UK wine consumption to hit 151.5 million cases by 2014

13 January 2011 by
UK wine consumption to hit 151.5 million cases by 2014

The UK has cemented its position as the world's biggest importer of wine and is set to see its consumption of all types of the drink climb to 151.5 million cases by 2014.

Meanwhile, total wine sales in the UK are also set to climb slightly to almost £9b by 2014. Despite that, the average retail price of a bottle has fallen slightly, to £5.23 in 2010.

Those are the findings of updated research from international wine show Vinexpo and International Wine and Spirits Research (IWSR).

The report also showed that 1.1% more wine was drunk in the UK in 2010 than in 2009, with the total amount consumed standing at 1.765 billion bottles in 2010.

White wine remains the most popular type of wine in UK, with 60.5 million cases consumed in 2009, compared with 58.7 million of red - a fall of around 8% since 2005. Red is forecast to decline by another 0.99% in 2014, while white will climb 2.67% to 62.4m cases. Rosé is expected to see the strongest growth (11.5%) but will still account for a relatively small share of the market at 21.3 million cases.

Australia and France are still the largest suppliers to the UK but they are losing share to Italy, the USA, Spain, South Africa and Chile. New Zealand also saw exports to the UK rise by 80% between 2005 and 2009.

High alcohol duty also partly helps explain why the UK is the second-largest consumer market worldwide for higher-priced wines of more than £6.15 per bottle, behind the USA but ahead of France.

Vodka is the UK's number one spirit, with consumption up nearly 20% in the past five years. It is set to grow by a further 6% in the next four years. Scotch whisky has fallen by 10% over the past five years but is expected to stabilise over the next four years. The UK is the third-largest consumer of Scotch whisky, behind the USA and France.

Worldwide, annual wine production is expected to hit over three billion cases by 2014, with consumption increasing 8.6%.

The figures come ahead of the Vinexpo show in Bordeaux, France, between 19 and 23 June this year, which will see 50,000 wine professionals attend from 140 countries.

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By Neil Gerrard

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