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Rosé Champagne bucks downward trend

Champagne is still being eclipsed by Prosecco and other types of fizz in the UK on-trade, but rosé Champagne is performing well above expectations, according to market analyst CGA Strategy.

In the 12 months to 8 August 2019, sales of Champagne (volume 9lr cases), decreased by -4.4% in the UK hospitality sector, while in the same period value sales decreased by -2.8%.

Yet the total value of rosé Champagne sales actually increased by 0.5% in the UK on-trade. This stands in significant contrast to the general decline trend, as some consumers abandon the category for either cheaper alternatives, or competitors such as English sparkling.

“Champagne is seeing a moderation in its recent decline trends,” said CGA analyst Mark Newton.

“Rosé – which is traditionally seen as a more expensive option in the on-trade – is now actually showing a positive value uplift.”

However, figures released by the group also indicated that talk of reaching “peak Prosecco” may be grossly exaggerated. Moreover, CGA data strongly suggests that consumers are increasingly willing to spend more on premium DOCG styles.

In the 12 month period to August 2019, sales of Prosecco increased by 20.7% in the UK hospitality sector, while in the same period value sales increased by a dramatic 28.2%.

“Prosecco is also experiencing an over-indexing, value uplift trend, suggesting that consumers are seeking out more expensive brands,” said Newton.

Data released by the IWSR also supports the widely held view that “consumers are drinking less but better.”

Sales of premium (£10.99-19.99) sparkling wine brands in the UK increased by +13.7% between 2014-2018. However, the “super-premium” category (£20.00+ per bottle) is showing the most volume growth, at +47.4% CAGR (2014-2018).

An in-depth look at the UK’s sparkling wine market appears in the November issue of the drinks business.

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