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Nearly every champagne available in the UK’s supermarkets suffered a sales slump this year

Brits are losing their taste for champagne as prices skyrocket.

Nearly every champagne available in the UK’s supermarkets suffered a sales slump this year, with many in double-digit decline, our Britain’s Biggest Alcohol Brands report reveals this week.

Veuve Clicquot, for instance, has lost 16.7% of its value, falling £7m to £35.1m. Moët & Chandon is down 10.7% to £51.1m. Bollinger has fallen 16.2% to £24.4m, and Laurent-Perrier is down 7.3% to £25.9m.

Taittinger managed to grow value by £700k, but that was only due to a 10% rise in average price – its volumes were down 7.1% [NielsenIQ 52 w/e 30 April 2022].

Taittinger certainly wasn’t the only champers to become significantly more expensive this year.

Our data shows the average prices of Veuve Clicquot, Moët, Bollinger and Laurent-Perrier have risen by 14%, 15%, 12% and 12% respectively – to £54.90, £48.89, £54.08 and £52.91 per litre. In the case of Veuve, that’s approximately an extra £6.68 per litre.

Moët Hennessy UK MD Alexei Rosin said sales of Moët were up 20% compared to May 2020. “Once the On-Trade re-opened, people returned to consuming Moët & Chandon in bars and restaurants rather than purely at home”, he said.

The brand had also “been selling less on promotion as we carefully manage stock in the face of disruption across the supply chain which is faced by all companies at present”, and had seen shoppers trading up within its range, he added. 

Boon for other sparkling wines

The data suggests Brits have switched to either more affordable champagne or other types of sparkling wine.

More affordable champagne brand Lanson, which sold at an average of £43.43 per litre this year, grew its value 10.7% to £36.3m. However much of that was due to rising prices – volumes were up by just 2.8%.

The category had been forced to contend with small harvests in both 2020 and 2021, said Lanson MD Robert Rand. “This has added pressure to inventories.

“As a result of this scarcity, value has been added. We are seeing retail prices go up.”

The downturn in champagne meant there could be “an opportunity for other sparkling wines”, said Lucy Auld, marketing director at Freixenet owner Freixenet Copestick, whose eponymous brand has grown by 10.3% (£10.7m) to £114.5m.

“The great thing about prosecco and cava is they are at an accessible price point for the consumer.”