Wine TOp Products

Sales of table wine are up £717.4m, and nearly every brand in the top 50 is in growth

What a turnaround for table wine. This time last year, value was flat and volumes were slipping. Big suppliers like Accolade and Treasury were struggling to keep up with rivals Barefoot and Yellow Tail, as shoppers traded up (or switched to spirits and RTDs). This year, Covid has made the situation very different. Sales are up £717.4m, and nearly every brand in the top 50 is in growth after Brits drank an extra 65.2 million litres. At home, of course.

Premium brands are still the big winners this year, with Barefoot, Yellow Tail, Casillero del Diablo and McGuigan adding a combined £182.9m to their coffers.

Yellow Tail’s success has been further boosted by a £2m investment in brand awareness activity, says Kevin Chinn, marketing director at owner Casella Family Brands, “to ensure we retain those that were kind enough to try us for the first time in 2020”.

Coronavirus has accelerated the need for the mults to stock better brands as people “are spending less time in front of the shelves” according to Robin Copestick, MD of Freixenet Copestick, which ventured into still wine for the first time this year (see Top Launch). Stores have had to rationalise their ranges by “taking out products that were just fun to do and a bit superfluous” he adds.

That’s not to say retailers aren’t making room for disruptive brands. Treasury Wine Estates’ 19 Crimes more than doubled its value this year to £42m on the back of huge distribution gains.

Perhaps surprisingly, sparkling wine and champagne have also done well, gaining £57.7m despite the less than celebratory mood this year. “Since May, sparkling has consistently performed ahead of 2019 due to movement from the on-trade, VE day, and warm bank holidays,” says Copestick. “Also, despite an initial cut back in promotional activity, we saw this return for the second lockdown.”

Still, though several leading champagne brands performed well, volume sales fell 3.5%. For many, it seems, celebrating with a bottle of champers wasn’t always considered in the best taste given the wider picture.


Top Products 2020

In association with Nielsen

Top 5 Table Wine
        £m £ change %
Total volume change: 8.8%   Total Category: 6493.3 717.4 12.4
      Total Own Label: 1532.3 103.6 7.3
This year’s rank Last year’s rank Brand Manufacturer £m change (£m) change (%)
1 1 Hardys Accolade Wines 295.2 7.8 2.7
2 2 Barefoot E&J Gallo 250.2 62.4 33.2
3 4 Yellow Tail Casella 224.6 62.4 38.5
4 5 Casillero Del Diablo Concha Y Toro 187.5 37.5 25
5 3 McGuigan Australian Vintage 183.8 20.6 12.6
Top 5 Sparkling Wine
        £m £ change %
Total volume change: 3.9%   Total Category: 898.6 52.9 6.3
      Total Own Label: 289.6 30.4 11.7
This year’s rank Last year’s rank Brand Manufacturer £m change (£m) change (%)
1 1 Plaza Centro Cantine Maschio 76.6 3.9 5.4
2 2 Freixenet Freixenet 73.8 16.5 28.9
3 3 I Heart Copestick Murray 45.4 4.6 11.3
4 4 Canti Fratelli Martini Sec 38.1 -1.6 -4.1
5 5 Valdo Valdo 22.0 0.6 2.9
Top 5 Champagne      
        £m £ change %
Total volume change: -3.5%   Total Category: 293.8 4.9 1.7
      Total Own Label: 41.0 -2.9 -6.6
This year’s rank Last year’s rank Brand Manufacturer £m change (£m) change (%)
1 1 Moët & Chandon MHUK 45.4 5.0 12.5
2 2 Veuve Clicquot MHUK 32.6 1.1 3.6
3 3 Lanson Lanson Uk 28.3 0.8 3.1
4 4 Taittinger Taittinger 23.1 3.9 20.2
5 6 Laurent Perrier Laurent Perrier 20.8 3.0 16.9

The Grocer’s Top Launch


Freixenet still wine, Freixenet Copestick

Spanish vintner Freixenet is looking to do to premium table wine what it did to prosecco: disrupt the market using Italian wines. The brand’s trio of still wines, launched in April, are Chianti DOCG (12.5% abv), Pinot Grigio DOC and Italian Rosé (both 11.5% abv). They’re a “unique and stunning premium proposition” their maker claims. Each is priced at £10 for a 750ml bottle with the same eye-catching, diamond-cut design that characterises its sparkling stablemates.

Top Products Survey 2020: How Food Came Home