Lanson is launching a taste profile guide designed to help shoppers with their Champagne purchases and grow the category.

Earlier this year, Lanson polled 2,000 regular Champagne drinkers to explore attitudes to different Champagne flavours and drinking occasions. It used the findings - and advice from independent expert Nicola Arcedeckne-Butler MW - to taste 32 non-vintage Champagnes and create a category segmentation model based on taste, not just label.

This model has been used to produce a map that features Champagnes from a range of houses available in the off-trade. The map will appear on neck collars on Lanson’s entire range in major retailers from January, and will include a QR code that links consumers to further information about the company’s educational initiatives.

“The category is quite complicated in retail and we need to demystify it,” said Lanson UK MD Paul Beavis. “Someone needs to take an ownership position and talk about this.”

Lanson intends to map different vintages, rosés and demi-sec Champagnes in the future and plans to trial a new merchandising system with a major retailer early next year.

Champagne volumes fell by almost a quarter this summer as wet weather and economic gloom dampened shoppers’ thirst but Lanson, the top brand in supermarkets according to SymphonyIRI data, fared better and rose 20.7% by volume and 25% by value [12w/e 13 August].