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Champagne & Prosecco lead UK Christmas wine sales

Strong demand for sparkling wine at Christmas helped UK supermarkets to slow declines in grocery sales – with Tesco selling more than 5.2m bottles of Champagne and Prosecco in the festive period.

According to data on Christmas wine sales from research analyst IRI, supermarkets sold an extra £60m-worth of beers, wines and spirits during the festive fortnight, compared to last year.

Sparkling wine and Champagne spearheaded this growth, with UK consumers spending an extra £15m on fizz compared to 2014, up 18%.

For 2015 as a whole, spending on Champagne and sparkling wine rose 14.5% to £905m, IRI said.

Tesco, which reported a 1.3% rise in like-for-like sales in the six weeks to 9 January, said it sold more than 5.2m bottles of Champagne and Prosecco during the festive period.

Meanwhile, The Wine Society reported strong sales across the board, with no particular region or style standing out, a spokesperson said.

‘Following an unpredictable year, The Wine Society had a very strong Christmas – our fourth record Christmas in a row – with all areas of the portfolio performing well,’ he added.

‘Long term, the market for alcohol has been falling in the UK, but supermarket sales have risen slightly across 2015 to £12.1bn (+1%), and grew in the final week of the year, when most other FMCG categories declined,’ said Tim Eales, IRI’s strategic insight director.

‘People are changing where they shop for beer, wine and spirits, buying more from supermarkets and drinking less out of home.’

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