Sparkling wine sales soaring more than Champagne
Sparkling wine is bursting Champagne’s bubble here in the UK, with more and more drinkers reaching for a bottle of fizz but not necessarily from France’s famed region.
According to the latest research from Mintel, volume sales of sparkling wines in the UK have soared 44% since 2002 – and last year alone sales were up 13% to hit 42 million litres. Champagne volume sales, on the other hand, increased by only 24% over the same five-year period, to reach 29 million litres in 2007.
Mintel senior market analyst Mathilde Dudouit explained that, ‘Champagne used to be the only accepted choice and sparkling wine was simply seen as a second-rate imitation, but sparkling wine growers have now turned the market around by producing consistently good-quality wines and giving people a much greater variety of wines to choose from.’
She added, ‘For many, sparkling wine is now seen as a really enjoyable treat in its own right, and the fact that it costs only a few pounds more than a regular bottle of wine is just an added bonus. People can now afford to see simply meeting friends after work as reason enough to break out the bubbly.’
In value terms, sparkling wine sales rose 27% on 2002 figures to reach £385 million in 2007. New World wines, such as Jacob’s Creek, Hardys Crest and Lindauer, have proved particularly popular in the UK, according to Mintel, because of their strong branding and reputation for quality. They are also the wine of choice for many young professionals, especially when out and about after work, says the market analyst.
And, looking to the future, Mathilde believes sparkling wine will be promoted as a cocktail ingredient, which will ‘further boost its image as a glamorous drink amongst the going-out crowd’.