With Champagne’s peak season approaching, a closer look at Drizly’s top five luxury Champagnes shows well-stocked retailers could have a significant opportunity for gain, as supply shortages and gifting combine to shake up longstanding trends in this premium category, especially as gifting increases in November and December. According to Drizly data, 53 percent of Champagne orders are gifts — compared to 10 percent of orders overall on the platform — a number that leaps to 64 percent within the premium Champagne subcategory. 

The Champagne category is already a high-priced leader, and in tandem with premiumization trends, consumers have shown a strong willingness to pay more for these French sparkling wines. Since 2019, the average unit price of Champagne on Drizly has risen by around 20 percent, from $41 in 2019 to $51 in 2021 to date.

Drizly trends mirror the larger expansion of Champagne consumption in the United States, according to data from Nielsen IQ, which shows off-premise sales of sparkling wine over $100 have increased 47.9 percent in the 52-week period ending October 9, 2021. Within that category, Champagne is up 27.5 percent – a growth rate that’s more than double the rate of sparkling wine overall. 

“This growth outpaces the growth of all under-$100 wines,” explains NielsenIQ’s beverage alcohol client manager Kaleigh Theriault, who credits the premiumization trend for Champagne’s rapid growth.

However, the combination of Champage’s rising popularity and ongoing supply shortages – in tandem with the category’s prime season – has the potential to disrupt Champagne norms this season. “We expect that shortages will be a factor in this category, especially during the holidays, potentially driving consumers to pay more for these products,” says Liz Paquette, Drizly’s head of consumer insights. 

A closer look at the top five luxury Champagne SKUs on Drizly reveals sparkling wine consumers continuously reach for well-established brands within the category, and tend to choose vintage-dated offerings. All of Drizly’s top five luxury Champagne SKUs are produced by the region’s so-called Grands Marques – the largest and most well-known Champagne houses, which boast strong brand recognition and distribution. 

These SKUs, which include options from Dom Pérignon, Veuve Clicquot, Louis Roederer, and Perrier-Jouët, remained relatively stable in 2020 and 2021 to date. However, as shortages and supply chain issues may become more of a challenge leading into December, consumers and retailers may need to look beyond the top SKUs. 

“We expect shortages will lead some consumers to shop outside of the top brands – which may cause a shakeup, if not within the top five, certainly the top 20,” says Paquette, who recommends retailers, depending on what is available to them, stock up early on variety of well-known luxury Champagnes. 

Dom Pérignon Vintage Champagne 

Dom Pérignon’s signature release has been the top-selling luxury Champagne on Drizly since 2019. A classic Champagne that always boasts a minimum of eight years of aging at the estate before release, Dom Pérignon boasts many celebrity endorsements — including Lady Gaga and Lenny Kravitz — likely enhancing its standing with American consumers, in conjunction with ongoing celebrity collaboration trends in the broader drinks space.

Veuve Clicquot Brut Yellow Label Champagne

Veuve Clicquot’s signature bottling is a multi-vintage blend based on a core of Pinot Noir. A blend of 50 to 60 distinct lots, Clicquot’s Yellow Label represents a signature style which makes it ideal for gifting and a consistent best-seller among luxury Champagnes on Drizly. Similarly, the brand’s strong distribution and dominance in the United States make its offerings a popular choice across SKUs.

Veuve Clicquot Rosé Champagne

Veuve Clicquot’s Rosé Champagne – the oldest known rosé Champagne cuvée – is the sole rosé offering within Drizly’s top five. The blend and style mirror that of Cliquot’s Yellow Label, suggesting this rosé likely benefits from Yellow Label’s sky-high popularity. The No. 4 luxury Champagne on Drizly in 2020, this rosé is up in 2021 — likely a result of rosé wines increasing popularity overall. 

Louis Roederer Cristal Brut 

The tête de cuvée from Champagne Louis Roederer and most expensive Champagne on Drizly’s top five, Cristal’s name recognition and exclusivity have made it a regular on Drizly’s top five. Originally crafted in 1876 for Russia’s Tsar Nicholas II, Cristal capitalizes on the luxurious, celebratory reputation of Champagne and is only released after a minimum of six years and eight months of aging. 

Perrier-Jouët Belle Epoque Brut Champagne 

A nearly equal blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir Belle Epoque – Perrier-Jouët’s top bottling – is a new entrant to Drizly’s top high-end Champagnes, joining the top five in 2020. Made to combine delicacy and elegance in the glass, Belle Epoque also boasts an extensive aging regime of at least six years in the estate cellars.