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Looking forward to Christmas in the premium on-trade

5th October, 2015

Looking forward to Christmas in the premium on-trade

Double digit growth for wine sales in the premium on-trade in 2014 and insight into December buying patterns are among key findings in the interim edition of the Liberty Wines Premium On-trade Wine Report.

The interim report, released today, shows that the positive trend at the premium end of the market identified in the 2015 Premium On-trade Wine Report continues, with double digit growth bucking the downward trend of the rest of the GB on-trade.  Wine consumption in premium on-trade outlets was 20% higher in December 2014 compared to the rest of the year.

Wine sales in December 2014 also showed significant growth on last year, with 11.4% more cases sold at 23.3% higher value than the same month in 2013. This trend is good news for high quality establishments as consumers not only buy more wine at this time of year, but spend more on it when they do.

The message to the on-trade wanting to capitalise on consumer preferences in December is that buyers should particularly look to their red wine offering to ensure there are opportunities to trade up. Red wine sales growth doubled in December last year compared to the rest of the year, with Pinot Noir a particular winner.

Premium outlets also defied the much-discussed rise of Prosecco as 63% of all sparkling wine sold in this sector last December was Champagne, showing that times of celebration still mean champers for many.

It is no surprise therefore that sales of French wine overall dominate this sector of the on-trade, up 30.7% in December 2014.

David Gleave MW, Managing Director, Liberty Wines: “The market preference for traditional choices at this time of year should be a key consideration for those making buying decisions at this crucial time of the year for on-trade profitability.”

He continues: “Consumers willing to experiment with other varieties and styles during the year became more risk averse when spending more money, and while entertaining, in December.  The savvy wine buyer would make trading up within these traditional choices as easy as possible in order to enjoy a prosperous end to the year.”

For the full interim report, please get in touch with your usual contact at Liberty Wines, or email


Defining the premium on-trade market

To provide a comparative premium on-trade wine dataset for analysis within the report, CGA used Platinum outlets using the CGA Quality Ranking methodology.  All volume sales and pricing data in these outlets were then consolidated to establish what we mean by the core premium on-trade wine market in Great Britain.

Liberty Wines’ data was added to the CGA premium view after detailed matching and segmentation of all current customers who match the CGA Outlet Index database.

Using the CGA Brand Index sales performance tool,  a further control dataset of all GB on-trade wine sales was created to allow a picture of total premium on-trade wine market share against GB, TV region and outlet type categorisations at Total Wine/ Still/ Sparkling/ Red/ White/ Rose/ Country of Origin and Varietal level.

Time frame

December figures are for December 2014 v December 2013

2014 figures are for the calendar year to end December 2014