Champagne sales surge close to levels seen before Covid pandemic

GP: Various champagne bottles are seen on the store shelf.

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Pop those cork.

Champagne sales are back to where they were before the Covid pandemic, which hampered sales and kept people away from the festivities.

The gradual reopening of global bubble markets is expected to drive sales to an estimated 305 million bottles worldwide in 2021, according to the General Guild of Champagne Wine Growers.

People are ready to celebrate again after spending several months apart.

“If I had to guess, I think consumers are ready to celebrate even the little things in life,” said Natalie Pavlatos, a spokeswoman for the USA Champagne Bureau.

In 2020, the region suffered an 18% decline from the previous year, bringing in $4.8 billion and exporting 244 million bottles, according to data compiled by Comite Champagne, a trade association representing Champagne growers and homes.

The turnover of this sector, which is still the second largest export industry in France after the aviation industry, amounted to a total loss of about 980 million dollars. The last time the region posted similar shipment totals was in 2017 at 307 million bottles.

Pavlatos said the full picture of champagne sales this year won’t emerge until after the holiday, from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Eve. But, she added, the Champagne Bureau is hearing that producers are tracking sales well above last year’s levels. In some places, she said, they’re ahead of the pre-pandemic pace.

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

In 2019, champagne houses shipped 297.6 million bottles globally, and the lion’s share went to the United States and were valued at more than $753 million.

Bottles of Rosé de Saignée Premier Cru Brut champagne from Champagne Rene Geoffre are back in the cellars of the family-owned boutique winery.

David Silverman | Getty Images News | Getty Images

London-based International Wine and Spirit Research, or IWSR, is tracking the rise in champagne sales in 2021.

“This category is down nearly 18% last year after declining 2% in 2019,” an IWSR analyst said, citing the group’s beverage market analysis figures.

The group expects global champagne volume to grow by about 4% this year, in addition to similar annual increases through 2025.

The US champagne market is expected to release similar numbers.

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