National Champagne Week a welcome boost for struggling category
The UK has been popping bubbly this week for National Champagne Week - a much needed boost for the category which has seen a slow down in growth over the past year.
Leading wine app Vivino has seen a year-on-year decline in consumption of Champagne for eight of the nine months in 2016 so far.
Although the UK has retained its position as the number one export market for Champagne, category growth has been slow, increasing only by 1.2% in 2015.
This year, Vivino found that Champagne consumption has fallen from 55.12% in the sparkling wine category in August 2015 to 51.57% this summer.
This marks a particularly tough summer for Champagne, with more than a 10% YOY decline in July.
Other wines in the sparkling category have been stealing Champagne’s limelight, with English sparkling wine enjoying more than a 17% YOY growth in July 2016.
National Champagne Week is a weeklong series of events which run to October 7 across London, Birmingham and Bath, and puts Champagne at the forefront of participating bars and retail outlets.
The next big hurrah for the category of course is the festive period.
Auriane d’Aramon, head wine buyer at independent wine merchant Friarwood, explained: “The important time for Champagne and sparkling is the months of November and December. These two months represent 33% of the yearly sales of Champagne and 24% of the yearly sales of sparkling.
“Other months seem relevant as well. February seems to be Champagne focus with 10% of the yearly Champagne sales. When May seems to be more Sparkling oriented with 17% of the yearly Sparkling sales.”
At Friarwood, Champagne represents 63% and sparkling 37% of retail sales - but this has to be taken into consideration that Friarwood has five times more references (SKU – Stock Keeping Unit) of Champagne than sparkling.
Champagne’s YOY growth in 2016
(Data from the number of people consuming Champagne on Vivino.)