Festive discounts boost Champagne

19 February, 2010

A pick-up in pre-Christmas UK Champagne sales helped the French region restore some respectability to its 2009 export figures.

December shipments to European export markets were up 24% on the same month in 2008, with some late restocking as shelves emptied on the back of Christmas run-in promotions.

This is in contrast to August figures, where the running total for 2009 shipments to European markets was a third down on the same period in 2008.

Now CIVC, Champagne’s governing body, is predicting total shipments will reach 290 million bottles?, about 10% down on 2008?, according to director Daniel Lorson.

Referring to the late surge, Michel

etter, chief executive officer of Mumm and Perrier-Jouët, said: “A big part of this was cheap brands.” Although the latest shipments figures for the UK? to the end of November? show a fall of 25% against the first 11 months of 2008, the year-end drop is expected to be

ess savage.

Nielsen figures for the UK off-trade show that volume was up 25% and value by 21% in the eight weeks trading to Boxing Day.

Andrew Hawes, managing director of Bollinger agent Mentzendorff, said

supermarket discounts on Champagne – including Bollinger Special Cuvée at £17.95 in Morrisons in late November – resulted in renewed interest in the category as a whole. The strongest brands gained share in what he called “classic recessionary behaviour”.

Hawes added: “Demand has polarised between strong brands and those able to hit price points for the cheapies. Bollinger gained share in a market that has fallen over the year.”?He was cautious about whether the recovery will last into 2010? and said a recovery in sterling would help.

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Lifting the spirits

I were to sum up alcohol sales over Christmas 2017 in one word, it would be “gin”. At Nielsen, we define the Christmas period as the 12 weeks to December 30 and in that time gin sales were £199.4 million, which means they increased by £55.4 million compared with Christmas 2016. There’s no sign the bubble is about to burst either. Growth at Christmas 2016 was £22.4 million, so gin has increased its value growth nearly two-and-a-half times in a year. The spirit added more value to
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