2018 a record year for fizz sales says WSTA

Combined sales of sparkling wine and Champagne have reached a record high in 2018, with almost £2.2 billion worth of fizz sold, according to the Wine & Spirit Trade Association.

Sales rose 10% in value and 7% in volume to 164 million bottles the organisation revealed in figures from its end of year market report.

A record £1.5 billion, the equivalent of 146 million bottles, of this was from sales of non-Champagne sparkling wine, with supermarkets reporting a boom in sales of French crémant wines.

Combined sales of sparkling wine and Champagne have almost doubled in volume and value in the last five years.

The WSTA said the lion’s share of sparkling wine sales in the UK still comes from Prosecco but growth in its sales has slowed markedly with drinkers exploring other fizz offerings.

Becky Hull MW, wine buyer at Waitrose, said: “We've seen continued growth [in crémant] over many years and definitely expect that trend to continue.

“Crémant offers brilliant value for money, so it's enjoying well deserved success.”

A spokesperson for Marks & Spencer added: “So far it’s been a great festive season for fizz. Crémant continues to really gain in popularity as customers discover it’s great value and quality, and sales are actually up an impressive 300% on the year.

“Our Prosecco sales are up 47%, as customers have enjoyed some great deals on our Prosecco this festive season.”

WSTA chief executive Miles Beale said: “Fizz is traditionally enjoyed over the Christmas holiday period and 2018 looks to be another sparkling success for winemakers.

“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.

“The greatest gift for sparkling wine lovers this Christmas is a deal which allows for frictionless trade without tariffs.”