Less lockdown, more bubbly sales in the UK

The loosening of the lockdowns imposed by the lockdown boosted sales of bubbles in the UK. According to the data collected by the English company of analysis and consulting Kantar, in the last four weeks until 18 April, sparkling wine sales have jumped to + 48% compared to an overall increase in the sale of alcohol by “only” one percentage point and linked to the reopening of pubs and restaurants. Behind the positive figure of the sparkling wine sector there was the tendency on the part of the British to celebrate the relaxation of restrictions “with a toast with friends or family in the garden or in the parks”.

“There is a growing feeling that the worst of the pandemic is behind us, and people are becoming more comfortable venturing into the supermarket,” he said. Fraser McKevitt, Head of Retail and Consumer Insight, Worldpanel Division, UK of Kantar then recalling how by now a large part of the over 65 community is now vaccinated and represents almost half of the generalized increase in traffic in the large-scale retail channel. In fact, overall supermarket sales increased by 5.7% in the twelve weeks to April 18,

It is unlikely that Italian wine will take advantage of the British desire to toast. According to the analysis of the Study Center Disclosure, based on Istat data for January 2021, the first month after leaving the European Union, exports of Made in Italy wine to Great Britain fell by 36% due to the bureaucratic and administrative obstacles that hinder trade after Brexit. The United Kingdom, with its 3.7 billion imports of wines and sparkling wines, remains the third outlet market after the United States and Germany, with shipments that this year reached the minimum of the decade. As the study center points out, there are numerous bureaucratic difficulties that are putting Italian wine to the test in the country. There are twelve new mandatory constraints just to export wine to the UK. We start from the labeling that does not foresee changes until 30 September 2022, but afterwards it will be necessary to indicate the name and address of the importer or bottler operating in the United Kingdom; for organic wine in 2022 an inspection certificate is triggered. Then there are news on packaging, with a new code, information that discourages the use of alcohol, registration on the Rex database, the system of registered exporters, for shipments of over 6 thousand euros and finally a new tariff regime. In the United Kingdom, Divulga concludes, Made in Italy labels were sent in 2020 for 714 million euros, of which 324 million sparkling wines.

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