In the months of November and December 2016 alone, nearly 52,000 cases of sparkling wine were sold, according to Nielsen, an 18% rise on the 2015 figure for November and December. This means consumers spent an additional €1.56 million on the bubbly.
Nielsen also found that 14% of sales for the entire year took place in the two weeks of the Christmas fortnight.
Across the water, sparklers sold the equivalent of 3.75 million cases in the 12-week run-up to Christmas in shops and supermarkets there, a 12% increase to a record figure.
The UK’s on-trade benefitted from this resurgence too with nearly 417,000 cases sold through the on-trade over-and-above the off-trade figure in the 12 weeks to the end of 2016. That’s a 37% increase.
“The UK saw the largest-ever quarterly sales of sparkling wine at the end of last year,” said Miles Beale, Chief Executive of the UK’s Wine and Spirit Trade Association.
The UK’s sparkling wine category includes Prosecco, Cava — and the WSTA notes a growing demand for English sparkling wine amongst others.
Irish sparkling wine market
Here in Ireland, Champagne sold 57,800 cases in 2016, up 4.1% on the 2015 figure of 55,500 cases according to the IWSR which predicts a volume Category Annual Growth Rate of 2.9% between 2016 and 2021. Together with non-Champagne/sparkling wine sales of 158,900 cases, sparkling wines sold 216,600 cases last year. That’s a 7.9% increase on the 200,800 case figure for 2015.
You could say that Champagne and sparkling wine are making a comeback…
This year was productive and rewarding for one of the world’s most esteemed and sought-after Champagne brands.
Champagne Bollinger was once again named “Most Admired Champagne Brand 2017” by Drinks International, the House’s third year at the top of the rankings.
In explaining their decision, the judges noted that their “criteria for success … might be summarised as ‘consistent quality’. The one brand that exemplifies this, arguably more than any other, is Bollinger which … returns to the number one slot it has already occupied twice before.”
Last January, in a small but beautifully-appointed room in Dublin’s Westbury Hotel, Commercial Director Guy de Rivoire and Export Manager Bastien Mariani introduced La Grande Année 2007, with Ireland the first country outside France to have the honour of tasting the new release.
Then, this Summer, Denis Brunner, Bollinger’s Assistant Chef De Cave, gave an innovative masterclass on the effects of oak in Champagne and their use in Bollinger in particular, with partial cuvées, experimental bottles and tank samples all utilised to give invited guests an exclusive look into the workings of the House and highlight its famous affinity for wood.
Finally, in October, Bollinger released a limited-edition 2006 vintage rosé in a stunning gift box, available in Ireland exclusively through Brown Thomas.
The innovative and elegant metal box was a stunning example of creative design which weaved and melted together the letters of Bollinger in a moucharaby latticework of shadows and rose gold reflections resulting in one of the most eye-poppingly attractive releases this year.
With Irish consumers sure to pop plenty of Bollinger corks this Christmas and New Year, 2017 will be marked-up as another successful year for the World’s Most Admired Champagne Brand.
Bollinger is exclusively distributed in Ireland by Findlater & Co.