English embrace Port as sweet alcohol sales surge
on 23/12/10 at 11:15 amIndustry
Sales of port, the quintessential Christmas tipple, have jumped this year as more consumers embrace sweet wines and want to have as a traditional festive holiday as possible.
Retailers said that port’s renaissance was partly because it appeared Britons had developed a sweeter tooth, learning to like both sweet aperitifs as well as pudding wines.
Marks & Spencer said port sales had jumped by 30 per cent compared with a year ago, while Waitrose said it was selling 20.6 per cent more than this time a year ago. The come back of what some people consider an exclusively male and fusty drink has been mirrored in the astonishing success of sherry in recent years.
Waitrose pointed out that the increasing range of cheap versions of port, some of which sold for as little as £12 a bottle, had helped attract young drinkers to the Portuguese fortified wine after decades of decline.
Andrew Bird, category manager for beers, wines and spirits at M&S said: “Whilst customers traditionally love Port during the festive period, this year sales have been beyond expectation. Not only are shoppers looking for a sweet treat more than ever, but the return to hosting formal dinner parties has led to a rise in cheese board sales, with Port being the ideal pairing.”
Young consumers embracing of formal dining at home has also seen the a resurgence in sales of napkin rings and place mats this year.