Despite reports of sales across the sector falling two per cent in the first quarter of 2015, drinks supplier Matthew Clark has reported a 10.7 per cent increase in sales of premium wine brands.
Restaurant sales are up 14.5 per cent, while gastro pubs have seen a massive 52 per cent rise in demand year-on-year.
“Customers are increasingly looking to up their offering of quality wines delivering good value, as consumers are not only more willing to trade up but more interested in trying new things,” said Simon Jerrome, purchasing director of Matthew Clark.
“We have new producers from Australia, Argentina, USA, Spain, Hungary, Romania and the UK as well as France, Italy and New Zealand - all selected to fulfill growing customer demand for premium wines.”
Sauvignon Blanc sales accounted for almost 43 per cent of Matthew Clark’s premium still white category, growing six per cent year-on-year.
The company has introduced new varieties of Campania and Chablis wines in response to consumer demand, with sales rising 130 and 20 per cent respectively.
A WSTA report earlier this year found that wine sales were becoming increasingly important to on-trade, accounting for half the value of all drinks sales in new openings.
While consumers are becoming more willing to ‘trade up’ and purchase more expensive drinks, interestingly it is the opposite case for food offerings – with lower and mid-range dishes rising in popularity.
Most popular on-trade
The latest CGA report on wine brand performance has named Accolade Wines’ brands Stowells, Jack Rabbit and Hardys as the top three most popular wines in the UK on-trade.
Jack Rabbit has become one of the fastest growing brands, experiencing a 36.8 per cent increase in sales volume year-on-year.
“This goes to prove that there is a place for strong brands in the on-trade and that consumers do remain loyal to names like Hardys, Jack Rabbit and Stowells because they know they are going to get consistency and quality, wherever and whenever they choose to enjoy them,” said Amy White, markeing director, Accolade Wines UK and Ireland.