Sparkling brands oust Champagne

05 March, 2010

Sales of Champagne have been eclipsed by sparkling wine in the off-trade for the first time, OLN’s 2010 Brands Report reveals.

Sales of Champagne have been eclipsed by sparkling wine in the off-trade for the first time, OLN’s 2010 Brands Report reveals.

The latest Nielsen figures show the sparkling wine category – which includes fizz from the New World, together with Prosecco and cava – was worth £325 million.

The category saw a 12% growth in value sales and a 5% increase in volume for the year to January 23.

Champagne was worth £1 million less at £324 million, and recorded 4% growth in both value and volume.

The Christmas period saw Champagne outstripping growth in sparkling wine, mainly thanks to discounts, but it wasn’t enough to retain its pole position.

Nielsen analyst Stewart Blunt said: “It’s a very exciting time, the two categories are running absolutely neck and neck.”

In the spirits category, Absolut vodka has been knocked out of the line-up of top 20 brands.

Pernod Ricard blamed the brand’s drop in sales on a “long-term premiumisation strategy”, which includes a move to steer clear of deep discounting. Its average bottle price has also increased by £1.80 in the past 26 weeks to £13.49, according to the company.

First Drinks’ Russian Standard vodka has broken into the top 20 for the first time thanks to a 40% rise in value in the year to January 23.

This year's Brands Report unveils the top off-trade sellers – see OLN's website for the full report.




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Talking terroir

When Bordeaux was in fashion, it seemed almost logical that we should fetishise winemakers. Here were people responsible for brilliant acts of blending, across large estates and multiple grape varieties, including superstars such as cabernet sauvignon and merlot. These days, fashion has moved on and pinot noir is ascendant. As a result, the star of the winemaker has fallen and we find ourselves following a new star in the sky: terroir.

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