Champagne producers expect to be back to record growth by 2013, according to expert Giles Fallowfield.
Fallowfield said producers say they’ll make between 315 and 320 million bottles this year, and are estimating they’ll have made a full recovery to 340 million bottles, and be back to record new growth, by 2013.
Between 1998 and 2007 worldwide Champagne sales rose 14.6%. “Prior to the economic downturn it was becoming a real concern for Champagne that demand would soon outstrip supply,” said Fallowfield.
Fallowfield made the comments during a presentation at the Champagne Assembly, hosted by GH Mumm and Perrier-Jouet at the Town Hall Hotel in Bethnal Green, London, on Monday.
The producing area in Champagne will expand to 34,000 ha within a couple of years, which would mean producing 400 million bottles per year, said Fallowfield.
He said the trend for rosé Champagne in the UK market – which grew by 20% between 2000 and 2006 had remained because the quality had improved.
“The Champenois have a particular forte for reinventing themselves. If they were to lose that they would become just another sparkling wine,” he added.
Experts also predicted that emerging markets will soon overtake the western world in the consumption of luxury markets. Fflur Roberts, global head of luxury goods at Euromonitor, said: “By 2014 emerging economies will have overtaken developed economies when it come to the consumption of luxury goods.
She added that they have toned down their spending on luxury goods by “consoling themselves with smaller luxury purchases, such as Champagne, in what is known as the “lipstick effect””.
“The western consumer is taking small steps back in to the luxury goods market, whereas the Asian consumer is taking huge leaps,” said Roberts.
Gemma McKenna, Harpers