Prosecco Outsells Champagne in the UK

For the first time ever, the British are spending more money on prosecco than Champagne says The Guardian. UK shoppers spent £181.8m (approximately $266.34m) on prosecco in 2014, versus £141.3m (or approx. $207.01m) on Champagne in the same year. Some experts fear that if this trend continues, “prosecco” risks becoming a generic term for any sparkling wine that’s not champagne.

In terms of volume, that’s 28 million bottles sold, which is more than the volume of cava and Champagne sold combined (17.3 million and 8.7 million bottles, respectively). According to market research company Kantar, prosecco sells for an average of £6.49 per bottle compared with Champagne’s£16.23. This is almost certainly a contributing factor to the trend.

In addition, many UK bars and restaurants have begun selling Italian sparkling wine on tap, bolstering the brand’s popularity. However, Italian producers claim that the practice is illegal according to the strict guidelines under which prosecco is to be made and sold under 2009 EU rules.

As Giancarlo Vettorello, director of the Consorzio di Conegliano Valdobbiadene, says—to be real Italian prosecco, the wine must be served from a bottle. [The Guardian][Photo: Flickr/James West]