Like spirits, champagne is a branded business and when a group has one of the big names in its portfolio, it can be a one-stop-shop for buyers, who might only need to make extra effort for bottled beer.
This is a big part of why Pernod Ricard’s duo of Perrier-Jouët (the top brand in 13% of our polled bars) and Mumm (best seller in 8%) are in first and third places respectively.
Of LVMH’s brands, Moët & Chandon is the largest by volume in global sales and was the top seller in 10% of polled bars. Ruinart is in fourth with 7% of the sample and Veuve Clicquot is in eighth with 4%.
Diageo distributes Moët & Chandon in France, the US, UK, Japan and Germany – essentially the largest champagne markets and homes to a good number of our polled bars.
The group also handles Dom Pérignon, which may only be affordable to the few, but is trending in a handful of the polled bars.
In the kind of bars we are talking to, cocktails are the pull, but France’s premier sparkling wine remains an essential part of the inventory. Bacardi – not represented by a brand here – can offer Asti and Prosecco under its Martini label, but it sometimes struggles to meet a bar’s total needs. This is particularly the case in China, we are told.
Billecart-Salmon smashes the big group trend. A medium-sized champagne house, its position in fourth on our Best Selling list is of its own doing – aided by hand-selling distributors such as Berry Brothers & Rudd in the UK. In Singapore it is the best seller in bars 28 Hongkong Street and Manhattan.
Moët & Chandon tops our Trending list, which is surprising given that it is an established rather than emerging brand. However, if a customer is asked what champagne they would like, chances are Moët would fall out of their mouths first.
The rest of the Trending list is essentially the Selling list re-ordered. Perhaps this is an example of consumer power – a relationship between what customers want and what they are served. Though, in the contracted world of the bar trade, this seems a quaint notion. More likely they want champagne and they get one of the two to three brands on offer.
HOW WE DID IT:
We spoke to the World’s 50 Best Bars for this poll but in order to have a broader set of results we widened the net to include responses from a total of 100 of the top bars in the world - as voted for by our World's 50 Best Bars Academy.
We asked bar owners and head bartenders from these 100 top bars to name the Best Selling and Top Trending brands behind their bars. For more information about our methodology see here.
Day by day we will take you through the overall Best Selling and Top Trending spirits, and into the categories - from tequila, gin, vodka, rum, liqueurs, Scotch, World Whiskies, Brandy, aperitifs and digestifs, champagne, beer, water and tonic water to the best brands for cocktails.