Consumers spent £1.3bn on alcohol in the run-up to Christmas. Almost £69m worth of Stella Artois lager was bought in the month before Christmas, making it the season's best-seller, a long way ahead of Baileys Irish Cream, which claimed second place with sales of £35m, according to figures from the analysts ACNielsen.

British shoppers bought more US wine than Italian wine for the first time last year.

While sales of American wine rose by 20 per cent to £441m, Italian varieties increased by just 1 per cent to £344m. Wines from Australia, remained the most popular in the UK, with sales up 9 per cent to £834m. French wine, in second place, remained unchanged at more than £702m.