MARKET MONITOR A graphic guide to the off-trade

12 December, 2008

Strong festive spirits sales are the driving force in a drinks market that's not quite flat, but getting there. There were signs of a very slight recovery as the pre-Christmas bargains kicked in, with long drinks sales flattening out in the four weeks to Nov 15 from a 2% dip over 12 weeks, and spirits sales growing from +10% over 12 weeks to +14% over four weeks. It's still too early to say if there will be much festive spirit in drinks sales this Christmas, but these Nielsen figures could be cause for some cautious hope.

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Richard Hemming MW: beware inverse snobbery

Few things can bring communal pleasure so intimately as wine. Apart from a hot tub, perhaps. Sport can trigger mass jubilation, film gives us shared empathy, but wine has a nigh-unique ability to bestow conviviality among us through a shared bottle – which makes it especially galling that we spend so much time divided over it.

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