Pernod Ricard is working on a "significant" project to boost Champagne and sparkling wine sales in the UK.

The company, which owns the Champagne Perrier-Jouët and Champagne Mumm brands as well as a range of Campo Viejo cavas and sparkling wines under its Jacob's Creek brand, is working with off and on-trade retailers to tap into the growing popularity of fizzy wine.

"It used to be that Champagne and sparkling wines were only ever opened on special occasions," said Nick Blair, sales & marketing director. "However, consumers are enjoying a glass of bubbly increasingly regularly and seeing it as more of an everyday treat."

The company is looking at a range of ideas such as launching smaller bottles for the off-trade and running more by-the-glass promotions in the on-trade.

"This category can be slightly more expensive than still wine," he said. "Buying a small bottle or single glass is a much smaller investment and so the barrier to trial is removed and the category becomes more accessible."

One of the challenges was maximising opportunities for impulse buying, said Blair. "There is a missed opportunity for c-store retailers when it comes to this category," he said.

"High-value products such as this are kept behind the counter, which doesn't encourage purchase. We have to find a way around that."