The UK’s Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) has launched a campaign, ‘Save Santa’s Sherry and Keep Passing the Port,’ which it hopes will help stop sales from nose-diving in British supermarkets.
The body says that, over the past ten years, sales of fortified wines have more than halved, with 35 million bottles of such SKUs sold in 2015, versus 82 million bottles in 2005. In this time frame, sherry went from 22 million bottles to under ten million bottles; port from over ten million bottles to under eight million; and vermouth from over 16 million to under six million.
Vermouth has fallen the hardest, with its sales dropping by two thirds from 2005. That year, it sold 12 million litres (over 16 million bottles). In 2015, only 4 million litres were sold (just short of 6 million bottles).
The WSTA has drawn a correlation between the increased fortified-wine duty and the downward trend, noting that that the tariff has gone up 53% (adding £1 to each bottle of port and sherry) since 2007.
"We are urging people to support the WSTA campaign to ‘save Santa’s sherry, keep passing the port and value vermouth’ and go out this Christmas and rediscover our top-quality fortified wines. It is vital that government comes out in support of the wine trade, which, as a whole, generates £17.3 billion in economic activity," said Miles Beale, chief executive of the body.
"We would like to remind government that cutting excise duty boosts business and brings more money into the Treasury."
Tariffs on fortified wines in the UK cost the consumer £2.78 in duty and a further £1.08 in VAT, making up over half of the average cost of a bottle in shops and supermarkets.
© 2016 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Peter Donnelly. To subscribe to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine, click here.