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Wine consumption increases at expense of beer

UK wine drinkers are expected to increase their consumption by 16% within the next four years, according to research released today.

The growth will come at the expense of beer sales in the on-trade, which are decreasing at the rate of 3% per person per year.

Consumption per person will jump to an average 19.3 litres from the current level of 16.6 litres, website just-drinks.com reports.

The research, by analysts Datamonitor, predicts that sales of wine will reach £7bn (US$12.5bn) by 2008. Current levels are around £6bn.

Beer consumption is falling off as people increasingly drink wine at home with their evening meal. Sales of alcohol in general in pubs is falling while restaurant visits are increasing.

Total beer consumption in the UK declined an average 3% per person annually between 1998 and 2003. Consumption of spirits climbed an average 0.5%.

The boost in wine figures was also put down to the increasing volumes of alcohol consumed by women drinkers. Women account for 55% of the UK wine market, compared with 24% of the beer market, Datamonitor said.

Written by Adam Lechmere, and agencies

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