More To Celebrate: Champagne, Whiskey Sales Surge This Holiday Season

by | Dec 9, 2021 | Wine & Spirits

Reading Time: 3 minutes

A bottle of whiskey and some flowing Champagne complete any holiday party, so it’s no surprise that both surge in sales when the weather becomes colder and Christmas lights start twinkling.

Especially after spending 2020 apart, people are ready to celebrate. According to the General Syndicate of Champagne Winegrowers, an estimated 305 million Champagne bottles are expected to be sold worldwide in 2021.

“The pandemic has created new consumer habits,” Jean-Marie Barillere, co-president of the CIVC Champagne industry association, told Agence France-Presse. “Everything related to entertaining at home is in high demand, including Champagne.”

Whiskey routinely ranks as the most gifted alcoholic beverage in the holiday season, and whiskey sales have already risen 16% since September.

Holidays routinely give brands their most significant sales spikes; in fact, alcohol sales have increased from November to December every year since 1992.

But after last year, this year’s sales matter more than ever. So brands are launching super-charged holiday campaigns to ensure this year’s sales are worth celebrating.

From nothing to everything to celebrate

In 2020, the Champagne region suffered an 18% dip in sales compared to the year prior. Still, there were $4.8 billion in sales, and the region exported 244 million bottles, according to data compiled by the Comite Champagne, a trade association representing the growers and houses of Champagne.

The region expects to sell an additional 61 million bottles this year.

“If I have to guess, I think that consumers are ready to celebrate even just the little things in life,” said Natalie Pavlatos, a spokeswoman for the Champagne Bureau, USA.

Because COVID-19 cases are rising in some parts of the country, the at-home cocktail and celebrations will continue this year, but likely with more people around the table.

Brands are leaning into the customer desire for premium experiences even at home. Healthy cocktail recipes and fancy — but convenient — drinks will attract new customers.

How brands can use data to celebrate holiday sales

Brands should look back at their data to see which products sold best in 2019 and 2018 from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Eve to capitalize on the natural spike in holiday sales because of parties and gifts.

“Making cocktails convenient isn’t going away,” John Barrett, Chief Commercial Officer at Pernod Ricard USA, told Beverage Daily. “Consumers are stepping up their cocktail game, consistent with DIY and Wellness trends. This points to more celebrating, more gifting, and more cocktail exploring.”

After brands have isolated one or two stand-out products, create a marketing campaign around either a holiday-themed drink recipe featuring your product or a special limited-edition box for your product that will elevate the champagne or whiskey bottle when given as a gift.

“The holidays are a growth period for many of our brands,“ Barrett said. “This time of year is more significant for our often-gifted spirits such as our American whiskeys and other premium products.”

Meredith Galante

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