Coles Liquor has revealed it is on track to sell 3.5 times more champagne in December than the monthly average this year, with Champagne Rosé in particularly high demand.
Sales of pink Champagne at the retailer – which has 900 stores under the Liquorland, Vintage Cellars, First Choice Liquor and First Choice Liquor Market banners – are up 57 per cent compared to last year.
It’s a major turnaround for the category, with Australians only recently embracing pink Champagne.
Champagne expert Tyson Stelzer noted in his The State of Play of Champagne in Australia 2018 report: “Even after steady rises over the past five years, Australia continues to lag far behind, consuming just one-third of the Champagne Rosé of other top markets, and ranking last besides Belgium among the top 10. For every 28 bottles of champagne popped in Australia, just one is pink.
“Rosé remains Australia’s most underperforming category, so watch this space for growth in the future – albeit moderated by price sensitivity. Champagne rosé is elegantly suited to Australia’s diverse cuisine and warm climate and deserves pride of place in every celebration.”
Australia is now the world’s sixth-largest market for champagne, with COVID-19 lockdowns fuelling growth. Volumes increased by 16.5% between 2020 and 2021. Data analysts IRI report that demand for pink bubbly grew a whopping three times faster than that for its white counterparts during lockdowns.
Coles Liquor general manager Mia Lloyd said customers are set to buy about half a million bottles of all hues of Champagne from the retailer’s stores this month, with customers in Victoria, NSW and the ACT collecting more than half of them.
No Champagne shortage for Coles
Emperor Champagne chief executive Kyla Kirkpatrick told the Sydney Morning Herald earlier this month that Australia was in the grip of a Champagne shortage.
“Leading into Christmas, consumption has been bigger than supply on certain products, so we’ve been allocating customers, rationing the big brands and trying to move them to other products,” she said
Champagne Bureau Australia director John Noble agreed that champagne was “flying out the door”, but insisted there was no reason to panic.
“There is plenty of champagne, but we might notice the one we traditionally buy is not available. Maybe today’s the day to try something else,” he said.
Lloyd said she was confident the retailer could meet the high demand for Champagne this Christmas.
“Our most popular champagne choices, like Veuve Clicquot, Moet & Chandon and Canard-Duchêne, are in strong supply,” she said. “We are confident that our customers will be able to enjoy a glass of bubbles this festive season.”