The hangover from the Millennium celebrations is still affecting the champagne business. Giles Fallowfield assesses the impact of the surplus stock still floating around the industry and claims UK retailer Sainsbury’s has suffered major losses in its own label champagne brand. The champagne market in the UK continues to be dominated by the surplus stock left over in the trade after the millennium. For although record amounts of champagne were consumed with the total UK off-trade recording a 19.2% increase in sales in 1999, this was a long way short of the 33.05% growth in shipments to Britain which saw imports rise to 32.26m bottles.

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