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Prosecco rise ‘good for Champagne’ says Lanson

The continuing success of Prosecco is good for Champagne, Lanson managing director Paul Beavis has said.

Prosecco: ‘a good job’

Prosecco’s sales were up by nearly 50% in 2011, the Champagne Category Report for 2011, launched by Lanson International last week, found.

Such success was good for all sparkling wines, Paul Beavis, managing director of Lanson International, told Decanter.com. ‘I think it proves its point as an introducer to the sparkling category. Prosecco’s done a good job in terms of value.’

The report, which used research from analysts Neilson and CGA Strategy, comes shortly after the news that Champagne’s 2011 exports were up by 5.1%, most of which increase came from countries like the US, China, Russia, and India, where sales were up a massive 58%, from 0.18m in 2010 to 0.29m in 2011.

The UK, Champagne’s largest export market, experienced a decline in volume of 2.7% to 34.5m bottles in 2011.

The second biggest export market is the US, which saw shipments of Champagne rise by 14% in 2011 to 19.4 million bottles.

However, despite this decline, Champagne has increased in value by 4.3%, due in part to last summer’s royal wedding driving up sales. The hope is that the Diamond Jubilee and the London Olympics will mean a similar increase.

In other sparkling categories, while Cava sales in 2011 stayed about the same, Prosecco soared to nearly £90m, a 47.9% growth rate.

Although Champagne sales in retail outlets like high street chains and supermarkets grew only minutely, the on-trade showed most growth.

Despite the closure of 2.6% of Britain’s on-trade outlets, most notably nightclubs and hotels, and a 14% decrease in volume, Champagne sales in this sector grew by 8% to £327m.

Lanson also announced the results of consumer research which found Champagne is now being purchased more frequently than just for special occasions, and that 69% of those surveyed admitted that brand combined with price deal was the most important factor in their buying choices.

On the state of the market in the UK, Beavis said, ‘Champagne has been remarkably resilient through the global downturn…the thirst for Champagne will always be there.’

Written by Christina Pickard

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