Wine and spirit prices rise, sales fall
20 June, 2012
Prices of wines and spirits are rising at twice the rate of inflation, according to the latest report from the Wine and Spirit Trade Association.
It said prices had risen by 6.5% in the year to this April—well above the 3% rate of inflation. Prices may well have contributed to a decline in sales—in the case of wine by 8% by volume through bars and restaurants over the year. Spirit sales fell by 1% through bars and restaurants. In the on-trade, wine and spirit sales fell by 3% and 2% respectively.
There were brighter spots in the sector, with sales of wine in the £7 to £8 bracket up 30% year on year, and on-trade whisky sales jumping 31%. Off-trade sales of wines at higher price points rose significantly, and sales of sparkling wine increased by 2%—slightly offsetting a 13% decline in champagne sales.
WSTA interim chief executive Gavin Partington said of the figures: “The above inflation increase in the prices of wines and spirits comes as consumers are feeling the pinch and being forced to cut back, so it’s perhaps not surprising that volume sales overall are depressed. But there are encouraging signs elsewhere with wine at higher price points showing strong growth over the year.”