Brands Report: Champagne

31 January, 2018

Hamish Smith says it’s all about the big names when it comes to the classic fizz

Why champagne and not other wine? Because champagne is about brands. And ask a bartender why they stock one of the big marques over a smaller one and they’ll likely answer: “Because they sell.” Just as drinkers have their favourite brands of scotch or gin, they also gravitate towards particular champagne – something we have yet to see in prosecco and other wine categories.

It seems logical, then, that LVMH’s mega-brand Moët & Chandon should top this list. This year, it doesn’t – here in bar world, Pernod Ricard is a player and has made sure Perrier-Jouët provides stiff competition.

Perrier-Jouët’s success has been in nailing down the house pour – 16% said it was their go-to, versus 10% for Moët. Either way, these are two brands you are most likely to be served when ordering champagne in the world’s best bars.

Veuve Clicquot, also in the LVMH stable, was close to breaking the duopoly – its name and yellow label resonate with consumers.

Indeed, in our polled bars, Veuve Clicquot is more likely to be the house pour than Moët & Chandon, but it seems Moët is a brand that more bars list, even if it isn’t first choice.

LVMH, won’t be too worried which of its brands brings in the Benjamins. On top of Moët and Veuve, it has Dom Perignon (fourth in our list) Ruinart (seventh) and Krug (10th). Pretty much whatever a bar’s champagne needs, LVMH can meet them – it sells around 50m bottles a year. Does it need mentioning that Diageo owns a third of the group?

If there is a bartender favourite it is perhaps Billecart Salmon – not just because it’s fine fizz but because it’s a medium-sized house still under family control. That’s the way people like to think of champagne, when largely it isn’t. Billecart Salmon finished second in the Trending list, though why the industrially-sized Moët is top of the hip charts is less understandable. Could it be that this is purely punters’ Pavlovian response?

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Methodology

The results of this report are the culmination of a questionnaire of 106 bars around the world, each cherry-picked to take part based on their performance in global bar awards. We aim to find out not only which brands sell best but also what’s trending. These two data sets give us an insight into the brands that are doing the most volume and the brands that are hot right now.

To read more on the methodology of the Brands Report click here.





Comment

David Williams

From the crystal ball

Few days before writing this article, i came across an old piece by Robert Parker, written in 2004, in which he made 12 bold assertions about how wine would look by 2015.

Click for more »

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