Sparkling wine from the UK has long been a point of contention, particularly with France, which tends to see premium sparkling as its home ground. Until recently, they were right. Champagne was the go to choice for ceremonies, celebrations, and even for rappers’ projections of wealth, as with Jay Z’s acquisition of luxury champagne brand Armand de Brignac.

However, in recent years the French claim of being the leading producer of sparkling wine has seen challenges. The rise of Prosecco, driven by a middle-class explosion, has wrested control of the value end of the market, whilst UK sparkling wine has risen as a contender to the premium brands.

A series of defeats of top-end champagnes by British brand Nyetimber, most recently in a blind tasting in Paris, has highlighted a shift in fortunes for previously untouchable brands.

This has not come out of the blue. The rise of UK sparkling has been a long time in the making, quietly gaining traction through notables such as Chapel Down, Balfour, and Nyetimber. Even top champagne makers themselves have started to take note, with Taittinger beating the trend by purchasing a controlling stake in an English vineyard set to produce 300,000 bottles annually.

This growing popularity has bolstered the hopes of producers. In an attempt to capitalise on this momentum, UK producers have announced plans to plant over one million more vines over the next 12 months. This will amount to an increase in production of around two million extra bottles per year.

With populism growing, and nationalistic sentiment on the rise post-Brexit, the demand for domestically produced goods is growing. Helping consumers to raise a glass of bubbly produced in the UK will cater to this demand. However, given that the big players in champagne have already taken notice, potential entrants into this market will need to be quick to grab their slice of UK sparkling wine.

For more strategic insight into UK consumer issues, take a look at GlobalData’s latest reports.

Given the current climate, how long do you anticipate it will take for the global economy to recover post COVID-19?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...