Why are Champagne and sparkling wine sales slowing

Bubble bursts for Champagne sales in 2023 as wine sales show mixed results

The party’s well and truly over for fizz. In our 2021 Top Products report, sales of sparkling wine and champagne were in rude health. They’ve been in significant decline since. This year, the two sectors have lost £46.4m combined. Volumes are down a total of 6.8 million litres.

“Bubbles didn’t have any good time this year,” says Zeynep Pehlivanoglu, BWS consulting lead at NIQ. “Even the coronation and extra bank holiday didn’t help to boost sales.”

Which supermarket wines are in growth? 

The key factor was “the rising inflation, to a peak that we’ve never seen”, she explains. Champagne and sparkling wine were up 5.7% and 5.8% in price respectively. “Even though price growth stayed below other fmcg categories, it still had a negative impact on off-trade consumption,  and the majority of the top brands grew only with price increases.”

That was also the case in table wine, to a lesser extent. While average price per litre rose 3.4%, volumes fell 2.6%. That was driven largely by own label wines – which come at a “more affordable price,  but the higher-than-market-price increase [of 4.2%] caused them to lose sales”, Pehlivanoglu says.

For brands, volumes fell at a less steep rate of 1.6%. Among those to have bucked the downturn are easier drinking wines marketed as premium. A chief example is Jam Shed, which has shifted an extra 1.7 million litres and gained £16.1m, and 19 Crimes, which is up 583.1 thousand litres and £10.6m.

The latter’s success is the result of “launching new products and disrupting the category”, says Russell Kirkham, head of marketing at brand owner Treasury Wine Estates. Hence the spring launch of a limited-edition “stout-style” syrah and the return of glow-in-the-dark labels for Halloween.

Jam Shed and 19 Crimes are popular wines

Jam Shed’s uplift, meanwhile, comes from an “understanding of the category” and embracing the “fact we’re not for everyone”, says Tom Smith, marketing director at Accolade Wines.

That sort of pragmatism will be critical for vintners in 2024. The new alcohol duty system will hit wine hard and drive further price hikes, warns Pehlivanoglu. Which could leave Brits in little mood to party.

Top Launch 2023

Joy | Concha y Toro


Bright, attractive and distinctly fruity, Joy is Concha y Toro’s bid to convert young adults into wine drinkers. Designed to bring a “vibrant and sassy alternative” to the mainstream wine market, Joy is available in four SKUs – Fruity Rosé, Bright White, Juicy Red and Orange Spritz – and in 489 Asda stores. The range has an rsp of £7.50/75cl, and launched on promotion at a pound off. The wines are between 8% and 12% abv, don’t display grape varieties, and call for use in cocktails.

Face off: Top Products Survey 2023 pits brands vs own-label