Brits are boozing more at home as drink sales in pubs continue to fall, according to exclusive research for The Grocer.

Off-trade alcohol sales have grown by 3.3% to £11.6bn, while volumes have climbed 1.3%, an increase of 33.1 million litres [Kantar Worldpanel 52 w/e 20 July 2014].

A year ago, off-trade alcohol value sales were up 1.4% but volumes were down 4.3%, with every sector bar cider in volume decline. Sparkling wine, cider and spirits have fuelled the recovery this year.

Sparkling wine has been the strongest performer, with value growing 14.8% on volumes up 5.1% as drinkers have traded up from cava to Prosecco and Champagne, according to Kantar.

Cider is up 7.3% on volumes up 6.5%, with pricier fruit ciders driving the growth. Spirits have climbed 3.9% in value and 0.8% in volume, with the at-home cocktail drinking trend contributing.

“We’ve had the World Cup and a good summer, which helped,” said Kevin Mulcahey, head of alcohol at Kantar. “But the overall market is still depressed.”

The average number of drinks Brits consume annually has declined 4.3% in the past 12 years, with the biggest decline in pubs.

There’s been a small fall in number of serves at home, but volumes are going up. Growth in premium bottled ales and ciders - typically sold in larger single units - are contributing to this.

Brits are also opting for stronger drinks, according to online retailer Ales by Mail, which has seen an increase in the average abv of the beers it sells from 4.8% to 5.5% in the past year.

Read our Focus On Alcohol