FRANCE: Rich foreigners rescue Champagne market in UK - figures

By | 14 March 2013

Champagne consumption in the UK is down

Champagne consumption in the UK is down

Wealthy consumers from Russia and China are shoring up the Champagne market in the UK as volumes in the country fell in 2012, new figures show.

Champagne trade body the Comité Interprofessionnel du Vin de Champagne (CIVC) said yesterday (13 March) that exports to the UK last year increased in value by 0.5% over 2011, despite a 6.1% drop in volumes. Rich foreigners living in London helped bolster the EUR470m (US$611m) UK market and made the capital the “Champagne market of the future”, CIVC said.

“Champagne customers may be drinking less but they’re spending more,” said UK CIVC director Françoise Peretti. “We are seeing a new market emerging, as discerning consumers come and settle in London from developing Champagne markets such as China, India and Russia. This is where they choose to come to explore the best of Champagne.”

Global Champagne exports increased in value by 3.4% while the number of bottles shipped dropped by 4m, the figures show. The UK remained the biggest destination for Champagne for the 17th-year running.

Figures released last month showed that global Champagne sales in value terms held steady last year despite a fall in volumes.

Expert analysis

Global market review of Champagne – forecasts to 2016

Some of the issues and challenges addressed in the previous edition of just-drinks' Champagne report continue to influence a category struggling to grow. Recovery from economic downturn and tumbling sales was evidenced in 2010 and part way through 2011, only to be replaced with a further slow down at the end of that year and continuing into 2012. This has been more prevalent in the western European countries. Elsewhere there has been better sales performance, noteably in the US and Japan, significantly in Australia and not forgetting the burgeoning economies of Asia and Greater China. However, even these new markets can only go part way to offset the situation in the more mature markets, to such an extent that total Champagne shipments are expected to rise only slightly during 2012. According to the report, pronounced growth is unlikely until 2015.|

Sectors: Emerging markets – BRIC, Wine

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FRANCE: Rich foreigners rescue Champagne market in UK - figures

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