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WSTA market report shows mixed fortunes

A mixed picture emerges from the latest WSTA Market Report with volume sales of wines and spirits holding firm over the past quarter yet all other categories down compared to the same period last year.

Off trade figures for the 12 weeks to 6 August 2011 show wine sales up 5% in value and spirits up 7%, though most of it is attributable to duty and VAT increases. 

Standout performers include Italian wines, with volume sales up 11% and wine in the £7 to £8 range, up 31% by volume and value.  By contrast champagne sales for the 12 week period were down 23% by volume and 13% by value. 

In the spirit category for the same period, malt whisky emerges as the strongest performer, with sales up by volume (10%) and value (15%) yet sales of liqueurs were down 10% in volume and 6% in value.

The WSTA's Market Report draws on data from leading independent sources including Nielsen and CGA Strategy, with analysis by Tim Wilson, author of the Wilson Drinks Report.

In the on trade, figures for the year to 9 July show volume falls across all categories except sparkling wine, but value sales up, again largely attributable to the combined impact of duty and VAT increases.

Red wine was the best performing wine category in the off trade with value up 15%; wines from Argentina (35%), New Zealand (33%) and South Africa (32%) continue to show the largest value growth.

Commenting on the latest sales figures, WSTA chief executive Jeremy Beadles said: "The latest figures paint a mixed picture with continuing signs that consumers are cutting back on going out yet there's clearly still demand for a replacement treat at home.

"However, market conditions are likely to remain challenging, with all the evidence pointing to a further squeeze on household budgets in the months to come." 





1 September 2011 - Felicity Murray