Wine prices are sliding as multiple grocers take on the discounters in a price war, the latest Nielsen figures have revealed.

In the past quarter, just two countries – the US and France – saw the average price for a 75cl bottle grow by 1% in the 12 weeks to June 20, according to Nielsen figures in the WSTA Market Report.

South Africa and Germany held their price – and the rest of the countries saw it fall.

Across the board, sales of wines under £3 soared by 130% over the past year, while those priced at £4-£5 and £5-£6 saw 3% drops.

Argentina saw the biggest price drop, with its average bottle price down 4% to £5.64. At the same time its volume sales soared 39% and value sales grew 34%.

The picture was very different at the same time last year – in the year to July 19, prices rose across the board, with some up by as much as 8%.

Spanish wine in the UK reversed a massive decline in the past quarter.

In the 12 weeks to June 20, Spanish wine volumes were flat, with value sales slipping 2%, and an average bottle price of £5.01.

Last summer, in the 12 weeks to July 19, the country’s volumes were falling by 14%, with value down 9% and an average bottle price of £5.04.

Richard Cochrane, managing director of Félix Solís Avantis UK – which accounts for around one in four bottles of Spanish wine sold in the UK off-trade – told OLN retailer price wars had sparked the under-£5 renaissance.

“The discounters have been doing it for a little while, and the major retailers have repositioned some products to compete,” he said. 

“Average prices a year ago were going up, but in the past 12 weeks there has been a pretty dramatic change in direction, and shoppers are getting a great deal.

“Stuff north of £6 has done really well from our portfolio, but so too has that first rung on the ladder,” he added, noting that the price drops could stop wine shoppers migrating to other categories.