Sales of sparkling wine and champagne reached a record high of £2.2 billion (€2.44 billion) in the UK last year, according to the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA).
This equates to around 165 million bottles of bubbly, with 146 million of these (around £1.5 billion) from sales of sparkling wine alone.
The combined sales of sparkling wine and champagne have almost doubled in volume and value in the last five years, the WSTA reported, although growth in the category is slowing.
One subcategory that is seeing significant growth, however, is crémant, a French sparkling wine, with one supermarket reporting a 300% increase in sales last year.
“Fizz is traditionally enjoyed over the Christmas holiday period, and 2018 looks to be another sparkling success for winemakers,” commented Miles Beale, chief executive of the WSTA.
“UK consumers now have a far greater range to choose from than ever before, including world-class English sparkling wines, cavas, prosecco and crémants, but to allow consumers to continue to enjoy a wide range of quality sparkling wines, the government cannot allow a no-deal Brexit, which will stifle trade and limit choice,” Beale added.
The WSTA noted that the positive weather last year helped boost the English wine industry, which saw a record harvest, following near-perfect growing conditions.
This year's harvest is expected to exceed around six million bottles, with around 5.9 million produced by English and Welsh vineyards in 2017.
© 2019 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.