Raising a glass to top quality

SPARKLING wines, craft beers and small-batch spirits will go from strength to strength in the on-trade this year, according to wholesaler Matthew Clark.

• Fizz is set to remain popular.

The firm said it expects many of the drinks trends seen in 2016 to continue through the year ahead as consumers look for quality products in bars and pubs.
Within wine, Matthew Clark predicts sparkling varieties will continue to grow, claiming its sales of Italian sparkling wines increased 48% between November 2015 and 2016.
Craft beer is another category the wholesaler expects to perform well in 2017 after strong demand over the past 12 months.
“With the exchange rate and current shortage of American hops, and a turn towards traditional recipes, dark beers and home-grown UK craft like those on offer from Freedom, Curious and Two Fingers breweries will become increasingly popular,” said Justin Wylde, beer, cider and softs category manager at Matthew Clark.
It won’t all be about lagers and lighter beers, though.
Wylde added that stouts and porters should also enjoy healthy sales in the course of 2017.
On the spirits side the company claims to have seen growth in aperitivo-style drinks across the UK, with vermouths and bitters featuring on more drinks lists.
Spritz serves, where soda is added to the drink, are expected to prove particularly popular, said Matthew Clark category manager for spirits and RTDs, Ceri Lewis, who said she reckons customers will “turn away from a sweeter palate and towards a more sophisticated, bitter palate”.