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Off-trade Champagne consumers are trading up from brut

Consumers are raising the quality of their drinks and are buying premium vintages and magnums of Champagne when out doing their shopping.

Speaking to db, off-trade retailers highlighted how the euphoria of seeing friends and family again post-lockdown has boosted consumer’ interest in different Champagne styles, with the larger bottles and rosé blends as well “more exciting” vintages being bought.

“It would seem that customers have chosen Champagne to celebrate seeing their friends and family once again after lockdown. Interestingly, our largest growth is in large format Champagne (magnums etc) at +86% year to date so we’re clearly in the celebratory mood,” said Waitrose Champagne buyer Alexandra Mawson.

Majestic Wine chief commercial officer Robert Cooke agreed, adding that “there is also, amongst Majestic customers at least, a growing appreciation and awareness for different styles of Champagne behind house or brut. This has led to a greater variety of sales, from gastronomic styles and rosé in particular.”

Lay & Wheeler buyer Catherine Petrie MW said she had witnessed “many customers experimenting, putting together their own mixed cases of exciting and rare grower Champagnes, as well as stocking up on their favourite non-vintage grandes marques” revealing that people are becoming more interested in the category and seem happy to spend more money on fizz.

Champagne Agents Association chairman and managing director of Mentzendorff Andrew Hawes, reminded that, when it comes to Champagne buying, consumers are not holding back and throughout 2021 he is seeing “more belt-loosening than belt-tightening”.

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