Sales of fizz in the UK top £1bn for the first time

Sales of sparkling wine in the UK continue to soar with the latest data indicating the amount sold last year is enough to fill the Royal Albert Hall, reaching over £1 billion for the first time.

Our love of sparkling means that £709m was sold in UK shops in the last 12 months to January and £348m through bars and restaurants, totalling £1,057,000,000, according to the latest figures from the Wine and Spirit Trade Association’s (WSTA) Market Report.

By the end of this year the volume of sparkling wine sold is predicted to be double that sold in 2012, reaching a total of 800,000 hectolitres.

The figures also show that in the last 12 weeks, to the end of January, the amount of fizz sold in shops reached £229m, up 20% on last year.

The sparkling wine category includes English sparkling wine, Prosecco and Cava as well as fizz from other countries. Champagne sales are monitored separately, but in the last 12 weeks sales in this category have also increased by 5% through retail and 13% in bars and restaurants.

More sparkling wine is sold in the UK than Champagne, making up 83% of fizz sold.

Miles Beale, chief executive for the Wine and Spirit Trade Association, said: “Sparkling wine has once again experienced excellent growth, which is fantastic news for our expanding English wine industry.

“However, the UK has the second highest duty rate and sparkling wine is among the highest taxed alcoholic drinks in the UK and is taxed 28% higher than still. This is why we, and many others, are asking for the Chancellor to cut wine and spirits by 2%. Not only would British drinkers get a fairer deal but a cut would bring more revenue to the Exchequer. We could all celebrate!”

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