Sparkling wine consumption increased last year

Sparkling wine consumption increased last year

Champagne is losing out to lower-priced sparkling wine as value-conscious consumers turn to Prosecco and Cava, a new study claims.

Champagne export volumes fell by 1% in the nine months to September last year compared to a year prior, according to Rabobank's Q4 wine report, released yesterday (6 February). Over the same period, Italy's controlled destination (DOP) wines jumped by 13% in volume and 34% in value, the report said.

Export volumes of Spanish sparkling wines rose by 4% in the eight months to last October, compared to the same period in 2011, Rabobank said.

“Italian and Spanish sparkling wine suppliers are experiencing much greater growth,” the report said. “The lower price points of these wines have encouraged more 'every day' consumption, as reflected by the more even distribution of sparkling wine imports throughout the year.”

In the UK, sparkling wine consumption has grown over the past 12 months to just short of the sector's historic high in 2008 as still wine remains in decline, the report showed.

The report advised Champagne houses to focus on emerging markets where higher-priced products are in demand, such as Nigeria, China and Mexico. There is also room for optimism in developed markets outside of Europe including Japan, Canada and Australia, Rabobank said. 

In the US, despite a Champagne rebound in 2011, shipments last year slipped again, the report said.

A Rabobank report in October said demand for wine in the US is growing and helping to balance out long-term oversupply issues.