Sparkling wine sales jump 50% as Brits celebrate reopening

Saleha Riaz
·2-min read
Two glasses of champagne toasting in the nigh with lights bokeh, glitter and sparks on the background
Data suggested 'many raised a toast with friends and family in the garden or the park,' said Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar. Photo: Getty Images

Take-home sales of sparkling wine were up by 48% during the 12 weeks to 18 April 2021 as Brits celebrated the ease of lockdown restrictions, which kicked off on 12 April.

Kantar’s latest research said the uptick in wanting to drink wine at home comes because “consumers were keen to make up for missed celebrations.”

The data suggested “many raised a toast with friends and family in the garden or the park,” said Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar.

But sales of alcohol overall grew by just 1% in the latest four weeks, as people now have the option of eating and drinking outside, with pubs and restaurants reopening.

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Take-home grocery sales rose 5.7% and the number of supermarket trips made was 4% higher than in March as consumer confidence grows and the vaccine programme continues to be rolled out.

“There is a growing sense that the worst of the pandemic is behind us, and people are becoming more comfortable with venturing out to the supermarket,” said McKevitt.

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With much of the over-65 community now vaccinated, older shoppers accounted for nearly half of the increased footfall.

Online grocery sales had surged during lockdown but latest data shows the share of groceries ordered online in the most recent four weeks slipped to 13.9%, down from a peak of 15.4% in February.

“While the market may fluctuate between growth and decline in the months ahead, depending on the year-on-year comparison being made, the fact that trip numbers are up and basket sizes down suggests that habits are slowly returning to normal,” said McKevitt.

Meanwhile, with non-essential stores now open, shoppers are eager to visit fashion retailers.

On 12 April, spending on clothes was double the typical pre-pandemic level, as well as being greater than when stores reopened after the first lockdown in 2020.

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