Winners and Losers in the 2023 German Grocery Sector

The slight decline in wine sales in the German grocery sector did not affect everyone equally – some segments experienced double-digit growth.

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Are wine sales in the German food retail sector in decline? Well, that doesn't apply to all categories and brands. And certainly not for all sparkling wines. (Photo: naka/stock.adobe.com)
Are wine sales in the German food retail sector in decline? Well, that doesn't apply to all categories and brands. And certainly not for all sparkling wines. (Photo: naka/stock.adobe.com)

Wine sales in the grocery retail sector decreased by 0.1% overall in 2023. According to Nielsen data, this corresponds to a 5.6% decline in volume. These figures are largely in line with previously published numbers from Circana (value -0.4%, volume -5.2%).

The value in the sparkling wine category (including Champagne) increased by 2.8% according to Nielsen. The semi-sparkling wine (volume +23%, value +19.8%) and “wine-based drinks” categories (volume +9.6%, value +5.7%) as well as “wine-based mixed drinks” in smaller containers up to 0.5 liters (volume +5.8%, value +4.9%) recorded significant value growth. Port wine was also able to increase value (+3.2%) despite a slight drop in volume (-2.8%), while sherry was one of the losing categories (-5.1% value, -16.6% volume).

Increase in value in % (Source: Nielsen)
Increase in value in % (Source: Nielsen)

Pain for Champagne

When looking at individual subcategories and brands, the picture of winners and losers becomes even more varied: Champagne saw a volume decline of 11.8% and a value decline of 2% – although rosé Champagne managed a slight increase in value (+0.2%).

In general, French sparkling wines lost ground, with a 2.4% decrease in value and a 9.2% decrease in volume. 

However, individual Champagne brands performed very differently: Moët & Chandon saw a 5.7% increase in value and a 5.1% increase in volume, while Pommery experienced a 10.2% increase in value and a 5.2% increase in volume. In contrast, major losers included Taittinger (-32.1% in value, -39.3% in volume), Heidsieck-Monopole (-20.4%, -25.5%), and Veuve Clicquot (-16.2%, -22.5%). The highest increase in value and volume was achieved by Champagne Charles de Cazanove (+109.9%, +114.8%).

While the Champagne market decreased, some individual brands were quite successful
While the Champagne market decreased, some individual brands were quite successful

Cava on the upswing

While German sparkling wines achieved a value increase of 2.1% despite a 3.5% decline in volume, other origins saw significant gains. Italy recorded a value increase of 6.5% with stable volume (+0.7%), and Spain saw a 10.4% increase in value and an 11.2% increase in volume, making it the only major sparkling wine origin with a decreased average price. The yield-reducing drought in Catalonia, which has now led Freixenet to implement short-time work measures, thus came at a particularly inopportune time.

The Henkell Freixenet Group can be seen as a major winner in the German grocery retail sector in 2023, achieving record sales overall. 

In fact, the Henkell Freixenet Group can be seen as a major winner in the German grocery retail sector in 2023, achieving record sales overall. The company experienced enormous sales growth in the German grocery retail market with Mionetto (+18%), Freixenet (+15.1%), and Henkell (+8.5%). Despite a decline in volume (-2.4%), Rotkäppchen remained the strongest sparkling wine brand, with a value increase of 2.9%.
 

Nobodies storm the Cognac market

In the wine-related spirits category of Cognac (value -4.5%, volume -16.4%), there were many losers: well-known brands such as Hennessy (value -3.3%, volume -11.9%), Rémy Martin (value -10.2%, volume -25.8%), Courvoisier (value -20%, volume -28%), and Camus (value -37.5%, volume -41.8%) suffered significant losses.

In contrast, relatively unknown brands like Meukow (value +140.2%, volume +136.5%), Roi des Rois (value +40.9%, volume +43%), and Claude Chatelier (value +28.8%, volume +62%) were able to significantly expand their distribution in the German grocery retail sector.

News

Consumers can already order all sorts of things via smartphone using numerous apps. In the wine trade, mobile applications tailored specifically for wine purchases are still rare. However, shopping via app is becoming increasingly common.

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