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London, March 1, 2017: China’s thriving wine market will be worth more than the UK by 2020, forecasts VINEXPO, the world’s leading wine and spirit exhibition. The UK will be pushed into third place among the world’s biggest wine markets when sales of still and sparkling wine reach USD 21 billion in China compared to US$ 16 billion in the UK.

The data, shown to be consistently accurate to within 1%-2%, comes from the VINEXPO/IWSR Global Study 2015-2020. It reveals changes in the behaviour of drinkers of still wines over the next five years as UK imports fall from 120.9 million 9-litre cases in 2015 to 117.4 million cases by 2020. The value of wine sales will decline to USD 15.5 from USD 15.8 (its highest point in 2015) over the same period.

The trends show consumers choosing premium and standard still wines (drinking less but better) in the run up to 2020 while sales of value/low price wines below GBP5 a bottle will show a fall of nearly 4% compared with 2015.

Consumption per head of still wines is forecast to fall from 24.3 litres to 20.3 litres by 2020. The report adds that lower alcohol wines are a likely area of growth driven by health consciousness, lower price points (between GBP1.50 and GBP2 less for a 75cl bottle) and the lowering of the drink-driving limit in Scotland which has had a particularly strong effect for on-trade sales. A drink-driving limit in England and Wales would produce similar effects, says the report.

In sharp contrast, sparkling wines, especially Prosecco, will show strong growth. The UK is expected to be the leading global growth market for Prosecco showing a rise of 10.8% between 2016-2020 to reach consumption of 8.2 million 9-litre cases.

Total consumption of sparkling wine will increase from 12.8 million cases in the period. Consumption of sparkling wine per head will rise from 12 litres in 2015 to more than 15 litres by 2020. Champagne is also benefitting from expanding sparkling wine consumption. Cava will continue to decline.

UK wine drinkers show a preference for white wine; 54.9 million 9-litre cases in 2015 falling to 53.5 million cases by 2020. Consumption of red wine is forecast to fall to 52.5 million cases by 2020, while rosé will drop to 12.9 million cases in 2020 from 13.8 million in 2015.

Among the top five wine suppliers to the UK Australia will remain the leader (25.1 million 9-litre cases this year). A crossover point will be reached in 2017 when the USA surplants France (3rd) and Italy (4th) as the second largest wine supplier to the UK, with Spain in fifth position. Imports of wine from the USA will reach 17.8 million cases by 2020.

The forecasts by the world’s leading wine and spirit exhibition cover the period of Brexit negotiation. The report comments, “In such a price sensitive market still wines can expect to be dramatically impacted by the result of the EU referendum as the effects of increased consumer caution, economic uncertainty and price increases are felt.”

The report adds that New World wines are expected to make substantial gains in sales of wine priced at £8 and more a bottle. “New Zealand and Argentinian wines in particular are set to perform well on the back of the shifting focus to quality over quantity.”

Mr Guillaume Deglise, CEO of VINEXPO, said, “As the world’s biggest international wine and spirit exhibition, discussion by visitors, buyers and suppliers from 135 countries about the impact and opportunities occasioned by Brexit are poised to be a major topic this summer.”

VINEXPO, the world’s leading international wine and spirits exhibition takes place in Bordeaux, France, from June 18 to June 21 this year.

Notes to Editors: The IWSR/Vinexpo is the most comprehensive survey of the global wine market. The report covers still light wine and sparkling wine consumption trends and volumes across 45 countries from 2010 to 2020. It comprises a global summary with an overview of regional markets and 20 key countries, including sales volumes by wine colour and price point, volume development by country of origin; value developments to date and projected forward; consumer trends; production developments in 2015 and 2016, as well as wine’s position in the context of the broader alcohol category today and moving forward.

Press Contacts

Vinexpo press contacts:

Anne Cusson -
Katharina Woitczyk -
Tel. +33 556 560 169 Vinexpo UK press contacts:
Eugene Bacot -
Tel. 07802 345030
Peter Ward -
Tel. 07795 204455

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