Thursday 8 December 2016

Champagne sales soar as Wimbledon fans toast the tennis

Published 06/07/2016 | 20:26

Champagne has been a big hit this year
Champagne has been a big hit this year

Champagne sales in supermarkets have rocketed since Wimbledon began as fans quench their thirst while watching the mouthwatering action.

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Bottles have flown off the shelves since the Championships got under way, with Asda seeing a staggering 400% increase in sales as people toast the tennis.

But the choice of Pimm's, the perennial Wimbledon favourite, appears to be wavering in some supermarkets with fans instead deciding to quaff the bubbly.

Sales of Pimm's have plummeted at Asda by 25% compared with the same time last year, a drop being attributed to the wet June dampening people's appetites.

At Lidl, sales for both champagne and Jeeves, its own-brand alternative to Pimm's, were up by almost 30% during the first week of Wimbledon compared with the week before.

The Co-op saw its sales of Lanson champagne up by 18% since the start of this year's tournament, with its own-label brand up by 8%.

At Marks & Spencer, champagne sales have risen by nearly 63%, Pimm's by 84% and prosecco by a mammoth 298% over the same period.

An Asda spokesman said: "Since the start of Wimbledon we have seen a real spike in the sales of champagne.

"It seems Brits turn their back on Pimm's during the rain and instead champagne is the tipple of the summer.

"We see prosecco and champagne going head to head all the time but this is the first time champagne has outsold Pimm's in the summer months."

On Henman Hill, fans were torn between the two as they basked in the sun watching the action on Wednesday.

Rob Lewis, 33, from Wimbledon, was clutching glasses of Pimm's for himself and friend Ben Jarvis, but his girlfriend Maria Brosnan and Mr Jarvis's wife Liz were drinking champagne.

Asked about his preferred choice, Mr Lewis said: "Pimm's. It lasts longer, is a bit more refreshing and is a bit more associated with Wimbledon.

"This is our third glass today, it's nice and refreshing. It's very soft on the palate."

Natasha Howie, 21, a student from East Sussex, also chose Pimm's, picking up two glasses from a bar on the famous Wimbledon hill.

She said: "I don't know what it is - more of a summer association, with the fruit.

"I did just have warm champagne, which is probably why I lean towards the Pimm's. With the fruit and everything it is more of a summer taste, I guess."

Emma Couper, 32, from Tooting, however, preferred the bubbly, saying: "Champagne every time - depending if the budget allows. It's a special occasion."

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