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UK agents urge Comité Champagne not to cancel London tasting

Chairman of the UK Champagne Agents Association, Andrew Hawes, has urged the Comité Champagne to reconsider its decision to cancel its Annual Tasting in London.

Andrew Hawes
Andrew Hawes is chairman of the UK Champagne Agents Association and managing director of Champagne Bollinger’s agent Mentzendorff

Following news announced by the drinks business yesterday that the Comité Champagne would not be holding its Annual Champagne Tasting in the UK next year, Hawes expressed the widespread dismay felt within the Champagne Agents Association at the decision.

Hawes, who is both chair of the UK association, as well as managing director of Champagne Bollinger’s agent Mentzendorff, said that an annual tasting was an vital promotional tool for Champagne in its largest export market by volume.

“The United Kingdom remains the largest export market for Champagne, and London is the principle shop-window from which to promote Champagne to a global audience,” he said.

Continuing, he commented, “We appreciate and welcome the opportunity to develop and evolve the event, but it is a mistake to evaluate it purely as a ‘tasting’, or to view it only within the context of the UK market.”

Indeed, he said that the media coverage from the London-based tasting benefitted Champagne worldwide.

“In addition to supporting Champagne sales in excess of 30m bottles per annum in the UK since the global financial crisis – when other markets have seen their sales fall sharply – the Annual Champagne Tasting in London has delivered enormous media coverage and benefits on an increasingly global scale. This cannot simply be replaced by fragmented activity within the UK market.”

Finally, he said that the marketing aims for the Comité Champagne mentioned in yesterday’s db news story were best served by a tasting, “All of the areas identified by the Comité Champagne for focus – social media, digital activity & education – can best be launched and amplified from the existing platform of the tasting, which is a unique and wonderful day for Champagne in the world’s best city”

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