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Spirits Revenues Overtake Beer In The UK: WSTA

Published on Jun 5 2017 1:28 PM in Drinks tagged: Trending Posts / UK / Wine and Spirit Trade Association / WSTA

Spirits Revenues Overtake Beer In The UK: WSTA

The UK’s Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) has said that sales of spirits were more valuable to the UK Treasury last year than those of beer.

It said that the Treasury earned an extra £225 million in revenue from spirit sales, helped by a freeze in spirit duty in the 2016 Budget. This means that total spirit duty was valued at nearly £3.38 billion last year, compared to £3.32 billion in beer duty.

Gin Boom

The WSTA is crediting some of the growth in spirit sales to a ‘gin boom’ in the UK, with sales up 12% – the fastest growth rate of any spirit drink, according to the latest WSTA Market Report.

“The WSTA dubbed 2016 'the Year of Gin', and the gin boom has had a large part to play in the windfall now being enjoyed by the Treasury,” said WSTA chief executive Miles Beale.

“The 7% increase on revenue takings came as a result of the Chancellor freezing spirit duty in 2016 and allowing the industry to grow and invest. It proves the point that cutting or freezing spirit duty brings rewards, which is why the inflation-busting rise in duty this year was such a disappointment and threatens the industry’s ability to invest, grow and export.”


Wine accounts for the highest level of revenue for the Treasury, accounting for more than £4.1 billion last year.

The UK has the fourth-highest spirit-duty rates in the EU, with 77% of a bottle of spirits accounted for by tax, the WSTA noted.

© 2017 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.

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