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UK – The Drink of Lockdown

CONTENTS
1. Sales Channels
2. Wine Consumption
3. Key Points

The WSTA has crowned rum the drink of lock-down, as their latest figures show that rum enjoyed the biggest growth during lock-down. At the same time, the post Brexit trade deal announcement is welcome as a relief to the UK’s wine and spirit sector.

The strong performance of rum, as well as gin, shows that consumers looked to indulge their love of cocktails and explore new flavors during the Spring even though pubs and bars couldn’t open.

With pubs, bars and restaurants closed it was inevitable that off-trade sales would increase – in volume terms, total alcohol sales in supermarkets and shops are up 8% over 12 months and 35% over the lock-down period.

The WSTA’s figures show, however, that the growth in off-trade sales did not off-set the losses seen by the closure of the on-trade.

UK drinkers increase their wine consumption frequency, but spend less per bottle as purchase channels change.

Wine Intelligence

The findings suggest that the surge in wine purchasing recorded by retailers during March and April is likely to be sustained, as wine is now being consumed at lunchtime. Over half of the UK wine drinkers said they were drinking wine during the day outside of mealtimes during the lockdown, with a third saying their day-drinking was happening at least once a week.

The growing volume of wine purchased and consumed during this period has been accompanied by a decline in typical average price per bottle paid. This is a sudden reversal of a trend of several years’ standing, where consumers in the UK have been trending towards drinking less but spending more per bottle.

We have analyzed red wines listed in Chinese restaurants:

1. Burgundy
2. Loire
3. Galicia
4. Western Cape
5. Piedmont

6. South Australia
7. Alsace
8. Rhône
9. Marlborough
10. Lower Austria

11. California
12. Bordeaux
13. Sicily
14. Languedoc
15. Veneto
UK - Top 15 white wine regions in Seafood restaurants chart
UK – Top 15 white wine regions in Seafood restaurants

Brexit – the end of Transition period

The threat of the introduction of wine tariffs and the uncertainty over the ability to move goods into and out of the EU were weighing heavy on the minds of businesses already reeling from the effect of Covid restrictions.

Businesses have been working hard ahead of 1 January 2021 to prepare for the introduction of new customs processes and systems, new labelling rules, new import certification rules for wine all of which will add to the cost of importing and exporting wine and spirits.

Commenting specifically on wine, Miles Beale, Chief Executive of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association, said “Tucked away in the annexes to the agreement, there is good news for the wine sector and the UK’s 33 million wine drinkers. The deal means that wine produced in either the UK or EU will not require the much feared, costly VI-1 certificate. Instead there will be a simplified import certificate with the eminently sensible prospect of the information being made available electronically in future.

Key Points
  • Strong Performance of Rum and Gin
  • Off-Trade sales increase
  • Wine consumption frequency increase
  • Consumer pay less