UK passes ‘peak prosecco’ as sparkling wine sales fall

Sales of sparkling wine in the UK have fallen for the first time in five years, figures show.

Three million fewer bottles were sold last year, with sales dropping from 217 million bottles in 2017 to 214 million in 2018, according to accountancy group UHY Hacker Young.

Alternative drink trends, the loss of prosecco’s luxurious image and a rise in price are said to have contributed to the drop in sales.

Findings suggest that the celebratory connotations of sparkling wine does not fit in with the current economic climate, while the growing popularity of artisan gin and rum cocktails have turned younger drinkers away from fizz.

Martin Jones, a partner at the accountancy network, said: “After years of growing popularity for sparkling wine, we have finally passed peak prosecco.

“Prosecco very quickly went from chilled bottles in expensive bars to t-shirts across the country. For a drink that trades on its luxury, being available everywhere can damage its image.

“Can anyone blame drinkers in the UK for not cracking open the sparkling wine at the same rate over the past year? I’m not sure 2018 will be looked back on as a vintage year for celebrations by very many people.

“Consumer tastes amongst the younger demographic can change very quickly. Just as quickly as prosecco became the must-buy drink for young people, pink gin and rum could replace it.”

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