Speaking at Pernod Ricard’s global first half-year performance announcement, UK managing director Denis O’Flynn attributed the “surprisingly high” results to a “fundamental change in strategy, broadening the customer base and attacking the on-trade market”.
O’Flynn pointed to the growth of the Mumm brand in the on-trade especially, with listings at Novus Leisure, Mitchells & Butlers and Stonegate sites, as a major influence on the “strong Champagne value share gain in the off-trade”.
He maintained that if you looked at the market segmentation in the context of the managed retail section, it was clear there had been occasions which lent themselves to Champagne.
“There is no doubt that prosecco has carved a market place for itself in the UK, but it does not compete with Champagne per se,” he said. “They’re playing off in different occasions and, at the moment, they’re both winning.”
Targeting the on-trade has included ensuring the brands are “in front of customers at the bar” and “identifying the desire to sell glass in hand”, which O’Flynn believes has seen Mumm take “growth from other Champagne brands”.
Elsewhere in the drinks sector, Pernod Ricard UK saw Absolut and Havana club rise in popularity among on-trade outlets, increasing by 37% and 34% respectively in the past six months (CGA on-trade value 24 weeks to 31/10/15).
Absolut is now the fastest growing white spirit in the on-trade – something O’Flynn attributes to learning “how to amplify in quick numbers” with successful marketing campaigns like Absolut #ElectrikLondon.