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Sparkling wine sales soar in UK

Sparkling wine sales in the UK have grown exponentially in recent years, outpacing Champagne in volume growth, a recent report has shown.

According to new research from Mintel, sparkling wine sales are up 44% by volume since 2002. This compares to a 24% increase posted by Champagne over the same period.

The rise in sales has been led by brands such as Jacob’s Creek, Hardy’s Crest and Codorniu. Volume sales in the category rose by 13% in 2007 alone.

‘We see further growth opportunities for the future,’ Jo Sorensen, brand manager at Codorniu, the UK’s top Cava producer told decanter.com. ‘UK consumers are ready to try the upper tiers of the sparkling wine category and the statistics show that they are actively trading up.’

While consumers bought twice as much sparkling wine in the last two years as they did Champagne, the Mintel report indicates that they were still willing to spend two and a half times more on Champagne.

In addition, the value of Champagne in restaurants, pubs and bars has quadrupled, due largely to spending by London’s super-wealthy businessmen.

‘If you are a man dining out with a lady, are you going to say “would you like a glass of sparking wine?” or aren’t you going to say “a glass of Champagne”?’ said Stephen Leroux, sales and marketing director for Champagne Bollinger.

‘A group of businessmen are also more likely to celebrate a successful deal with a bottle Champagne than of sparkling wine.’

Written by Maggie Rosen

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