As with so many recent wine market reports, sparkling wine continues to be the hero according to the latest Wine Intelligence UK Landscapes 2015 Report. The picture is positive in general too, though, in both the on- and off-trade.
The number of drinkers that report drinking wine with a formal restaurant meal at least once a week has risen to 14%, up from 9% in 2013. More regular wine drinkers in the UK now do so in bars or pubs - up to 69% from 63% in 2013. Of those drinking wine with an informal meal in the on-trade, 26% claimed to spend over £15, an increase from 21% in 2013. The percentage spending under £10 dropped from 39% to 31%.
Prosecco has gained an estimated four million UK consumers since 2013. That's reflected in sales too, with 5.4m cases sold in 2014, an increase of 2m cases compared to 2013.
The report highlights the importance of young drinkers to the wine market at the moment. Under-35s account for a quarter of regular wine drinkers, and are apparently 'more experimental and adventurous than their older counterparts'. They're also more likely to use online channels to buy wine.
Senior research analyst Luis Osório commented: 'There is a certain "feel-good factor" present in the UK economy at the moment, which is having a beneficial effect on the UK wine-drinking market. Whilst there has been no increase in the number of wine drinkers in the UK, those who do drink are spending more, and spending on better quality products.
'We are also starting to see a generational shift, with the opportunities available in the "millennial" segment becoming clearer: over the coming years, these more adventurous drinkers will become the driving force behind wine consumption trends as they will become the most numerous in terms of population in the UK.'