UK port sales soar in 2020

Port sales in the UK saw impressive category growth throughout 2020, with the largest volume of off-trade sales since 2015.

Sales of the fortified wine to the UK grew by 11.4% in volume and 2.8% in value according to the Port and Douro Wines Institute (IVDP).

Total port imports are expected to reach 985,540 nine litre cases, making the UK the fourth largest port market in the world by volume and second largest by value, maintaining its position as the premium port market by volume.

According to Nielsen Scantrack Epos, off-trade port sales grew by 10.3% for the 12-month period to 26th December 2020.

“With pubs, bars & restaurants closed for much of the year and people confined to their homes, 2020 was devasting for our on-trade customers. We were fortunate, however, that demand for port soared in the rest of the UK wine trade. Port has long had a strong association with moments of comfort and time spent with family,” Johnny Symington, chairman of Symington Family Estates.

“In 2020, there were more of these opportunities for people to treat themselves with a glass of port or open a bottle of something special that they have been keeping.”

Symington Family Estates saw growth across many of their brands, with Cockburn’s enjoying 20.6% growth in the off-trade, largely driven by seasonal sales in the run-up to Christmas.

Cockburn’s UK market share to 25.8%, the largest since the Symingtons acquired the port house in 2010.

Premium brand Graham’s Port, which celebrated its bicentenary last year, recorded a 22.6% increase in volume sold in the off-trade.