By Andrew Starke

Australia’s leading sparkling wine producers are confident that increased brand variety and promotional activity will help them claw back the ground lost to Champagne brands over the past year.

According to market researchers Nielsen the average price of Champagne has fallen by over eight percent per bottle over the past two years, from $65.58 in 2008 to $60.43 for the 12 months ending September 2010.

The resultant 17.5 percent increase in volume sales has placed pressure on the local sparkling wine sector and sales for this segment (excluding Champagne) have decreased in volume by 1.5 percent over the 12 months to September 2010.

Jacob’s Creek brand manager Miriam Shoolman agreed that the market was in decline but said that Jacob's Creek had been the fastest growing major brand over this period.

“Growth in the 12 months to September is 19.8 percent in volume and 14.2 percent in value, so we are confident in the brands position and the positive effect of innovations like Jacob’s Creek Sparkling Moscato released last year,” she said.

Jacob's Creek is the number two brand in the overall sparkling segment with a nine percent value share and a 10.4 percent volume share.

Shoolman said that while less sparkling wine was being consumed, the $16 – $25 segment and the $25+ segments are both growing.

The brand recently launched sparkling moscato in a 200ml picollo and a 200ml x 3 pack.

“These packs offer a great way for consumers to trial the product in a format that minimises waste for both consumer and retailer,” she said. “It also allows for easy transportation for casual events like summer picnics.”

Senior brand manager for Yellowglen Amanda Whiteland said sparkling growth in on-premise sales has been varied by product and supported activity.

“However, overall the on-premise results for Yellowglen have been strong, particularly on the back of our spring racing activity,” she said.

According to Nielsen Liquor Scan figures, Yellowglen is still Australia’s best-selling sparkling wine and the popularity of the soft and fruity Yellowglen Vintage Bella has led to the creation of sister wine, Yellowglen Vintage Bella Bianco.

The December issue of Australian Hotelier will feature an in-depth analysis of the local sparkling wine sector.


The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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