Prosecco vs champagne: Italian sparkling wine sales overtake champagne as Brits quaff £339m

Lynsey Barber
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We're now a nation of prosecco drinkers (Source: Getty)

Sales of prosecco have overtaken champagne for the first time as Brits knocked back a third of a billion pounds worth of the Italian sparkling wine.

The value of prosecco sales has rocketed by £142m, or 72 per cent in the last year, hitting £339m - fizzing ahead of its French rival.

Champagne sales were flat, up just 1.2 per cent in the year to mid-July. With total sales of £250m, that means it's trailing behind prosecco, according to retail analysts IRI. It's the third year in a row sales growth of the sweeter tasting, cheaper-priced drink have surged ahead of the classic bottle of champers.

Read more: Everyone panic - there could be a global prosecco shortage this summer

“Prosecco is a fashionable drink that provides a cheaper and excellent quality alternative to champagne. It’s no wonder that it now outpaces champagne in value as well as volume and is being chosen above champagne at weddings. It’s quickly becoming the nation’s summer drink of choice,” said Toby Magill, head of beer, wine and spirits insights at IRI, which counts sales data across supermarkets, off licenses, convenience stores and independent sellers.

“Champagne brands will need to focus on helping shoppers see the value of their premium brands if they want to fend off the advances of their popular prosecco cousins as they move into the premium end of the sparkling wine category,” he warned.

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