Champagne

Nicolas Feuillatte sacrifices volume sales in England

Tuesday June 13 2017 by Vitisphere

- Photo credit : Nicolas Feuillatte
After a challenging year in the English market in 2016, the co-operative behemoth has decided not to give in to demand for lower prices in the United Kingdom.

Although 2016 was a year of celebration for the Centre Vinicole – Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte (CV-CNF) co-operative, marking the brand’s 40th anniversary, declining sales cast a pall over the winery’s merriment. Shipments fell last year by 4% to 10.4 million bottles, generating turnover of 202 million euros, down 6% compared with 2015. Although the declines were significant, they were the result of a deliberate strategy by the co-operative, said executives at its AGM on May 12.

As Champagne’s leading co-operative winery, it announced in a statement that it was “confirming its strategy geared to profitability, even if this means withdrawing from some markets to preserve brand image”. By “some markets”, the winery is clearly referring to England. Whilst domestic sales held their own at 6.3 million bottles, exports crumbled due to a drop in sales to the English market; other regions were either stable or showed growth.

Polarisation between brands and entry-level

Nicolas Feuillatte refused to give in to demand for low prices”, stressed CV-CNF in its AGM report, adding, “trends witnessed over the past few years are being confirmed with growing polarisation of the Champagne market between the top brands and entry-level. This is particularly true in Champagne’s biggest markets, France and the United Kingdom”. 

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