GP: Various champagne bottles are seen on a store shelf.
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Pop those corks.
Champagne sales are surging back to near what they were before the Covid pandemic hampered sales and kept people away from celebrations.
The gradual reopening of global bubbly markets is expected to drive sales to an estimated 305 million bottles worldwide in 2021, according to the General Syndicate of Champagne Winegrowers.
People are ready to party again after spending many months apart.
“If I have to guess, I think that consumers are ready to celebrate even just the little things in life,” said Natalie Pavlatos, a spokeswoman for the Champagne Bureau, USA.
In 2020, the region suffered an 18% drop compared to the year prior, bringing in $4.8 billion and exporting 244 million bottles, according to data compiled by the Comite Champagne, a trade association representing the growers and houses of Champagne.
Turnover for the sector, which remains France’s second-biggest export industry after aeronautics, totaled a loss of approximately $980 million. The last time the region posted similar shipment totals was back in 2017 at 307 million bottles.
The full picture for Champagne sales this year won’t emerge until after the holidays, starting with Thanksgiving and winding up with New Year’s Eve, Pavlatos said. But, she added, that the Champagne Bureau is hearing that producers are tracking sales that are well above last year’s levels. In some places, they’re ahead of the pre-pandemic pace, she said.
“So we may actually be seeing not only a return to normal but even better performance than we had in 2019,” Pavlatos said.
In 2019, Champagne houses shipped 297.6 million bottles globally, with the lion’s share destined for the United States and valued at more than $753 million.
Bottles of Champagne Rene Geoffrey’s Rose de Saignee Premier Cru Brut champagne ages in the cellars of the family-owned boutique winery.
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London-based International Wine and Spirit Research, or IWSR, is also tracking higher sales of Champagne in 2021.
“The category was down almost 18% last year after declines of 2% in 2019,” an IWSR analyst said, citing the group’s Drinks Market Analysis figures.
The group expects global Champagne volume growth of about 4% this year, as well as similar annual increases through 2025.
The U.S. Champagne market is expected to put up similar numbers.