Sales of prosecco have overtaken sales of champagne in the UK, new figures have revealed.

Analysis from IRI showed sales in the UK will be worth more than £500m in 2016, a growth of 25% and ahead of the rest of Europe.

The UK and US are the only two territories where sales of prosecco are worth more than champagne in value and volume terms.

Independent retailers told RN they have seen the trend in their stores this year.

Dave Hiscutt, of Londis, Weymouth, said: “Prosecco always sells well. We sell absolutely loads of it, and Londis has been heavily promoting it this year.

“We used to sell a bottle a month, but now we’re buying cases almost every other visit to the cash and carry, or with every other delivery. Prosecco used to be much more of a snobby thing, but it’s much more acceptable and mainstream now.”

Store owners said sales have also extended beyond the peak summer sales season, making prosecco a year-long bestseller.

Kay Patel of Global Food & Wine in East London said: “Before, sparkling wines were the preserve of the summer months, but it’s all year round now.

“People are picking it up instead of wine. Sales have grown tenfold in the last year or two, so we are giving a more prominent position. It’s the affordable version of champagne.”

Strategic insight director at IRI, Tim Eales, said: “While champagne growth appears to be slowing significantly across most of Europe, prosecco continues to grow and grow in almost every market.”

But some experts are already predicting that lower-priced French option Cremant de Loire will be the next big trend after prosecco. Sainsbury’s is selling it for £9 a bottle – with the supermarket saying sales were 40% above forecast.