English sparkling wine 2 – first things first

As I have said, over the past 3 years, in any discussion about English sparkling wine – the first thing to do is infiltrate the price conscious UK sparkling market at the Prosecco price point.  This needs an active marketing campaign.

Assuming that a broad consumer base can be developed at this £10-12 price point, then local product loyalty, if backed up by consistent quality, could ensue.  Just look how well Prosecco is doing – in a January 2013 Decanter article: ‘Prosecco the winner as retailers announce Christmas boom’.

Once product at this price point has a wide following, then and only then will large numbers of consumers begin to reach automatically for an English product – so first Prosecco style, and then aim for organic trading-up for special occasions, to Champagne type quality and price point.  Just think for how many years people have, without another thought, reached for a celebratory bottle of Champagne – that is a difficult reflex action to overcome.

The MD of Lanson, agrees .. in this March 2012 Decanter article – Prosecco rise good for Champagne.

About citbp

I am interested in everything about wine, from site selection to tasting.
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2 Responses to English sparkling wine 2 – first things first

  1. Luke Wolfe says:

    I did a project and business plan on this for my Viticulture & Oenology degree and found it to be near on impossible to achieve. It all comes down to the yields we produce in the Uk. I looked at buying fruit as well as growing with production based on 100 tonnes and found the investment would have to be huge and the associated risk could only be reduced with supporting the business with other revenue streams. I agree that a good value English sparkling wine made by the charmat method would be more appealing to the uk public but once taking in to account the duty, packaging costs, retailers profit, production cost how much is left for profit? It’s a nice idea but impractical in the current climate. Personally I think the Uk sparkling wine market is better off marketing it’s self as a premium luxury product and producers should work to continue to improve quality justifying the price point.

    • citbp says:

      Thanks Luke, that’s really very interesting, your research raises a few questions ..

      I have been trying to get a grip on relative set-up cost, for traditional versus Charmat production method, and at what production level it becomes viable. I note your 100 tonne figure – but I’m thinking along the lines of a co-operative arrangement, over say a 5-year time scale to fund facilities, what sort of annual tonnage might that entail? In that vein I also wonder about the Italian cost model that is doing so well in the UK market, there must be the right economy of scale – but how has that been achieved?
      Kind regards
      David

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