SPARKLING WINE: All that Sparkles

Bubbles are keeping the wine category afloat as consumer appetite for sparkling wine, driven by rosé and New World offerings, continues to grow. Fionnuala Synnott reports

Good news for those depressed by the static still wine market: the sparkling category is growing. In fact, according to ACNielsen, sparkling (excluding Champagne) is the fastest growing wine category and continues to outperform the rest of the market by 12%. The increasing popularity of rosé wine and a number of strong New World brands are largely responsible for driving this growth and have led to an off-trade sparkling wine market worth £241 million.

UK consumers cannot get enough of still rosé wine and this trend has filtered through to the sparkling wine market. The sparkling rosé market has grown by 93% and now accounts for 18% of total fizz sales in multiple grocers (ACNielsen MAT 30.12.2006). It seems that everyone is jumping on the pink bandwagon with an increasing number of producers launching their own rosé. Fosters launched Pink in October of last year. According to Naomi Coles, NPD concept leader for Fosters EMEA, Pink is aimed at “people looking for something that is more accessible, with a more fun and feminine label” and has sold almost 130,000 bottles since it launched. Constellation has also launched two dry sparkling rosé wines from the Yarra Burn and Bay of Fires wineries, largely on the back of the growing popularity of pink Champagne. Clare Griffiths, VP  of brands marketing at Constellation Europe, explains, “Rosé Champagne has been growing steadily in popularity since 1996 (+303% in the UK to 2005) and is now seen as fashionable and accessible, particularly among younger consumers. We aimed to capitalise on this growth with the launch of dry sparkling rosés from Yarra Burn in the Yarra Valley and the Bay of Fires winery in Tasmania.” 

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