The premium end of the market is holding well according to 2016 shipment figures released at Prowein from Comité Champagne, the trade association that represents the interests of independent Champagne producers and Champagne houses.
Volume of exports was down 8.7% from 34 million bottles in 2015 to 31 million in 2016, and value was down 14% from €512m (£445m) to €440m (£382m), due to the depreciation of sterling and reduction in sales of discounted, own label Champagne. However, UK customers are still the world’s most avid consumers of Champagne despite volume decline.
The association said UK shoppers are walking away from cut-price Champagne, and that aggressive discounting tactics are no longer effective to attract customers and boost the volume of Champagne sales. It added that this will please the Champagne producers and exporters who have sought to resist the lure of sales volume, with the risk that this poses for Champagne’s global market position.
Champagne Bureau director Françoise Peretti said: Latest export figures from Champagne’s ruling Comité Champagne present the world league table in terms of both value and volume (see attached). The market picture in these terms is revealing. UK customers are still the world’s most avid consumers of Champagne despite volume decline. The US market meanwhile leads the world in export value, though significantly fewer bottles were sold. Peretti is in no doubt about the market forces at work here. “It seems that UK customers are no longer seduced by the cut-price propositions but their appetite for premium-priced Champagnes is plainly growing with rosé and prestige cuvées gathering momentum” (Rosé: +17% in volume and +25% in value since 2010 / PC: +88% in volume and +80% for the same period) “We should not be surprised. Champagne was always meant to be at the pinnacle. What we see here is a reinforcement of that special status in the minds of its most loyal customers.”The UK figures (31 186 753 bottles in volume and 440 350 017 EUROS in value over 34 155 288 /
“We should not be surprised. Champagne was always meant to be at the pinnacle. What we see hereis a reinforcement of that special status in the minds of its most loyal customers.”