More Brits are expected to ditch Champagne for cheaper prosecco and cava over the festive season - at home anyway.
Off-trade Champagne sales have fallen 9% by volume year-on-year over the past 12 weeks, according to the latest wine & Spirit Trade Association market report, while sales of sparkling wine have grown by the same percentage over the period.
The picture looks no better over a full year, which again shows a 9% off-trade slump as sparkling wines - with an average price of £8.56 against £25.74 for Champagne - rise 6%.
However, Francoise Peretti of the Champagne Information Bureau insisted there was still cause for optimism. “In the off-trade, entry-level drinkers are buying sparkling wine, but many will move up to Champagne,” she said, adding that on-trade sales had risen 13% by volume in the past 12 weeks - driven by restaurant sales.
While shoppers may be switching to sparkling wine to save cash, across the rest of the wine market, products below £5 a bottle are declining in volume and price bands above £7 are in double-digit growth.