More Brits than ever will be swapping champagne for prosecco at midnight on New Year's Eve after industry figures revealed the fizz has gone out of champagne sales.

Prosecco overtook champagne as UK drinkers' fizz of choice for the first time in 2015 as buyers looked to it as a cheaper, sweeter alternative. Latest sales figures show that champagne sales have fallen flat, lifting 1 per cent in 2015

Prosecco sales were up 72 per cent in the 12 months to August, totalling £38.6 million. Rosamund Hall, co-founder of wine company Burgess and Hall, said consumers are attracted by the comparably low price point and slightly sweeter taste.

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"It’s an austerity bottle of choice," Hall said.

UK consumers drank 37.3 million litres of prosecco in that time, compared to 9.8 million litres of champagne and 2 million litres of cava, according to research by IRI. Brits are consuming so much Italian fizz that some Italian producers have sparked fears of a prosecco shortage. 

In August, Robert Cremonese, export manager of Italian prosecco producer Bisol, said a bad harvest had resulted in shortages - which could mean prices may drastically rise.

Hall advised drinkers to be skeptical. "You don’t know how much the producers in Italy are keeping," she said. "There is an element of this being brilliant marketing – this idea that there is a limited supply to push up sales in the short term,"

However Hall said that supermarket prices for prosecco are steadily increasing. "If there is higher demand and volumes go down, the price will go up," she said.

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