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U.S. Champagne Market Returns To Growth, Led By Moët Hennessy Duo

June 19, 2015

After a decline in 2012, the U.S. market’s Champagne segment has resumed an upward course over the past two years, reaching 1.3 million cases on a 4.5% advance in 2014. While Champagne’s U.S. volume has followed an up and down road over the last half-decade, overall the category has expanded by 140,000 cases since 2009, according to Impact Databank. Meanwhile, Champagne’s U.S. value-per-case is up significantly of late, rising 10% to €251.67 ($283) from 2010-2014.

Of the U.S. Champagne market’s aggregate 50,000-case increase last year, leading brand Veuve Clicquot accounted for more than half. The Moët Hennessy USA label leapfrogged portfoliomate Moët & Chandon as the top Champagne in the U.S. in 2013, and extended its lead last year with an 8% bump to more than 400,000 cases. After consecutive declines in 2012 and 2013, Moët & Chandon is also back in growth, rising 4% to 370,000 cases in 2014. Together, the Moët Hennessy duo currently owns about 60% of the U.S. Champagne category, with their combined share roughly unchanged from three years ago. Moreover, that share doesn’t include Dom Perignon, Moët & Chandon’s high-end offshoot, which has entered the market’s top five brands in its own right, increasing 5% to nearly 60,000 cases last year.

While Veuve Clicquot and Moët & Chandon continue to dominate, other serious players also see renewed opportunity in the U.S., and have been ramping up activities—and in some cases switching distribution partners—with an eye toward expansion. Among other top-five brands, Pernod’s Perrier-Jouët and Ste. Michelle Wine Estates’ Nicolas Feuillatte were both roughly flat by volume last year, focused on boosting value growth with higher-end bubblies. Meanwhile, sixth-ranked brand Piper-Heidsieck is moving to the Terlato Wines portfolio in the U.S. beginning July 1, parting with previous distributor Rémy Cointreau USA, and 20th-ranked Charles Heidsieck is transitioning from Rémy to Folio Fine Wine Partners. In turn, 11th-ranked Bollinger—at 25,000 cases in 2014—moved from Terlato to the Vintus portfolio in May.

For a full report and analysis on the U.S. and global Champagne categories, see the June 1&15 issue of Impact.

 

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