|Supermarkets buoyant over Jubilee sparkling wine sales|
|Written by Gemma McKenna|
|Thursday, 07 June 2012 10:55|
The major multiples are jubilant over sparkling wine sales this bank holiday, with M&S reporting its biggest-ever week for bubbles, Waitrose seeing English wines sales soar 96% and Asda recording an 85% jump in Champagne.
The long weekend seemed to have the desired effect on drinks sales in the off-trade, as revellers refused to let the bad weather dampen their spirits when shopping. The recent episode of BBC One programme The Apprentice which focused on English sparkling wine also raised awareness and boosted sales.
June 8, 9am: A spokeswoman for The Co-operative said Champagne sales in the two weeks to the Jubilee had “really taken off”. Last week’s sales were up 77% on Valentine’s week sales and 52% on Easter week. The bestseller was Aubert & Fils Brut NV at £12.99 but “exceptionally strong sales were also recorded for our award-winning Les Pionniers Brut NV and Vintage 2004”.
At Marks & Spencer, the week preceding the Jubilee was “an unprecedented week for Champagne and sparkling”, said Andrew Bird, head of trading, grocery and drinks. Sales were up by one third on Christmas week and 2,000% on the same week last year. English fizz sales were up 50 times the normal rate, it sold 50,000 bottles of its exclusive sparkling wines from Ridgeview and Chapel Down.
Pink Port was the “surprise hit” of the Jubilee as people chose to follow the retailer’s port-based punch recipe.
British regional craft ales had their biggest week ever at M&S as 200,000 bottles were sold. The best seller was its Sandringham Diamond Ale made by Elgoods Brewery with barley sourced from the Sandringham royal estate.
Asda’s Champagne category was up 85% compared to the same week last year, and the bestseller was Pierre Darcys Brut priced at £12, followed by Dubois Caron, Taittinger and Lanson.
Sparkling wines saw a sales jump 21% compared on last year with Asda Cava Brut, Martini Prosecco, Martini Asti, Monistrol Vintage and Monistrol Vintage rosé the bestsellers. A spokeswoman said: “All in all, this equated to the second biggest week of the year for both categories (Champagne and sparkling wine) after Valentine’s Day.”
Waitrose saw “a significant surge in sales of English wine”, which had its biggest week on record at the supermarket - sales increased 96%. For the whole month of May the retailer said sparkling wine was up 154% by value and 143% by volume, while still English wine rosé was up by 133% by value and 144% by volume. Andrew Shaw, buyer, said the Thursday and Friday following the Apprentice programme were record sales days, as “some stores saw 1000% uplift in week on week”.
Sales of Pimms in the last week, often cited as an indicator of consumers’ feel-good factor, soared 260% on last year, outselling every other spirit in the range. Meanwhile British cider and ales were up 70 and 25% respectively.
Tesco said it sold over three quarter of a million bottles of Champagne and Sparkling over the four day weekend.
Jeremy Howard, chief executive of online retailer Slurp, said: “In the week leading up to the Jubilee we certainly saw elevated demand for beers, particularly British, and for English wines - in particular. We decided a year ago to make English wine a big focus for Slurp and I believe we have the largest range of English wines and premium beers online. Things like Nyetimber Classic Cuvée 2006 sold really well for us in the week before the Jubilee. We offered guaranteed Jubilee delivery up to midday on Thursday on Slurp Express stock and that tempted a lot of last minute shoppers who couldn’t face the high street hassle.”
Online retailer sparklingenglishwine.com also received around 14,000 visits to their site following the screening of the Apprentice, some even during live transmission. Subsequent sales have been “phenomenal” according to co-founder Thomas Jones.