Sparkling wine

Shoppers are sipping on sparkling wine, picking fresh beef for the barbecue and cooling down with ice-cream during the summer, according to the Office of National Statistics.

In its report covering sales of summer-related products, the ONS said sales of sparkling wine have more than doubled since 2009 from £2.1m to £6m in 2014.

Following a decline in sales between 2009 and 2012, the taste for beer has also been renewed with sales increasing for a second consecutive year to £3.4bn. The ONS attributed the growth to the rise in popularity of craft beer with 170 new breweries opening in the last 12 months.

Cider, perry and mead has seen particularly strong growth, as sales increased by 59% since 2010, reaching the £911m point.

Researchers believe cider is more popular than ever due to the alternative fruit flavoured ciders now on shelves.

Manufacturers have reflected the cider trend this spring and summer a raft of new product launches, including Pimm’s Cider Cup, Strongbow Cloudy Apple Cider and Kopparberg frozen fruit cider.

Retailers should also pay attention to their sweet-toothed shoppers and ensure icecream is well stocked to reflect its popularity  – shoppers bought £723m-worth of the treat last year.

Overall fresh meat sales have grown during the summer barbecue season, with the public spending £3bn on fresh cuts of beef in 2014.

Chicken sales have also sharply increased by 20% year on year to £1.9bn, but sausage sales have fallen £50m to £821m since 2012.