Spirits ahead as wine falters

BaileysSPIRITS was the strongest-performing of the major alcoholic drinks categories in the UK off-trade ahead of the main Christmas selling period, says the Wine and Spirits Trade Association.
Off-trade sales of spirits were up 3% in the 12 weeks to early December 2014, led by an 11% increase in sales of liqueurs, the organisation’s latest drinks market report said.
But the period proved another tough quarter for wine, as sales declined by 3%. Old World wines, in particular, continued to struggle and the association said  sales of French, Italian, German, and Spanish wines are all showing  long-term volume and value decline.
But sparkling wine continued to show what the group described as  remarkable growth, up by 29% in the 12 weeks and  by 17%  over 12 months.