Wine and spirit price increases outstrip inflation

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Wine and spirit prices have risen by more than double the rate of inflation in the last year.

Consumers have paid 6.5% more in the last year for wines and spirits, while inflation has risen at just 3% for the year to the end of April, according to the WSTA’s market report. 

Although sales of wine have dropped by 3% in volume and spirits by 2%; sales of more premium wines priced over £10 increased by 32% by volume in the off-trade. Sales of wine in the £7 to £8 price bracket in the off trade were also up 30% by volume for the year.

The on-trade saw sales of wine fall by 8% by volume for the year to March 2012 and spirits fell by 1% - but sales of malt whisky grew 31% in volume.

The report also showed:

  • The average price of alcohol has increased across all categories in the off-trade; Liqueurs are the only spirits category which declined by value in the off-trade;
  • Champagne sales in bars and restaurants have decreased by 13% in volume but sparkling wine sales have increased by 2%;
  • RTDs continue to decline in the on-trade (-3% in volume) as consumers appear to be turning to cider, which has grown 6% in volume.


WSTA interim chief executive Gavin Partington said: “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.”

The WSTA Market Report draws on data from Nielsen (to end April 2012), CGA Strategy (to end March 2012) and the Wilson Drinks Report.

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