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Veuve Clicquot to open London Champagne bar

Published:  17 October, 2019

Veuve Clicquot has partnered with award-winning US singer-songwriter Annie Clark, better known as St Vincent, to open a Champagne bar in London’s Covent Garden.

The bar, called Souvenir, has been designed by St Vincent as part speakeasy, part sensory space, the Champagne house says, and promises consumers an “authentic connection”, exploring “the power that Champagne has creating and evoking memories”.

Champagne has struggled to compete with Prosecco in the UK market in recent year, with exports down 11% in 2017 and 3.6% in 2018.

Prosecco sales growth fell back last year, but still hit 5%. It was the smallest annual growth rate for the Italian sparkling wine style since 2011.

However, within the Champagne category there is a clear trend towards premium brands and styles, with the average spend per bottle rising by up to £3 over the last year across both the on- and the off-trade.

“The evidence suggests a repositioning of Champagne in UK consumers’ minds,” Richard Halstead, COO of Wine Intelligence, told Harpers earlier this year.

“In keeping with the drink-less-but-better trend, Champagne’s average price is climbing.”

Veuve Clicquot’s launch of Souvenir is also in line with the growing importance of the experiential as a key driver for consumers, particularly among the younger demographics.

“Value of experience” overtook “value for money” as a driver of consumer choice for the first time this year, according to research from data analysts CGA unveiled at the London Wine Fair earlier this summer.

Souvenir launches at 6A Langley Street on 22 November.

Previous creative partners for Veuve Clicquot have included designer Tom Dixon and fashion guru Carine Roitfeld.

Top photo by David Titlow