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Blip in rosé popularity: Nielsen

Analysts are seeing the first blip in the popularity of rosé for nearly a decade, although wine merchants insist it is as popular as ever.

Demand in the UK for pink wine has fallen two per cent to 12.3m cases in the past 12 months, analysts Nielsen say.

This is despite the fact total value sales grew three per cent in the last year, out-performing red and white wines.

Nielsen’s drinks analyst Stewart Blunt described the latest figures as ‘disappointing’ and attributed the loss to the ‘cheap end of rosé’, the unfavourable exchange rates and the economic climate. ‘People are opting for cheaper alternatives such as cider,’ he said.

Although the average price for a bottle of rosé has risen by five per cent since this time last year, it still remains cheaper than red or white wine – the market average for a bottle of rose cost £4.31 in comparison to £4.50 for red or white wine.

The boom in the popularity of rosé is generally dated from the heatwave summer of 2003. Seen as an easy-to-drink alternative to red wine, it has proved especially popular among young women, who helped push sales past £5bn bottles in 2009.

Despite Nielsen’s suggestion that the market may be flattening out, suppliers have seen no evidence of this and insist that rose is maintaining its popularity and presence.

Justin Howard-Sneyd, global wine director of Laithwaites, said ‘rosé wine sales are growing, they are always higher in the summer months as many of our customers choose to drink them with barbeques.’

UK supermarket Waitrose is also bullish. A spokesman confirmed, ‘rosé wine sales are up 77% year on year. Our customers like, and expect, a good rosé.’

Written by Anna Berrill

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