WSTA reiterates calls for a duty break as average wine price hits £5.68

The average price of a bottle of wine has risen by 5.2% since Brits voted to leave the European Union in June 2016.

Before the referendum the average price for a bottle of wine in the off-trade was £5.40, but that has now reached £5.68 (Nielsen).

Some members of the trade will be pleased to see the average price rising as they have long been chanting the premiumisation mantra.

But the Wine & Spirit Trade Association believes it represents bad news for wine lovers across the UK, as inflation and the weaker pound have caused costs to rise.

Rather than paying more for better wine, it is simply a case of Brits being hit by spiralling costs for the wine they always drink, the WSTA suggested.

It warned that the price will go up by another 7p if, as expected, the Chancellor goes through with a “painful” planned 3.4% rise on alcohol duty.

Chief executive Miles Beale said: “The WSTA predicted that Brexit and the fall in the value of the pound, compounded by rising inflation, would force the UK wine industry to increase prices. Sadly, this is now a reality with the average priced bottle of wine in the UK now at an all-time high.

“The Chancellor can take action to help both our industry and the consumer by freezing duty in his November Budget. Currently, duty is set to rise in line with RPI inflation, which in the current economic climate, not to mention price rises as a result of Brexit, is a painful and unnecessary blow to an industry that already has more than enough to contend with.”

He added that 99% of the wine drunk in the UK is imported, making a no deal Brexit an extremely alarming prospect, particularly for those working in the wine industry. “However, the one thing that is within the government’s control is excise duty,” said Beale. “Government must start showing its support for the UK wine industry – and nearly 190,000 jobs that our industry supports – by tackling our excessive duty rates and freezing duty at the Autumn Budget.”

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