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The Liberty Wines Premium On-Trade Wine Report launches

12th February, 2015

The Liberty Wines Premium On-Trade Wine Report launches

Brits ‘drinking up’ quality wines in high-end establishments

New research reveals wine success in premium on-trade outlets despite decline in total on-trade wine sales

Britain is becoming a nation of adventurous wine drinkers according to The Liberty Wines Premium On-trade Wine Report, developed in partnership with CGA Strategy.

The report reveals a surge in sales of higher quality wines from different varieties and countries in premium restaurants, wine bars, hotels and gastropubs compared to a decline in total on-trade wine sales.

Liberty Wines has analysed the drinking trends of consumers using unique sales data, and a survey of 500 managers. The in-depth report on the British premium on-trade wine market reveals that:
• The premium on-trade wine market is small but steadily growing (it represents 13% by value of the total on-trade wine market)
• Brits are finding plenty to celebrate with sparkling wine sales up +45% in premium on-trade outlets, boosted by Champagne and Prosecco
• Champagne accounts for six out of ten bottles of sparkling wine consumed in high-end establishments
• White wine still dominates by volume in the premium on-trade (55% white, 36% red) in 2014, but in value terms red wine is showing good growth and is just 3% behind white at 44%. All main red varieties are up, with Merlot the biggest grape by value, up +18.3%
• Gastropubs are leading the charge with the strongest growth in wine sales, up +47% by volume
• French and Italian wines reign supreme in premium on-trade with good growth by value and volume, although New Zealand wines are the fastest growing in value terms David Gleave MW, Managing Director of Liberty Wines, comments: “It’s an exciting time for Britain’s premium on-trade wine market which has never been stronger. People are clearly drinking better quality wines than before. This is coupled with an increasing number of quality places to eat and drink."

"Although consumers tend to stick to styles and varieties they know and trust we are increasingly seeing them trade-up to wines further down the list. Our job is to continue to entice people to try new styles and varieties from across the globe. London’s premium on-trade wine market is growing by +18.4% by value year-on-year. We believe this is set to continue and that the rest of Britain can follow suit.”

What to order in 2015

• According to over half of London on-trade managers surveyed, Fiano, a vibrant dry white from the south of Italy, is the one to watch in 2015
• Chardonnay is regaining popularity especially in restaurants (+38.5% volume growth)
• Viognier is upholding its premium status, as value is growing significantly faster than volume, increasing by +21%
• Pinot Noir grew by +75% in volume in gastropubs and is expected to continue its success into 2015
• Grenache enjoyed double digit volume growth  in the past year albeit from a small base
• Sangiovese is maintaining its premium status, with value rising by +29% in the past year

Ones to watch

The Liberty Wines Premium On-trade Wine Report highlights that the favourites Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc lead white wine sales, with Pinot Grigio making up 42% of sales by volume and Sauvignon Blanc being the strongest performer, especially in London. However, Chardonnay is fighting back, increasing in volume (+11%) and value (+7%) in the last year with even greater increases in restaurant sales. As the third biggest white wine variety, Chardonnay now accounts for 20% of the premium white wine market.

Red wine’s popularity is growing, with volume increasing by an impressive +20% compared to the same period last year. Sales of rosé are increasing at an exceptional rate across the premium on-trade wine market. The Report shows it has become a year-round wine and accounts for one in 10 bottles of premium wine sold in gastropubs and restaurants and up overall in high-end establishments by +30% in volume over the past year.

Top five grape varieties by vol
British premium on-trade 2014

1. Pinot Grigio 
2. Sauvignon Blanc 
3. Merlot 
4. Chardonnay
5. Tempranillo 
Based on volume Top five wine-producing countries by vol
British premium on-trade 2014

1.  France
2.  Italy
3. Australia
4. Spain
5. Chile

Please follow the links to download the following documents:
Executive Summary
Key Findings
Supporting Infographic

For a full copy of the report please get in touch with your usual contact 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.

The voice of the people
CGA Strategy also interviewed 500 on-trade managers for this report, asking them questions relating to the growth of their business and their predicted trends.

Time frame
2013 figures are for the year to July 2013
2014 figures are for the year to July 2014