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Top Champagne brands buck decline as sales grow 9%

Published:  14 August, 2014

The top eight Champagne brands are bucking falling sales in the off-trade, as collective sales have grown by 9% in the last year.

The Grandes Marques saw sales move up in value, but overall volume sales for Champagne fell from 13.7 million litres in 2011, to 12.9 million in 2012 and 12.6 million in 2013 in the off-trade. Sales in the off-trade by value fell from £332.9 million in 2011 to £320.9 million the following year. Most recent full year figures show a slight increase to £323.6 million. 

The Grandes Marques saw value sales go up 8.6% from £176.7 million for the year to January 5, 2013, to £192 million for the equivalent period in 2014 according to Nielsen Scantrack data.

Paul Beavis, managing director of Lanson International UK, said: "It is very heartening to see that all top eight big Champagne brands are in positive growth in the off trade, where the broadest range of Champagnes are listed. Certainly the investment by Champagne houses in their brands continues to pay off - enabling shoppers to reach out for brands they trust."

The top eight brands, all of which saw sales grow from 2013 to 2014, are:

  • Moet & Chandon with sales of £40,081,479
  • Veuve Clicquot, £27,293,954
  • Lanson, £26,411,042
  • Nicolas Feuillate, £18,082,122
  • Heidsieck Monopole, £16,688,824
  • Taittinger, £15,244,726
  • Bollinger, £13,944,516                                                                                                                                                            
  • Laurent Perrier, £11,598,861

Piper Heidsieck, Mumm, Perrier Jouet and Pol Roger have all seen declines on 2013's sales.

While Prosecco is commonly hailed as the success story of the sparkling wine category, Lanson's Beavis insists its growth is not at the expense of Champagne. The report states: "Prosecco has created its very own bubble and has reached common acceptability. While we have seen some softening in volumes from the retailer label Champagnes, this is dwarfed by the massive increase in Prosecco volume. Our own Futuresight panel research demonstrates that people are additionally switching out of still wine and the more traditional spirit-led apéritifs into Prosecco."

According to the report, consumer group research showed "people are seeing Prosecco as an aspirational drink ahead of more commonplace alternatives", and opting for a bottle of Prosecco to share with friends rather than having a gin and tonic, for example.

In order for Champagne to achieve profitable growth, it must "build discernment into the category", invest in brands and more clearly differentiate between Champagne and sparkling wine in stores, Lanson's report said.