Bottoms up: UK named biggest wine importer

Britain imported more than 1.6bn bottles of wine last year. We'll drink to that.

by
Last Updated: 29 Mar 2016

It's good to see a positive story among all the unappetising dregs currently floating around the retail news world. According to Vinexpo, the wine and spirits exhibition organiser, sales of plonk in Britain will continue to grow over the next five years, despite the recession.

The report says that Britons spent £3.3bn on wine in 2007. The nation overtook Germany and the US to top the rankings of wine importers, bringing in 12.4% more than in 2003. Research by the International Wine and Spirit Record (IWSR) says the amount of wine sold in the UK rose by 34.5% between 2003 and 2007. Which all seems great, for the booze industry at least - if not the state of the nation's collective liver.

A closer look reveals that the figures came from a time before the recession hit. Even so, Vinexpro still expects the wine industry to continue growing, despite a leveling in the increase in sales in the past year.

Britain is 13th in the world for consumption per head, with Vinexpro predicting that wine drunk per adult will increase from 27.2 litres a year to 28.3 litres - still far behind France (58.8 litres), but on the up. Vinexpo stated: ‘The average supermarket basket has two bottles of wine in it and the average purchaser is a mother with two children.'

So it's good to see people aren't afraid to splash out on their home comforts. But as is becoming increasingly apparent, there's always a loser to these recession success stories. Supermarket booze discounts have been blamed for the shocking state of the pub industry, which is seeing 27 pubs closing every week. Let's hope the recent revival in real ale sales will help to keep spirits up...


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Bottoms up: UK named biggest wine importer

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