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20 January 2015


The downturn in UK wine drinking which has seen a 10.5% per capita drop since 2008, will end this year, forecasts VINEXPO, the world’s largest professional wine and spirits exhibition.

The highly-accurate data*, prepared for VINEXPO by the IWSR shows adult wine consumption will start to edge up over the next five years. However, wine drinking will not recover to its 2008 level of 25 litres per person – equivalent in that year to 1.61 billion bottles of white, rosé and red wine (134.8 million nine-litre cases) – in the foreseeable future.

VINEXPO forecasts a slow recovery over the next five years, reaching 22.5 litres per head by 2018 when consumption is forecast to hit a total of 1.54 billion bottles (128.71m cases). UK wine drinking hit a six-year low in 2014* falling by 146 million bottles (122.2m cases) compared with the high point of 2008.

Contrarily, the total retail value of UK wine sales edged up over the same period due to an increase in sales of premium-priced wines. The value of total UK wine sales rose from US$14 billion in 2008 to reach US$16.1 billion last year. It is forecast to reach US$16.47 billion this year.

Fizzing future
The outstanding success since 2008 is the rise of sparkling wine. Its popularity with UK drinkers shows no sign of slowing. In the ten years from 2008 to 2018 UK drinkers are forecast to increase consumption per person from 1.6 litres to 2.2 litres a year.

The volume of sparkling wine drunk in the UK rose from 8.68 million cases in 2008 to 11.23 by last year and is forecast to reach 11.56 million cases this year.

Driving the category are imports of Prosecco. In 2013 alone the Italian sparkling wine saw growth of 43% in UK imports. Over the five years from 2008 to 2013 imports doubled from 1.38 million nine-litre cases to 3.57 million cases.

Of the top five exporters of sparkling wine to the UK, Italy, Spain and the much-smaller USA, showed
growth last year, while Champagne and Australian exports fell.

* The study contains actual volumes from 2008-2013. Data from 2014 to 2018 is forecasted.

In the pink
While white is the UK’s favourite wine colour, the popularity of rosé wine has held up relatively well since 2008. Consumption in 2015 is expected to reach 175 million bottles (14.59m cases) and to arrive at 183 million bottles (15.24m cases) by 2018.The volume of white wine consumed in the UK is forecast to pick up from a low of 662.6 million bottles (55.21m cases last year to 676.7 million bottles (56.39m cases) this year and to 698.7 million bottles (58.22m cases) by 2018.

Red wine will recover from a low of 636.2 million bottles (53.01m cases) last year, to reach 645.2 million bottles (53.76m cases) in 2015.

None of the three will hit their peaks of 2008 when white volume was 720.2 million bottles (60m cases), rosé 186.7 million bottles (15.56m cases) and red 710.3 million bottles (59.19m cases), says VINEXPO.

Guillaume Deglise, CEO of VINEXPO, says, "We can say confidently that 2015 will show that the UK wine recession is over. While the UK market shed 9.6m cases between 2008 and 2013, it is now past its low point. The UK wine trade is building value and many leading marketers report progress at the premium end".

About the Vinexpo/IWSR Survey

For the 13th year running, Vinexpo, the international wine and spirits exhibition, has commissioned a study from market intelligence provider IWSR (International Wine and Spirit Research). This in-depth analysis of global consumption, production and international trade in wines and spirits includes a 5-year forecast (up to 2018 for this new study).
The survey covers 28 producing countries and 114 consumer markets.

Established in 1971, the IWSR database is the broadest, most accurate and most detailed source of information on the worldwide alcoholic beverages market.

In 13 years, the Vinexpo study has become a standard reference for professionals in the sector. The high quality of this unique survey, instigated by Vinexpo, is proven year after year, as comparison of projected and actual consumption figures display a consistently low margin of error.

Vinexpo will take place from 14 to 18 June 2015


Press contacts

UK – V O I C E
Eugene Bacot 07802 345030

Colin Lewis 07796 461392

Peter Ward 07795 204455

Anne Cusson – Head of press relations
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