November 29, 2021

But first, champagne! Bubbly sales surge globally, edging close to pre-pandemic highs

Champagne sales are on course to reach a four-year high this year, thanks to exports to the United States and Australia, French champagne wine growers lobby SGV said earlier this month. Sales between January and August soared 11.9%, even compared to the same period in pre-pandemic 2019.

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At the time, French champagne houses shipped 297.6 million bottles globally. In 2020, however, the region exported only 244 million bottles, according to data from the Comité Champagne trade association. Turnover for the sector, which is France’s second-biggest export industry after aeronautics, showed a loss in profits of $980 million.

The category was down almost 18% last year after declines of 2% in 2019,” an analyst from UK-based International Wines and Spirits Record (IWSR) told CNBC, citing the group’s Drinks Market Analysis figures. Now, based on the current increase, the firm expects champagne sales to grow about 4% this year, and continue the trend through 2025.

The forecast of the French General Syndicate of Champagne Winegrowers is even more optimistic. The group expects that the current rally in global champagne markets may propel sales to 305 million bottles worldwide in 2021, a figure last seen in 2017.

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Some experts believe that people are simply ready to party again after spending over a year locked down.

If I have to guess, I think that consumers are ready to celebrate even just the little things in life,” Natalie Pavlatos, a spokeswoman for US-based Champagne Bureau, told CNBC. While the holiday season is still ahead, Pavlatos notes that her bureau is already receiving reports of sales that are higher than last year’s levels.

So we may actually be seeing not only a return to normal but even better performance than we had in 2019,” Pavlatos said.

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