TNS Report predicts glittering future for Champagne and sparkling wines


It may seem surprising that in these times of economic doom and gloom consumers should be increasing the amount of sparkling wines and Champagne they drink but according to new research by TNS that’s exactly what’s happening.

Based on an independent global survey of over 39,000 people in 17 markets – the Commitment Economy – TNS says that despite the challenging economic environment, consumers are still keen to indulge their taste for the finer things in life. A combination of increased spending among current sparkling wine drinkers and new drinkers in the developing world is presenting wine producers with an opportunity to grow the category by enticing consumers away from traditional alcohol favorites.

Pricing still remains an issue. TNS’s modeling exercise found that Champagne and other sparkling wines could increase their overall share of total drinking occasions from 5.1 percent to 7.8 percent if all those who wanted to drink them were able to. “While we can see a huge worldwide appetite to drink more sparkling wine and Champagne, most people are still held back by cost. These drinks are perceived as indulgences, enjoyed mainly on special occasions,” said Jan Hofmeyr, chief researcher, Behavior Change, at TNS. He added however “the good news for winemakers is that people consider sparkling wines both taste better and offer greater enjoyment than other alcoholic drinks. So, if affordable sparkling wines can be made more accessible, particularly in developing markets, and be positioned as a drink for celebrating life rather than only special occasions, the sector has a sparkling future.”

The greatest growth is likely to come from India and China, says TNS, where current low shares of 0.4 and 0.7 percent could quadruple to 1.9 and 2.5 percent respectively. In more mature markets like the UK and US the share could nearly double, to 9.1 and 6.5 percent respectively. Of all the markets studied, Spain was the only one where consumption of sparkling wines is set to decline, with a potential 0.4 percent drop in market share. However, TNS believes that with increasing international demand, cava producers need not fear if their distribution model is right.

Elsewhere, sparkling wine and Champagne consumption is expected to jump by 4.2 percent in Brazil, off a current market share of 3.5 percent, by 5.4 percent in Nigeria where the current share is also fairly low at 3.6 percent, and by 4.2 percent in South Africa (2.4 percent). Off a much more significant base (12.5 percent), the category is expected to continue to rise (+2.2 percent) in France, Germany (+1.9 percent/9.9 percent), Russia (+2.9 percent/8.1 percent) and Australia (+1.7 percent/7.6 percent).

“The study does not indicate that consumers plan to increase their alcohol consumption overall, more that they would like to drink sparkling wines more regularly,” Hofmeyr pointed out.