Posts Tagged ‘Cava’

rip

 

 

The wine business continues to do things no one expects, and the latest Champagne sales numbers are a striking indication of what’s going’s on.

This French wine service story is stunning in its conclusions: “Champagne was dominant 10 to 15 years ago, but the world has changed.”

The story, though written for the European market, is well worth reading because it documents the trend we’re been talking about here for several years (and not just because I’m trying to put together The Cheap Wine Book). Today, when consumers have a choice between two quality products, they’re more likely than ever to buy on price. Champagne exports declined 2.8 percent last year,… read on

 

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Ouch!

 

Unlike most other wine categories, Champagne sales were not sufficiently buoyed by surging demand from Asia and North America to compensate for declining shipments to Europe in 2012. A large share of consignments are Europe-bound and because of this, the economic crisis hit the region with a full frontal attack.

 

According to Champagne marketing board CIVC, sales of Champagne for the first eleven months of 2012 were down 3.8 percent on the previous year. The fall is primarily due to a drop in sales in France – the region’s largest market – where they declined by 5.2 percent to 144.35 million bottles, though also to falling volumes in Europe. Moving annual totals within Europe dropped by 8.3 percent due to markets such as the United Kingdom and Germany. However, Thibaut Le Mailloux, spokesman for the marketing board, said the figures should be put into perspective: “the downturn comes on the back of two years of strong growth that followed the 2008-2009 financial crisis”.

Fortunately, although many of the region’s sales outlets are in Europe, non-EU countries came to the rescue with a rise of 3.5 percent in sales. The Chinese market may well be geared to red wines, the first half of 2012 saw it reach a turning point with China entering the top 10 export destinations for Champagne for the first time ever. Sales surged by almost 100 percent to 947,713 bottles over the half-year. Fellow Asian market Japan also rose significantly (+26 percent) to over 4.5 million bottles.

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Deep discounting over the Christmas period in the UK and France has led to Champagne volume growth in the major multiples but also one bankrupt supplier.

Retailers in Champagne’s two largest markets employed aggressive price cutting tactics to entice shoppers during December, while suppliers of inexpensive supermarket labels struggled to make money as they attempted to absorb the increasing cost of grapes.

The latest figures to be released in the UK show that supermarket chain Asda achieved a 25% increase in Champagne sales over December from an aggressive deal on its exclusive label Pierre Darcys.

Having slashed its price from £23.98 to just below £10 a bottle, the supermarket reported sales of almost 250,000 bottles in a single week in the run up to New Year’s Eve.
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A good reason to celebrate!

Italy, number one!

Prosecco emerged as the wine favourite among shoppers in the UK at Christmas, with soaring sales of the Italian sparkler reported by Majestic, Waitrose and Tesco.

Tesco said sales of Prosecco in 2012 were likely to be double those in 2011, while Waitrose wine buying manager Ken Mackay reported it as ‘the biggest seller by far’ in a 23% sales surge for sparkling wine over the Christmas period.

Majestic chief executive Steve Lewis told Decanter.com that sales of Prosecco had soared by 55% by value in the last seven weeks of 2012, while Champagne sales were flat and overall sparkling wine sales rose 22%.

Majestic reported overall sales up 5.1% over the same period, with like-for-like sales rising 1.1% – broadly in line with the company’s performance over the rest of the year to date.
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Who needs the French?

Who needs the French?

 

 

Sales of Prosecco are outperforming Champagne at a number of the UK’s largest wine retailers.

Prosecco sales at Tesco are up 50% year-on-year, with the Italian sparkling wine outperforming both Champagne and Cava at the world’s largest wine retailer.

“What makes the rising demand for Prosecco even more startling is that until about five years ago it was generally only known by connoisseurs,” Tesco’s wine category manager, Alain Guilpain, told The Guardian.
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ilus_pano_cava

 

Noel Reid, wine and spirits buyer at Frederic Robinson has said positioning Champagne at prices not far above that of Prosecco or Cava could “very seriously damage the reputation of the entire segment”.

His comments come on the back of the Harpers’ news story on December 19, when Dr Steve Charters MW, professor of Champagne management at Reims Management School claims on the back of the Eurozone crisis the market will not pick up until 2014/2015.

In response from an on-trade perspective Reid said: “I think it is fair that Champagne sales mirror the success or otherwise of our economy at that time.” He added there will always be individual brands that buck the trend due to great marketing or brand loyalty, in other words success stories which you find within any consumer sector.

However, Reid said the fear for Christmas 2012 and 2013 is that retailers will simply “buy” market share with huge price reductions that have a significant impact on sales and can lead to a real worry of consumers believing that the prices are sustainable with clearly they are not.

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