French wine sales boom at Asda

26 June, 2008

Extra shelf space has helped French wine sales to bounce back against New World rivals at Asda in recent weeks, the supermarket says.

Asda said French wine sales were up 46 per cent since it offered extra shelf space to the Old World giant in April. The supermarket now accounts for 8.6 per cent of off-trade French wine sales in the UK, compared to 5.8 per cent this time last year.

Wine buyer Michelle King said Asda had worked to simplify French wines for consumers, and also used what it called “iconic price offers” on wines such as Chablis, Sancerre and Pouilly Fumé.

King added Asda’s total wine sales were up 11.7 per cent, well ahead of the 4.6 per cent national average.

It is not all good news for French wine, however. Over the Channel, around 7,000 winemakers marched through the streets of Montpellier in Languedoc on Wednesday to highlight their financial problems and low prices.

Police moved in with tear gas to quell troublemakers at the end of the protest.

June has seen a return to the tension of summer 2005 in Languedoc, which was marked with mass winemaker protests and actions by militant vintner group CRAV.

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