits.

Miles Beale, chief executive of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association said: “The Chancellor can once again show his support for the great British pub by scrapping his plans to raise already punitive duty rate.

“Wine and spirits are increasingly vital to the prosperity of our historic British pubs with wine and spirt duty accounting for more than a third of annual pub sales. We are calling on Philip Hammond to recognise the importance of wine and spirit industry and help save our British pubs by freezing duty, allowing them to reinvest and stay in business.

“It is proven that freezing alcohol duty has brought in more revenue for the Treasury coffers, not less. So a duty freeze makes sense for everyone – from the Chancellor, to pub and bar owners, and consumers”.

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