Restaurant, pub and hotel wine sales continue to decline

By Emma Eversham contact

- Last updated on GMT

Although wine is the preferred choice for drinkers in most restaurants, sales are still declining across the on-trade found the WSTA report
Although wine is the preferred choice for drinkers in most restaurants, sales are still declining across the on-trade found the WSTA report

Related tags: Cent, Chardonnay, Wine

Wine sales have continued to fall in restaurants, pubs and hotels over the last three months with only sparkling and fortified wines bucking the trend. 

According to the Wine & Spirit Trade Association's (WSTA) Quarter 2 Market Report, wine sales (volume) declined 2 per cent while sparkling and fortified were up 35 and 15 per cent respectively. 

Red wine led the category's overall decline with sales down 5 per cent while rosé also saw a drop. White wine was the only category to see little or no change in volume sales with Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc the varieties helping to steady sales figures. 

When it came to country of origin, New Zealand wines were most popular in the on-trade with sales up 20 per cent. French and Italian wines also saw some growth, while German, Argentinian and Australian wines saw the biggest fall. 

WSTA chief executive Miles Beale said the Government's decision not to include wine in the 2 per cent alcohol duty cut meant the category was faring less well than others. 

"Although the freeze on wine duty was an improvement the WSTA will continue to make the case to government to for equal support for the wine industry and the 270,000 jobs in the UK that it already supports," he said. 

Slowing decline

Overall, although 62 per cent of the 2,008 people surveyed for the report by said they had drunk alcohol in a bar or pub and 52 per cent in a restaurant over the last month, sales fell 2 per cent across all categories, compared to a 2 per cent growth in both value and volume in the off-trade. 

Lager (27 per cent) remains the most popular drink in pubs with ale replacing cider as the second most popular drink. In restaurants wine was the most popular choice (38 per cent) with lager following closely behind. 

Spirits sales were flat for the quarter with gin and tequila seeing the highest growth figures (up 12 and 8 per cent) compared to the same period the previous year. 

Beale said consumers were benefiting from lower taxes and the impact of lower inflation with retailers and producers passing lower costs on, but warned that the market remained fragile with volume growth very low in the off-trade. 

"The levels of taxation for the wine and spirit trade remain high in absolute terms. As we see the benefits of lower food and fuel prices beginning to recede there is a real prospect that the market could tip back into decline," he said.

Need some tips on boosting wine sales in your pub? Check out The Morning Advertiser's Wine Guide​ for all you need to know.

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