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Sainsbury’s toasts Champagne summer

Sainsbury's wine division is basking in the reflected glory of British Olympic success after reporting strong Champagne sales in its latest results.

Champagne spearheaded a strong performance for own-label wines at Sainsbury’s over the 28 weeks to 29 September.
Its figures may surprise some in the Champagne sector, which is braced for another tough year in the UK. Earlier this year, Mintel said it expected total UK Champagne sales to be £690m in 2012, down from around £1bn in 2007.

Sainsbury’s results show a particularly strong performance for own-label Blanc de Blancs Champagne, which saw sales rise by 65% in value over the same period of last year.

‘Despite the unseasonal weather in the half-year, six bank holidays, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the Olympic and Paralympic Games gave us many opportunities to help our customers celebrate,’ a spokesperson for the UK’s third largest retailer said.

Alongside demand for French fizz, the spokesperson added that wines within Sainsbury’s’ premium Taste the Difference range rose by 72%.

In total, own-label wine sales increased by almost 18% in value, highlighting a growing trend towards private label brands among the UK’s biggest grocers.

Sainsbury’s group net sales rose by 1.7% on a like-for-like basis over the 28-week period, taking it to its highest UK grocery market share for almost a decade, at 16.7%.  

Written by Chris Mercer

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