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Spirits Outperform Beer in the UK

spirit glassesSpirits sales accounted for more tax revenue than beer in 2016, the first time that this has happened. The latest figures from HMRC show that the Treasury took around £3.38 billion from spirit sales compared to £3.32 billion from the sale of beer. This is an increase of 7% over the 2015 figure and it occurred in the year when the Chancellor froze spirit duty, arguably allowing the industry to grow and invest. The UK has the 4th highest spirits duty rates in the EU so the duty increase announced earlier this year in 2017 is a major disappointment. Although the growth in spirits has been gin-led, one top London store told us that they had also seen a significant increase in brown spirit sales, particularly cognac. Other trends reported this quarter show that the UK is leading the European market in online alcohol sales and in the On Trade sector, alcohol sales have risen to over £24Bn despite falling volumes. Consumers are continuing to trade up and look for more premium products like vintage cognac.