Pears not as fruitful as apples in off-trade

Q We read an awful lot about the boom in cider. Presumably this has affected perry as well? Are there figures available or is it all counted as "cider"?

A No, perry's sales data is there for all to see but unfortunately it doesn't make particularly happy reading. According to Nielsen data for the 12 months to Feb 23, off-trade sales were static at £84 million, while volumes slipped by 7% to 49 million litres.

It sounds bleak, but put it into some context: perry is still a bigger category in the take-home sector than port and it's not far behind Cognac - though admittedly the gap is widening.

The definition of perry has been blurred a little by the arrival of pear-flavoured cider.