Corporates cut back on wine
Profits at wine merchants Majestic slumped 22 per cent this year compared to last.
Chief executive Steve Lewis, who announced the results to the financial markets this week, says: “Conditions have taken their toll. Trading with UK corporate customers has been poor”.
Corporate events are clearly buying in less wine and champagne, something Lewis says is unlikely to turn around any time soon.
The UK wine market saw a two per cent decline in volume sales in 2008, according to market research organisation Mintel. This represents a fall from grace for a market that has shown consistent growth for some years.
The market has also dropped in value, although still stands at £9.6 billion.
Concern over binge-drinking, a trend towards healthy lifestyles and heavy government taxation have all impacted the market.
Mintel forecasts a recovery in the wine market only in 2011.
Wine drinking among the 25-34 age group has declined more than the average.
The one wine bucking the trend is rosé, which increased its market share from just £110m in 2004 to £527m last year. Mintel forecasts it continuing to build on its six per cent market share of the wine market.