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Ackerman targets UK with new marketing and PR agency

Published:  23 October, 2015

Crémant de Loire producer Ackerman is set to re-establish itself in the UK market.

Ackerman has appointed boutique agency Spritz Marketing and PR to raise its profile in both the media and fine wine distribution channels.

The move is a tacit acknowledgement that crémant has failed to capitalise on the boom in sparkling wine sales in the UK in recent years.

The Loire is one of seven French wine regions to produce crémant. Others include Burgundy and Alsace.

Ackerman handles its crémants like grand crus. Its classic cuvée is aged for at least 18 months on lees and its premium cuvée for at least 24 months.

AOC regulations only require a 12-month ageing process.

Its wines use traditional Loire grape varieties Chenin Blanc and Cabernet Franc.

Ackerman currently has two crémants on the market in the UK. The Crémant de Loire Cuvée Ambrosa has an RRP of £11.99. Its Ackerman Crémant de Loire Cuvée Privée is focused on the on-trade.

Ackerman Cuvée Privé

Sébastien Briend, head of international sales at Ackerman, said: "We are delighted to be focusing more on the UK. It has always been an important market for us and with increased interest from the English public for sparkling wines from different regions, we feel we are in a strong position to fill a gap.

"In a market that is educated, like the UK, where consumers are more focused on quality than on a label, our Crémant de Loire is perfectly placed to satisfy this expectation."

The sparkling wine category continues to thrive in the UK, driven in large part by the growth of Prosecco.

Sales of Prosecco in the UK hit £339 million in the year to mid-July, up 72% year on year. Sales of Champagne nudged up 1.2% to £250 million over the same period.

French sparkling wines represent a much smaller part of the UK market, earning some £4 million in 2014, according to a report from Lanson.

However, they are growing quickly, with that sales figure representing a 24.6% rise on 2013.