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Spanish wine sales surge in UK

Spanish wines are outperforming the rest of the wine aisle thanks to its 'flamboyant' image and value for money, a leading brand consultancy says.

British retailer Marks & Spencer has reported a 200% increase in Spanish wine sales year on year compared to 2010. The category has far outpaced the 10% increase recorded across the rest of its range, and has been partly assisted by a range review and promotions.

Graham Hale, CEO of Interbrand London, explained, ‘Spanish wine has evolved from Sangria. It’s not as stuffy, the packaging is a bit more flamboyant, and the multiples are discounting in the area, encouraging trial.’

The popularity of the Spanish section is also rising in Waitrose where Spanish reds are up 40% while overall wine sales have increased just 11%. Similarly, Tesco, the UK’s biggest wine retailer by volume has also recorded a 20% increase in Spanish, double the growth of the wine section.

Nick Room, wine buyer, Waitrose said Spain offered cash-strapped customers value for money, adding, ‘When household budgets are generally a bit tighter these days, people are still wanting to enjoy their evenings and they are picking good value, consistent wines that they know they can trust,’ he said.

However, analysis from research company Nielsen shows the growth of Spanish wines in the UK off-trade is less impressive than the individual retailers suggest. Spanish wine sales in the year to June 11 2011, were up just 3% in volume to 7.5 million cases.

Written by Rebecca Gibb

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