Consumers are increasingly turning to sparkling wine rather than Champagne as their celebratory tipple of choice, according to new research from Mintel.
Volumes of sparkling wine have increased 44% since 2002 and 42 million litres of the intoxicating stuff was sold last year, the study revealed.
In comparison, Champagne sales have increased by 24% over the same five-year period and stood at 29 million litres last year.
Mathilde Dudouit, senior market analysts at Mintel, said: "Champagne used to be the only accepted choice and sparkling wine was simply seen as a second rate imitation but sparkling wine growers have now turned the market around by producing consistently good quality wines."
In value term sparkling wines sales reached £385m in 2007, up 27% on 2002 figures.
By Chris Druce
E-mail your comments to Chris Druce here.