We’ve had Paul the octopus in 2010, Shaheen the camel in 2014 and Achilles the cat for this summer’s tournament, but the Wine and Spirit Trade Association reckons they have a more scientific method of predicting the winners at this year’s World Cup than animal oracles.
Ahead of this weekend’s mammoth quarter-final clash between England and Sweden, the WSTA has compared the two nations’ gin and wine exports has declared that there’s only one winner – England.
When it comes to gin, the numbers predict a convincing victory for Gareth Southgate’s men. UK exports of gin to Sweden were worth £4.9 million last year, putting Sweden in the top 10 export destinations of British gin in the EU.
By contrast, the Swedes do not export any gin to these shores, a clear indication that England should have this fixture in the bag.
But it’s not just gin predicting a win for England, the UK’s wine exports provide another good omen.
Swedish exports to the UK of wine were worth just over £1.2 million in 2017, whilst wine exports from the UK to Sweden totalled over £15.8 million, giving the UK the (three) lion’s share of the value in this category.
A small proportion of the wine we send to the Swedes is English wine, the bulk of the wine is imported from across the globe, bottled in the UK and re-exported.
Chief Executive of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association, Miles Beale, said:
“There is increasing optimism here that football is finally coming home, and we think our ‘scientific analysis’ shows that England should come out on top in the clash against Sweden.
“Whilst expectations may have been low for the English football team pre-tournament, consumers around the world know they can expect quality from our high-class gins and wines. The UK’s gin and wine producers have won many global awards for quality in recent times, and it’s about time some of that winning attitude rubbed off on the English football team over the next week in Russia.
“If England win on Saturday we hope the whole country celebrate with a G&T or a glass of English wine. You’ll be using less CO2 and supporting two Great British industries!”
The latest figures from HMRC show that £530 million worth of British gin was sold abroad in 2017, making the UK the biggest gin exporter in the world.
This is the equivalent of around 189 million (70cl) bottles of British gin exported last year up from around 177 million bottles in 2016.
The UK is also the hub of the global wine industry. Much of the wine that is originally imported here is then reshipped to the EU, as well as markets further afield, particularly to the Far East and countries like China, Singapore and Hong Kong.
Wine comes in at sixth spot in a list of the UK’s most exported food and drink products, reinforcing the UK’s status as the hub of the world wine industry.
English wine is already exported to Sweden, but with the high quality of English wine now so widely recognised, the English wine industry’s newest challenge is meeting growing demand, and the industry has ambitious plans for growth in the future.