Fears wine could rise to average of £6-a-bottle

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The average cost of a bottle of wine is set to top £6 – prompting calls for the Chancellor to protect the price of plonk.

Industry experts estimate that 54 per cent of wine drinkers refuse to buy bottles above £6. This works out at 9.7million customers overall, the Wine and Spirit Trade Association said.

The group has joined forces with Wine Drinkers UK to call on Sajid Javid to cut wine duty and VAT in the Budget next month.

At present, the average bottle costs £5.93. Of this, HMRC takes £3.22 in wine duty and VAT – more than half the total price.

The WSTA said: ‘New supermarket shopping data from Kantar shows that the latest price hike risks alienating 9.7m shoppers who don’t buy wine over the £6 barrier. This is equivalent to more than half (54 per cent) of shoppers of who buy 75cl bottles of still wine.

‘There are two distinct groups who are particularly feeling the price rise; those with a household income less than £30,000 and families with children and therefore little disposable income.’

Taxes on wine have increased nearly 40 per cent in the last decade, compared with just 16 per cent for beer.

Laura Christen of retail analysts Kantar said: ‘Rising duty has contributed to the increasing price of entry into wine. This… risks alienating value-conscious shoppers as it has hit those who spend on lower-priced wine the hardest.’

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