Britons will soon be able to buy “pint” sized bottles of still and sparkling wine in the form of a new 568ml amount to appear on supermarket shelves and in pubs, clubs and restaurants, the Government has announced.
The move to introduce the 568ml size will sit alongside 200ml and 500ml measures already available, offering more flexibility and choice for customers, the Department for Business and Trade said.
Pint bottles of Champagne were sold in the UK before Britain joined the European Common Market and were on shelves until 1973.
However, their production ceased as they did not comply with EU weights and measures rules.
Some 900 vineyards, which currently produce around 12.2 million bottles of still or sparkling wine a year, are set to benefit from the new post-Brexit “freedoms”, the department said.
The changes will also allow new quantities of both pre-packed still and sparkling wine – in bottles or cans – to be sold in 200ml and 500ml quantities alongside the new 568ml “pint” quantity, to bring more alignment between the two drinks.
Currently, still wine cannot be sold in 200ml quantities and sparkling wine cannot be sold in 500ml amounts.
There is no legal obligation for businesses to sell in the new sizes.
The Government also used the announcement to confirm that after “careful consideration” it had decided not to introduce any new legislation following its consultation on choice around units of measurement, which was published in June last year and received more than 100,000 responses.
The consultation considered Government proposals to remove the requirement to show metric units alongside imperial units in trade, or allow metric units to be shown with less prominence than imperial units.
The department said analysis showed 98.7% of respondents were in favour of using metric units when buying or selling products, either as the primary unit of sale as currently or as the sole unit of sale.
Kevin Hollinrake, minister for enterprise, markets and small business, said: “Innovation, freedom and choice – that’s what today’s announcement gives to producers and consumers alike.
“Our exit from the EU was all about moments just like this, where we can seize new opportunities and provide a real boost to our great British wineries and further growing the economy.”
WineGB chief executive Nicola Bates said: “We welcome the chance to be able to harmonise still and sparkling bottle sizes and we are happy to raise a glass to the greater choice.”
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