Champagne: Where do the opportunities lie?

Champagne has been losing ground to alternative sparkling wine categories in Britain's On Premise market over the past year. CGA by NIQ Client Director GB Drinks, Mark Newton, explores the rationales for the decline and where the opportunities still exist for this category by analysing the channels that brands and suppliers should focus on to effectively capitalise on them. 

The UK sparkling wine market has been undergoing a notable transformation over the past twelve months, with the cost of living particularly, exerting a substantial impact on the Champagne category.  


CGA’s On Premise Measurement Solution (OPMS) data to end of year 2023 reveals, Prosecco continues to dominate as Britain’s top sparkling wine category across the On Premise. Whereas Champagne has been seeing sales declines – as consumers continue to tighten their purse strings and look for more value driven alternatives. Prosecco now captures 72.1% of the total volume share and 59.3% of the value share for the combined Champagne & Sparkling Wine category, a significant increase of 2.1 percentage points (pp) and 4.1pp respectively compared to the previous year. In contrast, Champagne has witnessed a decline in both its total volume (14.3%) and value (29.8%) share, marking a considerable decrease of -2.9pp and -5.2pp respectively compared to 2022.  


Not only are consumers continuing to favour Champagne’s main fizz rival, Prosecco, they’re also showing increasing interest in other options, such as Cremant and Cava. All other styles combined claim 13.6% of the total volume share of sparkling wine, marking a 0.8pp increase in volume share from last year.


Importantly, Champagne remains the most valuable sparkling wine in the British On Premise market. The price of a bottle of Champagne has reached an average of £74.64, in contrast, Prosecco now averages £29.45 per bottle – a significant difference which certainly helps to illustrate the price point and affordability differentials between the two. 


The growing popularity of these key alternatives to Champagne can certainly be attributed to their relatively lower price points to a degree, especially amidst the backdrop of the cost-of-living crisis. CGA data shows that nearly two in five consumers (38%) prioritise price when selecting sparkling wine in the On Premise, surpassing considerations of quality (23%) or type (21%). This again emphasises the considerable influence of affordability in consumer decision-making within the sparkling wine market, indicating that drinkers prioritise value over factors such as geographical origin or specific sparkling wine substyles.  


Despite the focus on price consciousness highlighted in the figures, there is ample opportunity for suppliers, brands, and operators within these lower price driven categories to explore greater revenue potential, as value doesn’t necessarily equate to low prices in the eyes of the consumer. Drinkers simply seek assurance that they are receiving full value for money from their expenditure, and it is therefore imperative to strike the right balance between quality and affordability to meet their expectations effectively.  


From a regional perspective, despite Prosecco’s nationwide dominance, London – perhaps unsurprisingly – maintains its status as a stronghold for Champagne consumption in Great Britain, accounting for over a third of all sales. However, London’s total volume share has decreased by -0.1pp. This shift can be attributed to a shift towards other regions which are gaining traction. Particularly Yorkshire, the East and Wales. 


Focusing on key outlet segments, Hotels, often traditionally associated with Champagne consumption, have seen a 0.5pp increase in volume share, while pubs have experienced an even more significant growth (+1.1pp), so these outlets should be seen as a significant focus for both brands and suppliers. Meanwhile, restaurants have experienced a notable decline in volume share (-2.3pp), attributable, in part, to a significant drop in the number of outlets within the segment. 


Overall, despite Champagne yielding ground to alternative sparkling wine categories, CGA data suggests that it still holds long term potential. Its enduring association with luxury and prestige still resonates with certain drinkers, especially for special occasions, but the ability of businesses to adapt their strategies to cater to evolving consumer preferences across a wider and more disparate marketplace will be pivotal for their success in navigating this dynamic market. 


Sources: CGA OPMS MAT P13 2023/ BrandTrack 2023 


CGA by NIQ’s On Premise Measurement solution (OPMS) provides suppliers and operators with deep insights into trends and opportunities across the wine category in the On Premise sector across Great Britain. CGA’s expert team can also provide bespoke analysis to pinpoint opportunities for individual brands and sub-categories. To learn more about CGA’s capabilities across the On Premise industry, visit or get in touch with Mark Newton, Client Director, GB Drinks here.

Recent posts:

Share post


Subscribe to our newsletter

Access the latest On Premise news and reports by signing up below.