Report flags up gaps for Champagne growth

27th March, 2013 by Gabriel Stone

Lanson International’s second annual Champagne Category Report has highlighted strong consumer demand for more information about how individual brands taste, as well as a major area of missed opportunity in the UK on-trade.

Champagne-PourDespite CGA Strategy reporting that the UK’s top end outlets, which it classifies as “Platinum” and “Gold”, have the highest rate of sale for Champagne within the on-trade, the data analysts found that just 50% of these venues stock Champagne.

According to Lanson’s report, “if it were possible to achieve 100% distribution across these outlets, it would deliver a staggering estimated incremental value of £206.3 million to the category.”

Meanwhile research conducted by research firm Futuresights showed that 60% of consumers felt style or taste was the best way to categorise Champagne, compared to 28% who preferred the price-led model.

In addition, 86% of consumers said information about the taste would influence their choice of Champagne.

Describing Champagne as “a category dominated by style and image,” Paul Beavis, UK managing director of Champagne Lanson International, told the drinks business: “We have to dig beneath that and talk about taste.”

For Lanson, he admitted that trying to talk to consumers directly about the house’s signature non-malolactic fermentation is “nigh on impossible,” explaining that its focus lies instead in conveying the “fresh aperitif style” that results from this winemaking approach.

In addition to highlighting demand for more information about taste, the Lanson report recommended that retailers support this further by displaying their Champagne range by style.

Attributing Champagne’s -6.6% volume decline in the UK off-trade (Nielsen MAT to 02.02.13) to “a reduction in volume driving price promotions and a decline in retailer labels,” the report also stressed the importance of ongoing investment by brand owners.

Alongside this point it emphasised a need to provide “added value strategies”, including gift packaging or glassware, as an alternative to price promotion in order to reinforce consumer trust and loyalty to the Champagne category.

As for the challenge posed to Champagne by other sparkling wine categories, headline data showed a particularly strong performance by the latter in the UK off-trade, where it saw value growth of 10.5% and volume growth of 7.6%. By comparison, Champagne’s off-trade sales fell by -3.8% value and -5.9% volume.

However, in the on-trade, Champagne outstripped the rest of the sparkling wine category, posting 7.2% value and 4.4% volume growth, compared to sparkling wine’s performance of 5.5% value and 0.8% volume growth.

The report linked this strong on-trade performance by Champagne to the boost from specific occasions, such as Valentine’s Day and Christmas.

With 40% of consumers indicating that a greater number of “occasions” would encourage them to buy more Champagne, followed by 31% who cited improved availability by the glass, the report picked out both factors as important growth opportunities for the category.

In addition to these main recommendations for growth, Beavis suggested that Champagne could further protect its customer base from sparkling wine erosion by presenting a broader stylistic picture than its most common brut expression.

Pointing to Lanson’s White Label sec, he told db: “A lot of consumers now are brought up on the slightly sweeter Prosecco style; demi-sec can be too sweet but sec bridges that.”

As for some of the house’s own initiatives this year, Beavis highlighted activity around the Wimbledon Championships, which will see the launch of neoprene cooling jackets in May, as well as the creation of an exclusive Wimbledon cocktail, Lanson Fraise. “It’s about trying to be innovative without being tacky,” he summed up.

One Response to “Report flags up gaps for Champagne growth”

  1. Ed Hodson says:

    For persons interested in learning more about how various champagnes taste, may I humbly offer our free website, Champagnifique? We offer reviews on hundreds of champagnes, and there’s nothing to subscribe to, join or pay for. Cheers!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to our newsletters

Job vacancies

On-Trade Regional Sales Manager

Anthony Byrne Fine Wines
London and the South East, UK

Commercial Director

The Drinks Business Hong Kong
Hong Kong

Key Accounts Manager - Impulse Channel

Australian Vintage Limited
Croydon, Greater London, United Kingdom, GB

Sales Support Assistant

H2Vin Ltd
London, UK

Sales Administrator

Les Caves de Pyrène
Guildford, Surrey

Sales Order Processor

Amathus Drinks
Park Royal, London NW10, UK

Sales Executive (London – Craft Spirits)

Bimber Distillery
London, UK

Events & PR Co-ordinator

Alliance Wine
London, UK

Partner Development Manager - That Boutique-y Gin Company

That Boutique-y Gin Company
Field Based, UK

Head of Merchant Sales

Grapevine the Wineservice Company
Cumbria, UK

Business Development Manager – Central London

Marussia Beverages UK Ltd
Field based – London, UK

Account Manager – Premium Restaurants, London

Kingfisher Beer Europe Ltd
London (Central), UK

Field Sales Representative - Beer Innovation

Elastic
Various locations, UK

Events Executive

The Drinks Business
London, UK

Area Sales Executive

Gordon & Macphail
Southern England (excluding London) and Inner London, UK

The Global Malbec Masters 2017

Deadline : 1st August 2017

The Global Beer Masters 2017

Deadline : 1st August 2017

The Global Sparkling Masters 2017

Deadline : 4th August 2017

Champagne Masters 2017

Deadline : 4th August 2017

Click to view more

The Global Organic Masters 2017

The drinks business is thrilled to announce the launch of The Global Organic Masters

The Drinks Business Awards 2017

Now in its 15th year, the db awards have become the most authoritative, internationally respected badge of achievement in the alcoholic drinks industry.

The Asian Cabernet Sauvignon Masters 2017

the drinks business Hong Kong announces its first year of The Asian Cabernet Sauvignon Masters.

Rioja Masters 2016

Now in its fifth year, the competition will recognise and reward the finest Riojas on the world stage.

Click to view more