|Top-end bubbly hits all-time high|
|Written by Laura Heywood|
|Thursday, 15 November 2012 12:37|
Sales of top-end fizz have hit record highs as consumers "tired of austerity" splash out on affordable luxuries, according to leading trade players.
"There's no doubt that the major growth has come in the prestige cuvées," said Bordeaux Index's Champagne buyer Gareth Birchley. "With the relatively lacklustre performance of Bordeaux, especially the 2011 en primeur campaign, customers are looking for genuine value and finding it in Champagne."
Growth in premium Champagne is coming from the UK and Asian markets, according to John Barr, director at European Fine Wines, "with brands like Dom Perignon, Taittinger, Bollinger, Salon, Krug and Pol Roger the ones to watch".
Andrew Hawes, managing director of Mentzendorff, the exclusive UK agent for Bollinger, told Harpers: "Consumers are perhaps becoming tired of austerity and a product such as Champagne is seen as an ‘affordable luxury' compared to, say, a car or a holiday."
CGA Strategy pointed to growing interest in "high value labels such as Armand de Brignac Ace of Spades", which sells for £300-plus in the on-trade.
"Overall Champagne is starting to show signs of recovery from its declines over the course of the economic downturn. Sparkling wines are still in the ascendency but there is no doubt that the polarisation of the marketplace is benefiting many key Champagne brands," said CGA's Mark Newton.