The chair of one national retailer has been reported saying 2019 would be “the worst Christmas since Woolworths collapsed” in 2008, while footfall in stores has fallen 10% in the last seven years. The popularity of online shopping, the continuous rising costs as well as people tightening their belts amid political and economic uncertainty may be the driving forces causing British highest street woes. But that won’t stop people enjoying themselves.

Christmas sees a key seasonal trading spike in many grocery categories and it’s important retailers stock the right range of quality products to cover every shopper’s needs. In this feature the leading suppliers take time out to give us their recipes for tasty Christmas sales across the aisles, with products from around the world.

There’s something for everyone this Christmas. We start with food and move on to drink, as you’d expect this time of year, but in these days of healthy living there’s a big chunk of ‘better for you’ in there too.

Christmas is a time to enjoy yourself and relax about the drink and the diet. Classic brands from colas to chocolate do well. but retailers shouldn’t turn a blind eye to low, no and free-from over Christmas. With increasing numbers buying dairy-free because they perceive it to be ‘healthier’ than their conventional alternatives – a driver of choice now cited by four in ten free-from shoppers – dairy-free was the fastest growing free-from sector last year.

BAKERY

Lebanese family food company Dina Foods is preparing for a Christmas bounce, says General Manager Wilda Haddad, with its confectionery, savouries and breads in high demand during the partying and gifting season. From baklawa to beetroot falafel, via chocolate-dipped dates and cocktail pittas, Dina Foods’ range is a foodie’s Christmas wish list.

One of Dina’s top Christmas sellers is its baklawa selection boxes, says Wilda, prepared using traditional recipes to the highest quality standards:

“Our baklawa, Filo Delights and sweet finger foods sell very strongly at Christmas, used as canapés or party treats and gift items.”

Dina Foods also sees demand rise over Christmas for its boxed range of premium Medjoul dates, including its “half dip” dates in chocolate. The finest variety of dates, Madhoul are sold in selection boxes branded “Dinalicious.” Options include marzipan stuffed dates, dark chocolate dipped dates and natural dates.

Dina also supplies party nibbles such as mini artisan cocktail pitta breads, falafel and hummus and wholemeal, white and seeded flatbreads and wraps and pitta breads for party platters, including its popular paninette flatbread, which can be sliced or used in wraps.

ARYZTA Food Solutions is enabling retailers to unwrap extra festive profits over the festive season with its Christmas sweet bakery and hot food-to-go range, a nine-strong line up of sweet and savoury products with a dash of indulgence.

“The run up to Christmas provides a major opportunity for retailers to maximise their in-store bakery and food-to-go profits. Our high margin, limited-edition products with delicious seasonal flavours help them capitalise on the festive feel good factor at a time when shoppers want to indulge.” says Paul Maxwell, Marketing Manager at ARYZTA Food Solutions UK.

ARYZTA’s new pastries for the festive season include the Turkey & Chardonnay Slice, a turkey and vegetable filling in a creamy white wine sauce, encased in a butter enriched pastry topped with a red and black pepper sprinkle and a Christmas Cracker Roll, all the Christmas dinner favourites wrapped in a butter pastry with a sage crumb topping.

Vegan and vegetarian options join the range, with a vegetarian Cheese & Cranberry Sausage Roll, containing a Cornish cheddar, potato and onion filling with succulent cranberries and a plum sauce wrapped in a butter enriched pastry; and for a sweet treat, a Vegan Mince Pie Tart, a vegan pastry shell filled with a luxurious mincemeat filling and topped with a golden nutty crumble.

ARYZTA is bringing back festive favourites the Luxury Shortcrust Mince Crowns and Mini Mincemeat Pies, topped with a star shaped pastry lid and a light sweet dusting. Also returning are the Gingerbread Muffin, delicately spiced with ginger cinnamon and nutmeg, filled with a light vanilla treacle frosting and topped with icing sugar; the Chocolate & Orange Flowerpot Muffin, a sweet moist chocolate muffin enriched with tangy orange flavours and decorated with candied orange peel; and the Santa Triple Choc Muffin, with a generous filling of dark chocolate chunks, milk chocolate chunks and white chocolate chunks, filled with a vanilla frosting and topped with a festive Santa sugar work and sweet snow.

Fatherson Bakery is launching its award-winning traditional festive cakes and puddings – Mince Pies, Christmas Loafs, Festive Cupcakes cased within a limited-edition Christmas tree platter and Christmas Sponge Puddings. Fatherson Bakery is renowned for creating best in class products with the finest quality locally sourced ingredients for the “taste of homemade.”

Baked in Britain, the Fatherson festive collection uses quality ingredients and a tried and tested Fatherson secret recipe. Made in small batches, the Christmas range features fresh ingredients to replicate the much-loved baking practices in the home kitchen.

The Fatherson Christmas collection includes natural flavours with no artificial colourings and is suitable for vegetarians. All packaging is planet-friendly, with the mince pie and cupcake platters made from 100% recyclable plastic and 100% recyclable.

BISCUITS

In a festive first since the £21m brand launched over 50 years ago, says Isabel Lydall, Category & Insights Controller at Burton’s Biscuit Company, Burton’s is unveiling new, limited edition designs of Jammie Dodgers, one of the nation’s most popular children’s biscuit brands. The embossed ‘splat’ makes way for three seasonal designs – a stocking, a star and a Christmas tree – plus a festive-themed pack for maximum impact on-shelf.

The Jammie Dodgers seasonal special is joined by limited edition festive packs of some of Burton’s much-loved biscuit brands. Maryland Cookies is also having a festive makeover, becoming ‘Merryland’ on 230g packs. They join the ‘Merryland’ Mini Cookies Sharebox – a seasonal transformation of UK’s No.1 kids mini biscuit brand Maryland Mini Cookies, adding chocolate chip fun to sharing at home, gifting or as a stocking filler.

Burton’s is also bringing back its festive limited edition design on the Cathedral City Baked Bites Share Box. Cathedral City Baked Bites are made from the nation’s favourite cheese under licence from Saputo, baked into a great-tasting savoury snack, perfect accompaniment to a seasonal glass of wine.

Seasonal biscuits are a major opportunity for retailers, worth £169m last year, says Isabel Lydall: “We’re enabling them to make the most of this opportunity by stocking a Christmas product range catering for the seasonal biscuit occasions, in-home treating, novelty and gifting.”

CONFECTIONERY

HARIBO, the UK’s leading sweet manufacturer, has unveiled its 2019 advent calendar, helping shoppers countdown to Christmas with a new mix of little treats. Themed, fun and perfect for an alternative to the traditional chocolate calendar, HARIBO’s advent calendar brings together favourites from across the world in a seasonally themed selection. Claire James, Trade Marketing Manager at HARIBO says: “Our HARIBO advent calendar is a fantastic way for sweet lovers to start their Christmas countdown, ideal for those that cannot eat or simply don’t want chocolate and fans of the brand who would like to try our seasonal selections and popular international products.”

Kicking off the festive celebrations early, the HARIBO advent calendar can help retailers to make the most of the season. As number one in the market, HARIBO is a popular choice with a high level of appeal at Christmas. The HARIBO advent calendar (300g) features MAOAM Bloxx and Pinballs alongside Tropifrutti and Goldbears. Themed gums and jellies include Winterland and Merry Christmas Mix.

Shoppers spent a record £937M on confectionery last Christmas, says Susan Nash, Trade Communications Manager at Mondelez International and this year is set to be even bigger. Chocolate is the most frequently consumed and gifted category at Christmas, with three quarters of consumers agreeing confectionery is central to their traditions.

With a broad range to suit every shopper, Mondel?z Christmas confectionery sales grew by almost 5% in 2018. This year it is bringing customers a wealth of shopper-focused product innovation alongside festive favourites from leading brands Cadbury and Maynards Bassetts. New for 2019, Cadbury Dairy Milk Classics Pouch contains a selection of individually-wrapped, bitesize chunks of Cadbury Dairy Milk, Wholenut and Original. Cadbury Dairy Milk Gift Blocks – following 14% growth in 2018 – return for 2019.

New for 2019, Cadbury Dairy Milk Little Robins come in two variants – Original and Daim – offering an on-the-go bag treat. The brand has also unveiled a special-edition Cadbury Dairy Milk Winter Gingerbread Edition. The new Cadbury Dairy Milk Orange Snowman offers shoppers the perfect little treat in another favourite flavour.

From November, availability and visibility are key as Christmas is front of mind, so retailers should add advent calendars to their seasonal range. With 18% growth in 2018, Mondel?z International advent calendars outpaced the category, making them an absolute must-stock for wholesalers and retailers. Tapping the growing premium opportunity, new Green & Black’s Organics Advent Calendar features several of the brand’s leading flavours in mini dark and milk bars. Cadbury’s new calendars include Cadbury 3D Advent Calendar, with Cadbury chocolate treats and fun stickers.

The true magic of Christmas begins on 1st December. This year, Cadbury is bringing back 2018’s successful Secret Santa campaign to help drive sales during the festive finale. With a raft of marketing activity on TV, Social, in-store and the return of their postal service activation, this campaign is supported by a £6M spend.

Cadbury is launching a raft of new products to help make the most of the busy December period. Cadbury Dairy Milk Moneyboxes are new for 2019. The colourful 100% recyclable tin contains either Cadbury Dairy Milk Freddo Faces or Cadbury Dairy Milk Buttons and can be reused as a moneybox all year round.

Generating £1.5M in sales over 2018, this year sees a relaunch for the Cadbury Dairy Milk Hollows range, driving association with the brand’s Secret Santa campaign. The new purple and red design captures Christmas shoppers’ attention in store.

Cadbury is also adding to the Hollows range with new Cadbury Dairy Milk Secret Santa Gifting Hollow. The hollow chocolate Santa is larger than standard to provide shoppers with a more generous gift and comes in a cardboard box for consumers to write a personalised label.

Cadbury Bournville is adding its newest variant, Bournville Orange, to the Cadbury Bournville Selection Box. New for 2019, the Cadbury Darkmilk Selection Box offers consumers four bars from the range’s three flavours: Original, Salted Caramel and Roasted Almond. One of 2018’s biggest launches, Cadbury Darkmilk is aimed at consumers who would like a chocolate which is less sweet than milk, but find dark chocolate too bitter.

Cadbury Heroes is marking two decades with a special-edition Cadbury Heroes 20th Birthday Tin. The purple and gold birthday cake design celebrates the brand’s special anniversary but also plays on the most common re-use for the tins, as a cake tin! Finally, Cadbury Roses is unveiling a new gifting tin as part of the brand’s partnership with watch and jewellery designer Olivia Burton. The Olivia Burton for Roses Tins’ eyecatching designs stand out on shelf to capture additional sales as a unique festive gift.

Confectionery is a huge category over the festive period, agrees Levi Boorer, Customer Development Director at Ferrero: “Confectionery has experienced +7.6% value growth over the last two years, ahead of beer, wine and spirits.”

Ferrero’s portfolio includes Thornton’s chocolates, Kinder kids’ confectionery, Nuttella chocolate spread, Rocher and more. Ferrero’s Thorntons brand has Christmas NPD across its range, with Cheeky Elf, Cheeky Reindeer, Snowy Bear, Seasonal Selection, Mint Collection, Continental Calendar and Cheeky Elf Calendar. For Praline fans there’s the Ferrero Collection Advent Calendar and Raffaello T10. Kinder has its Christmas hat on with the Kinder Mix Reindeer Hairband, Kinder Mix Hexagon, Kinder Love, Kinder Surprise Eggs, Kinder Advent Calendar and Kinder Chocolate fluffy toys.

Levi Boorer offers some helpful advice: “Christmas is a critical sales period for retailers. Despite the 2018 slowdown, spend stayed up at +1.6%, alongside basket size and frequency increases. With continued challenges to consumer confidence and decreased high street footfall, brands and retailers need to get creative to drive early basket spend and remain visible at more shopper touchpoints.

“Food is an important part of Christmas Day, with quality taking centre stage, so retailers should focus on stocking bestselling brands. 29% of shoppers are willing to spend more on chocolates for the occasion and the pursuit for quality is reflected in the confectionery category’s 4% growth.”

Promotions are important in the run up to Christmas, says Levi, and should be planned carefully by subcategory. After Diwali and Halloween are over, Ferrero encourage retailers to promote a range of advent calendars throughout November to capitalise on demand being time sensitive leading into December: “November is also an important time to drive sales of stocking fillers, from selection packs to novelty figures and shapes. Lastly, we advise retailers to start promoting larger, premium boxed chocolates in December to make the most of shoppers looking for the perfect gift.”

CRISPS & SNACKS

Due to popular demand Walkers is bringing back the Christmas dinner flavours we fell in love with last year. New for 2019, £1 PMP formats also join the line-up in two of the nation’s favourite festive flavours, Pigs in Blankets and Turkey & Stuffing.

Christmas is the biggest sales opportunity of the year for the savoury snacks category, says Nick Day, Brand Manager at PepsiCo, worth £645m and growing at 6.5% year on year, so it’s important retailers fill the shelves with the best-selling festive favourites of 2018 from Walkers, the category leading brand. The return of this range means they can continue to bring some festive magic to retailers’ sales this Christmas.

Everyone loves a Christmas dinner and the flavours will continue to spark debate surrounding that contentious festive accompaniment, Brussel sprouts. Two multipacks will be available again, one for sprout lovers, the other for sprout haters. Christmas dinner for sprout lovers includes Brussels Sprouts, Turkey & Stuffing and Pigs in Blankets: Christmas dinner for sprout haters includes Glazed Ham, Turkey & Stuffing and Cheese & Cranberry. The limited-edition festive flavours are on TV from November.

PETFOOD

Who missed the dogs out? Leading pet food brand, Webbox is launching its biggest ever festive collection. The limited-edition line-up comprises 35 SKUs, including dog and cat treats, meals and seasonal toys with RRPs from £1.00 to £5.00.

New additions for dogs include a Webbox Festive Squeaky Sprout Ball Toy, Webbox Festive Chipolatas, Webbox Festive Meaty Treats, and a Webbox Festive Favourites Dog Tin, complete with five items including Tasty Sticks with Turkey and Cranberry.

Cat lovers can pick up products including a Webbox Festive Cat Toy Stocking, with six assorted cat toys and a personalised gift tag, Webbox Festive Favourites Cat Tin and Webbox Festive Cat Mousse. “Pet owners are more determined than ever to share life experiences and celebrations with their furry friends and Christmas is no exception,” says Camille Ashforth, senior brand manager at Webbox. “This is a hugely profitable time for retailers and the new Webbox Festive range helps them to drive additional profits from the petcare category with a host of exciting new lines that are sure to get tails wagging.”

SOFT DRINKS

Christmas is a magical time of year for families and friends to get together and celebrate with delicious food and drink at home, says Amy Burgess, Senior Trade Communications Manager at Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP). “With an estimated 6.1million people choosing not to consume alcohol, it’s vital for retailers to provide a range of soft drinks options during this time; in particular, Coca-Cola original taste is synonymous with Christmas as consumers.

“In addition, consumers also look for ‘special’ drinks that capture the excitement of the holiday like cocktails and non-alcoholic mocktails. Mixers are growing in popularity as more people look to recreate their favourite mixed drinks at home, and retailers should consider the importance of mixers alongside alcohol ranges, as people stock up for their festive celebrations.

“Consumers have a greater awareness of health and wellness than ever and this is impacting how they shop. As more consumers look to make positive changes in their lifestyles, sugar content has become a major factor and they’re continuously on the lookout for more low-sugar options, so retailers should make sure they offer a wide range of low-sugar soft drinks.

“We have seen an increasing love of low and no sugar products in their own right. Diet Coke remains the most popular light cola brand in Britain with a value of over £472m, while Coca-Cola zero sugar is growing significantly, currently up 53.3% in value.

“Our flavoured carbonates, which includes zero sugar variants across our portfolio, are growing 17% in value, highlighting the popularity of brands like Fanta Zero. However, it’s worth noting that Coca-Cola original taste remains the biggest soft drink in Britain, and is particularly popular over Christmas, so it is still important to offer choice.

“Consumers are becoming more adventurous and looking to experiment with new and exciting variants of their favourite soft drinks, so it is increasingly important to keep an eye out for the latest flavour innovations across a range of different soft drinks formats over Christmas. CCEP evolved our flavoured carbonates portfolio even further earlier this year with a new grape-flavoured addition to our Fanta Zero range, Fanta Grape Zero. The new product launched following huge demand for the flavour on social media by Fanta’s core consumers.

“Our Light Cola flavours have also proven extremely popular, clocking up over £25m worth of sales in 2018. As a result, we’ve expanded our range further with two new flavours – Coca-Cola zero sugar Raspberry and Diet Coke Twisted Strawberry, now worth £7m.

“Premium and artisan options are helping drive the growth of low-and-no sugar soft drinks, with products like Appletiser popular on their ownor as an ingredient for cocktail or mocktail making. Made with pure fruit juice and no added sugar, Appletiser helps retailers offer a sophisticated alternative to alcohol that the growing number of teetotal consumers are happy to drink instead of beer, wine or cocktails.”

BEER

Premiumisation and choice remain two essential factors for any drinks range, says Tim Clay, Managing Director, Asahi UK Ltd. “Consumers demand options and high quality, and are willing to pay more for it. The festive period is a time when people are celebrating. They typically want to treat themselves to a premium option or something special, so it’s important retailers offer the right selection for their customers to make the most of the opportunity.

“Our consumer research uncovered the concept of the ‘worth-more’ credentials of a brand and the idea of ‘Super Premium’ – a term that unites brands in the highest quality group whether they are heritage beers, craft from the UK, or genuine imports from abroad. This is demonstrated by the fact that Peroni Nastro Azzurro continues to be one of the most valuable premium and super-premium beer in the on-trade, driving value growth ahead of the category.

Last Christmas Premium and Super Premium lager contributed 87% of the overall growth of beer sales. Lager is still the entry point for many consumers into the world of beer. This makes lager a vital gateway and a critical segment for the long-term health of the overall beer category. The craft beer trend has also rejuvenated consumer interest and ignited a new energy towards beer – highlighting not only the importance of authenticity, but also quality. Meantime for example, prides itself on brewing proper beer that anyone can enjoy. No gimmicks or fads – just well-balanced, flavoursome and sessionable beer for all adult drinkers. 2019 saw the launch of Meantime Easytime, a low ABV 4% flavoursome lager with a peachy, aromatic twist made from Classic Pilsner Malt, Mosaic and Mandarina Bavaria hops, perfect for consumers discovering the world of craft beer.

Consumers are exploring the beer category more, searching out new styles and flavours and adding to their repertoires. Asahi UK’s brands, Peroni Nastro Azzurro, Asahi Super Dry, Meantime and now Fuller’s London Pride are well positioned to benefit from consumer trends as the portfolio carries true authenticity, quality, and most importantly, choice.

Innovation is equally as important to the growth of the lager category. In 2016, the Asahi UK portfolio expanded to include Peroni Nastro Azzurro Gluten-Free, which continues to lead the market as the ‘free-from’ favourite with 51% market share of the sub-category. And in January this year, Asahi UK entered the no- and low-alcohol beer category with Peroni Libera 0.0%. ‘Libera’ means ‘free’ in Italian – and for us, it was important to give consumers the freedom of choice when choosing a beer, as a good beer doesn’t necessarily need to contain alcohol. Particularly over Christmas, which can typically be a period of indulgence, we are happy to be able to offer a no- and low-alcohol alternative that doesn’t compromise on taste.”

PRE-MIXED COCKTAILS

Manchester Drinks, innovative leader in the ready-to-drink market, is the creator of the new TGI FRIDAYS Pre-Mixed Cocktail range that enables consumers to enjoy ‘that FRIDAY feeling’ at home over the festive season.

The RTD category continues to grow as younger consumers look for convenient, on trend flavours that taste good and look great. The red & white TGI FRIDAYS branding is recognisable at the fixture, attracting those looking for premium yet affordable drinks to share with friends at Christmas. Richard Benjamin, Director at Manchester Drinks said:

“When it comes to Christmas festivities, consumers like to try new innovative drinks that are easy to enjoy at parties with friends and at home – simplicity and convenience are key to take away from the added stress of hosting that Christmas can bring.

“Sharing good times is at the very heart of the TGI FRIDAYS brand and a key part of the festive season too. TGI FRIDAYS is an authentic, well-loved bar & grill brand with a strong reputation for quality cocktails. The new cocktail range is the ideal addition to any Christmas celebration and enables the Friday Feeling any day of the week!

The signature pre-mixed cocktails range offers three specially selected flavours best-selling Passionfruit Martini, fruity Pink Punk Mojito and much-loved Long Island Iced Tea, in elegant 500ml glass bottles, with no artificial colours or flavours and all at 10% ABV. Simply chill, pour over ice and enjoy.

WINE

The UK’s favourite celebrational tipple is Prosecco, says Continental Wine and Food Marketing Executive Jessica Smith. “Despite reports saying sales are starting to decline, in 2018 Brits bought a record 164 million bottles of champagne and sparkling wine, and roughly one quarter will have been consumed on Christmas day. Christmas is a fantastic time to gift wine to a loved one and also the ideal opportunity for retailers to encourage customers to ‘trade up’ to a more premium offering.

“Reports state consumers are drinking less but drinking better quality wines and spirits, a good opportunity for retailers to stock more premium options than they usually would. We appreciate that traditional versus new products can be a problem because a lot of customers may not welcome change. But always try to stock newly-launched or less well-known brands to cater for those who love trying something new.

“Although the Christmas festivities are no real celebrations without good food and wine, the recent lifestyle trends that have been taking the UK by storm cannot be ignored. For years vegans have been a minority within a minority but as people become more ecologically minded about where their food and drinks are sourced, producers all over the world have seen an increased demand for vegan-friendly products and it is crucial that retailers follow this trend by stocking these products to appeal to the wider shopping audience.”

CWF produce the UK’s number 1 British Wine brand ‘The Straw Hat,’ which boasts the Vegan seal of approval and has seen sales increase year on year. The core range features a fresh and fruity white, a lush rosé and a juicy red, and has recently been extended to include two new botanical variants: the white is infused with cool cucumber, zesty lime and ginger, and the rosé features natural flavours of juicy strawberry, sweet orange blossom and rhubarb.

Another Christmas trend CWF predict is set to stay around Christmas is the rise in mindful drinking. With people still wanting to enjoy an alcoholic tipple with friends and family but head towards lower-alcohol alternatives, producers are trying to capitalise on demand for healthier alternatives and innovation within this sector is endemic. Silver Bay Point is another of CWF’s British wines that goes hand-in-hand with the Vegan trend and the abv-conscious consumer. The full range is 66 calories or under per glass and it’s also light on the pocket for consumers. The core range features a white, red and rosé.

“Mulled Wine remains a firm favourite among consumers, says Jessica Smith. CWF recommend making the most of interest in Mulled all the way to Christmas; recent research shows shoppers were frustrated with the lack of seasonal product availability, so start introducing stock around mid-October all the way through to January and ensure it is clearly displayed using POS or at the front of your merchandising, with choices from entry-level to premium.

Harvest Fruits Mulled Wine and Winter Warmer are two of the bestsellers, enjoyed either warm or cold. They are blended with the finest ingredients to give a character of subtle cinnamon, clove spices and zesty citrus fruits. Harvest Fruits is 8% ABV, Winter Warmer 10% ABV.

The rise in demand for new liqueur flavors is one of the key merging trends in the UK market and innovation is key. The Straw Hat, the UK’s Number 1 British Wine brand, has a new range of Gin Liqueurs for both the on-trade and the off-trade, giving a taste of gin but softened with only 20% ABV and a sweeter profile. The three flavors are Rhubarb & Ginger, Violet and Raspberry & Rose, all fitting into the trend for lower alcohol spritz-style drinks.

Alcohol free wine is high on the agenda for Andrew Turner, Director of Wine for Halewood Wines & Spirits:

“The latest figues show the alcohol-free category increased by £1.7 million in the last year. Alcohol free wine is worth just under £40 million, Eisberg leading the way with 60 per cent.

“What was previously seen as a beverage for designated drivers, has now evolved into a common lifestyle choice, resulting in a sharp rise in consumers looking for accessible alternatives that don’t compromise on quality or taste.

“Drinking rates are the lowest in 18 years. According to the ONS, around one in five adults is now teetotal – eight per cent more than 10 years ago, as the younger generations grow up and carry on this moderate approach to drinking. As long as brands like Eisberg continue to provide premium, interesting and most importantly, tasty, low and no alcohol alternatives, it will keep on growing.

Eisberg wines are made the same way as all high quality wines, with the alcohol removed at the very end of the process, allowing them to maintain those much-loved vibrant, fruity flavours. They are also low in calories, with under 33 calories per glass.

Halewood don’t only do alcohol free wine, says Andrew Turner: “In the winter, especially around Christmas, warming reds are in demand. World-class Rioja brand Marques de Caceres is a bodega that marries innovation with tradition to appeal to the modern wine drinker. The 2014 Crianza is an intense red wine with a touch of spice and gentle toasty notes from the heart of Rioja.

“For more celebratory occasions, the Gran Reserva is the perfect fit, with limited production and 24-26 months ageing in the barrel followed by four years in the bottle, giving fruity and full-bodied reds with something extra special.

“Sparkling wines are perfect for celebrations of all kinds. Prosecco is still the go-to celebratory drink, such as the Colle Baio Organic Prosecco by Il Colle – their first organic Prosecco Superiore DOCG. English sparkling wine is also seeing a surge in popularity, more than doubling in the last year from 6.8 million bottles in 2017 to 15.6 million in 2018.

“The volume of Italian wine continues to grow, with six out of every 10 bottles of sparkling wine consumed here being from Italy. English wine is going through huge growth with 1.5 million new vines being planted every year. Smith and Evans, from Somerset, make traditional method sparkling wines to rival the best.

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