While sales of cider and sparkling wine in bars and restaurants showed a five per cent increase in volumes, WSTA Chief Executive Miles Beale nevertheless warned that the present challenging economic conditions necessitate the UK Government considering carefully imposing any further pressure on the trade via the current two per cent-above-inflation duty escalator or the introduction of Minimum Unit Pricing.
The WSTA survey showed that in the 12 weeks to December 5th, off-trade Champagne sales had decreased nine per cent but had increased by 13 per cent in the on-trade while on-trade sales of RTDs had grown 15 per cent in volume, up three per cent in the 12 months to November.
Inflation on wines was 2.4 per cent while that on spirits was 5.9 per cent between October 2011 and 2012.
Overall inflation ran at 3.6 per cent.
Commenting on the latest report Miles Beale said, “Overall, the latest market report shows that consumers are continuing to tighten their belts and shop around for the best value in these tough economic times.
“While it’s encouraging to see category growth in some areas, market conditions suggest that it remains a challenging time for both the industry and consumers.
“Given these challenging economic conditions the Government should think carefully before adding further pressure on the trade, as continuing with the duty escalator and the introduction of minimum unit pricing would do.”