Sainsbury’s exclusive Champagne outsells the big brands

Sales of a supermarket’s exclusive-label Champagne have eclipsed branded rivals for the first time.

Sainsbury’s Etienne Dumont, supplied by Brand Phoenix, became the off-trade’s biggest-selling Champagne in volume terms, pipping a host of well-known names to the top spot. It notched up sales of 122,000 cases by volume and £19 million in value as it grew by 82% in the year to October 30, 2010, according to new Nielsen data.

The volume figures place it ahead of Moët & Chandon, which sold 115,000 cases,

anson on 103,000 cases and Heidsieck Monopole’s 94,000 cases. Moët remains top-seller by value with sales of £37 million.

Etienne Dumont’s bottle price remained virtually static, increasing by 3p to £12.94, which Brand Phoenix said had contributed to its success.

Nielsen analyst Stewart Blunt said: “It’s always been about Moët and Lanson, but Etienne Dumont has really stolen a march. A lot of it comes down to the fact that Moët hasn’t promoted as much as in the past, but that isn’t to take anything away from Etienne Dumont. A lot of people wouldn’t be buying Champagne if it wasn’t for these kinds of brands, which are pretty much half-priced.

“Without these brands the Champagne market wouldn’t be collapsing, but it would be eroding because it wouldn’t be anywhere as buoyant.”?Brand Phoenix joint director Steve Barton said: “Despite it being a tough category, you can record great growth.

“We’ve supplied the brand exclusively to Sainsbury’s for a long time and this shows what can be done when a supplier and retailer work together and that retailers’ exclusive brands can really work if the proposition is right.”