Wine sales at restaurants, hotels and pubs fall 6% in 2011

By Emma Eversham

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Cent, Alcoholic beverage

Wine sales fell 6 per cent last year with Champagne worse hit at 12 per cent
Wine sales fell 6 per cent last year with Champagne worse hit at 12 per cent
Volume sales of wine at restaurants, hotels and pubs fell 6 per cent in 2011, according to the latest Wine & Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) Market Report with spirit sales down slightly less at 2 per cent. 

The usually busy festive season didn't even help lift sales with the last 12 weeks also showing a drop according to the report, which draws on data and analysis from Nielsen, CGA Strategy and the Wilson Drinks Report. 

Cash-strapped consumers shunned Champagne with the category one of the worst affected by a reigning in of spending. Champagne sales dropped 12 per cent although sparkling wine seemed to benefit with their sales actually increasing by 3 per cent. 

Blended whisky sales were the worst hit with sales down 13 per cent. However, along with sparkling wine, liqueurs and malt whisky were the only categories to see an increase - up 5 per cent and 31 per cent respectively. 

Duty escalator

Value sales rose across most categories. However, this was due to a rise in the level of VAT rather than an increase in prices or more spend per head, the report said. 

Commenting on the figures WSTA interim chief executive Gavin Partington said: "It's clear that many consumers continue to feel the pinch yet the duty escalator on alcohol continues to push prices up and sadly the Budget later this month threatens more of the same. 

"If Budget tax increases go through as scheduled, tax on wine and spirits will have increased by 45 per cent and 40 per cent respectively since 2008.  It's a tax take that hurts consumers and undermines our industry's efforts to support economic growth."

The report found that drinking alcohol at home was still most popular with the majority of people with nearly two thirds of adults saying they would typically drink at home or at a friend's house. However, spend on going out did rise 3 per cent to £43 per person per month. 

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