Champagne Sales 2018: Record High of €4.9 billion

Total volume of Champagne shipments declined by 1.8% in 2018 to 301.9 million bottles, with a total turnover reaching €4.9 billion – 0.3% higher than in 2017.

As reported by the Comité Champagne at Prowein today, exports of Champagne are on an upward trajectory, rising by 0.6% in volume and 1.8% in revenue.

In Champagne’s more traditional markets of France and the UK, which together account for 60% of total sales, volumes dropped by around 4% each, while by value turnover slipped by around 2% in both markets.

The UK market, which remains the largest export market by volume, imported 26.7m bottles in 2018, a decline of 3.6%, while value reached €406.2m, a drop of 2.2% – making it the second biggest export market by value after the USA.

However, demand is most dynamic beyond the European Union. The USA, which remains the biggest export market by value and second biggest by volume, saw exports rise by 2.7% to 23.7 million bottles. To Japan, exports increased by 5.5% to 13.6 million bottles, while exports to the “Chinese triangle” (mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan) increased by 9.1% to 4.7 million bottles.

Following very significant growth over the past decade (+134%), Australia saw imports of Champagne dip slightly, by 1.8%, to 8.4m bottles, which was attributed to a “less favourable exchange rate”.

Other countries are emerging stronger for Champagne, including Canada which increased its imports by 4.8% to 2.3 million bottles, Mexico by 4.3% to 1.7m bottles, and South Africa, where sales topped the million-bottle mark for the very first time, recording growth of 38.4% by volume and by 43.4% by value – the highest increase of any market on both counts.

“The 2018 results validate the value creation strategy of the Champagne region, based on a continual pursuit of exceptional quality and rigorous environmental targets,” the Comité Champagne said. “From an agronomic point of view, 2018 was an unprecedented year with a bumper harvest of outstanding quality, boding extremely well for the future Champagne cuvées.”

Champagne shipments* over the past 10 years:

2018: 301.9m

2017: 307.3m

2016: 306.1m

2015: 313m

2014: 307m

2013: 305m

2012: 309m

2011: 323m

2010: 319m

2009: 293m

Source:  Drinks Business and Just Drinks

THE COMITÉ CHAMPAGNE’S LONDON TASTING GETS NEW NAME AND NEW VENUE

Françoise Peretti, Director of the UK Champagne Bureau has confirm that the Annual Champagne Tasting has now been rebranded as “The Official #Champagne Experience Day.”  The event is officially planned for March 29 and will be held at the art and design college Central Saint Martins in King’s Cross.

The venue has good natural light with massive space, covering more than 800m2.

As for the content of the newly-rebranded event, Peretti said that the Comité Champagne would be introducing three tutored masterclasses to run alongside the tasting, and would be expanding the themed central tasting table to reflect the major stylistic trends of Champagne.

As well, there will be a free-pour tasting area that will increase to cover three types of Champagne, with vintage and rosé both confirmed, although the third theme is yet to be decided.

Central to the event, like previous Comité Champagne tastings in London, will be over sixty tables for the major brands to showcase their latest releases.

In terms of target audience, Peretti said that the day would be designed to attract buyers from the off- and on-trade, as well as media from trade and consumer press, along with those from both digital and printed publications.

According to Peretti, a particular focus this year will be writers from lifestyle, travel and environmental media following the acceleration in wine tourism and sustainable viticulture in Champagne prompted by the UNESCO World Heritage Site listing for the region, which was achieved in July 2015.

She also announced that the Comité Champagne was planning a “stand alone” event specifically for wine educators, which she said was necessary to meet their particular needs.

Here is an overview of the changes:

  • The Annual Champagne Tasting has been rebranded as The Official #Champagne Experience Day;
  • While it will retain its slot in the month of March, it will be held on 29 March – two weeks later than its usual timing;
  • The Official #Champagne Experience Day will be held at art and design college Central Saint Martins in King’s Cross;
  • The event will keep the individual brand tables, but will introduce three themed central tables reflecting the key styles of Champagne in growth, including vintage and rosé;
  • The revamped tasting will include more content, such as three tutored Champagne masterclasses, with space for up to 40 attendees at each one; and
  • The Comité Champagne is planning a standalone event to address the specific needs of wine educators.

CHAMPAGNE SHIPMENTS DROP 2%

Champagne shipped a total of 306.6 million bottles in 2016, a decline of 2% from 2015.

According to the estimates released by Comité Champagne this past week, Champagne shipments worldwide, including the French market, fell by 6 million bottles in the past 12 months compared to the same period in 2015, when the region shipped a total of 312.5m bottles.

The final figure of 306.6m for 2016 means that Champagne sales have now dropped back below 2014’s total, which amounted to 307.1m bottles, taking the region even further from its record, which was achieved ten years ago in 2007, when it shipped almost 338.8m bottles (see figures below).

Explaining the fall in the number of bottles shipped in 2016, Jean-Marie Barillère, who is president of the Union des Maisons de Champagne, told Drinks Business that the decline was a result of falling sales in the French and British markets.

“The total decrease has been done by France and England,” he said.

As much as two thirds of the 6m global decline can be attributed to France alone, which sold 4m fewer bottles in 2017 – last year’s domestic market for Champagne totaled 158m bottles, compared to 162m in 2016.

Meanwhile, Barillère recorded that Champagne shipments to the UK alone had fallen by around 3m bottles, in contrast to other European nations such as Spain and Italy, which, he said, had enjoyed increases, meaning that the EU (excluding France) accounted for 77.5m bottles in 2016, down from 80.2m in 2015.

Outside its domestic market and Europe, Champagne did enjoy growth in 2016, but with a modest 0.5% increase, this represented an extra 600,000 bottles from 70.3m in 2015 to 70.9m last year.

Although the figures for value have yet to be released, Barillère said that the total would be down by 1-2% due to exchange rates, although he stressed that 2017 would be Champagne’s second highest ever year for turnover, having set a new record in 2016, when it reached €4.75 billion.

Indeed, if the drop was the full 2%, a total of €4.65bn for 2016 would still surpass the previous record set in 2007, when sales reached €4.56bn prior to the global financial slowdown.

The decline in shipments for 2016 has surprised some in the region, particularly as the yields set in June last year for the 2016 harvest were designed to deliver a production of 315m bottles, slightly higher than the shipment total for 2015.

Usually the yields are set to bring about a supply of Champagne that is similar if not a bit higher than the current demand.

Explaining why the yields were set to produce 315m bottles, Michel Letter, managing director of Mumm and Perrier Jouët, told db that the global market for Champagne was looking more promising in May and June last year when the yields were set*, adding that the French and UK markets had declined more than expected, while the US had not risen as much as many in Champagne had initially thought.

Summing up, he admitted, “We were a bit optimistic”.

* The yield for the 2016 harvest was set in June at 9,700 kilos per hectare with a further 1,100kg/ha to be taken from the reserve at the start of February. This produces approximately 283m bottles from the harvest with a further 32m bottles coming from the reserve, making a total production of 315m bottles.

Figures from the Comité Champagne for 2016, with % change compared to 2015:

Total shipments for 2016: 306.6m bottles (down 1.9%)

Total revenue (estimate) €4.65 billion (down 2%)

France: 158.1 million bottles (down 2.3%)

EU countries (other than France): 77.5 million bottles (down 3.3%)

Exports outside the EU: 70.9 million bottles (up 0.5%)

Champagne global shipments over the past 11 years (volume, bottles)

2006: 321.8m

2007: 338.8m

2008: 322.6m

2009: 293.3m

2010: 319.5m

2011: 323.0m

2012: 308.6m

2013: 305.0m

2104: 307.1m

2015: 312.5m

2016: 306.6m

Champagne global shipments over the past 11 years (value, Euros)

2006: 4.179bn

2007: 4.558bn

2008: 4.440bn

2009: 3.728bn

2010: 4.108bn

2011: 4.408bn

2012: 4.382bn

2013: 4.365bn

2104: 4.500bn

2015: 4.750bn

2016: 4.650bn

 

Sources:  The Drinks Business – January 2017, and
Comité Champagne (CIVC)

 

https://www.thedrinksbusiness.com/2017/01/champagne-shipments-drop-2-to-306-6m-bottles/

COMITÉ CHAMPAGNE CANCELS LONDON TASTING

5f91de7d-0df7-4c5c-b594-5b1d64f773fe_three_eightyThe Comité Champagne announced this past week that it won’t be holding its Annual Champagne Tasting in London 2017 after over 20 years staging the event.

Françoise Peretti, who heads up the Champagne Bureau in London, wrote, “The Comité Champagne has been reviewing the annual tastings around the world and it was decided to pause the activity in the UK for the time being.”

“The event, which has been running since 1994, has been very successful, but we feel it is time to review it. Should the Comité Champagne decide to maintain the event, it is unlikely that it would take place before 2018.”

She told Drinks Business that the decision to end the Annual Champagne Tasting was “not a question of slashed budgets; not a question of the UK becoming less important, and not a question of Brexit,” but a result of “a change” in the way the Comité was approaching the marketing of Champagne after more than 20 years hosting the event in London.

Adding “After 20 years, it is time to explore other opportunities.”… “We feel that it is time to look at how we can reinvent the tasting… why do the same thing over and over again?”

While she said that it was “most unlikely” there would be a tasting next year, she said, “be assured, there will be activities”.

Looking ahead, she said that the Champagne Bureau would be spending the second half of this year “canvassing agents, the media, the trade and educators” before deciding how best to promote Champagne in the UK.

Concluding, she said, “I like to see it evolving and everything is possible, we are looking at a big event, or other smaller events, and something digital.”

Nevertheless, she stressed, whatever the approach, “education is number one on the Comité Champagne list”.

The Comité Champagne, formerly known as the CIVC (which stands for Comité Interprofessionnel du Vin de Champagne), is a trade association representing Champagne’s producers and houses. It is tasked with promoting the region’s wines through R&D, as well as marketing and protecting the Champagne appellation.

The generic body was established in 1941 and has held a tasting in London since 1994, which, for the past two years, was held at One Great George Street.

SOURCES:

Champagne Bureau UK

Drinks Business UK

Champagne Bureau USA Lunch and Update – NoMI Kitchen, Chicago Part 1 [The Update]

IMG_7489On February 29th, 2016 I attended one of those lunches that rarely come around — not only was the food and Champagne selection extraordinary, in attendance was Thibaut Le Mailloux, Communications Director for Comité Champagne (the trade association that represents all the grape growers and houses of Champagne, France) and Sam Heitner, the Director of the Champagne Bureau, USA (which is the U.S. representative for the Comité Champagne).

“Champagne is 90 miles northeast of Paris; this wine region is integral to our unique product. That is why we say that ‘Champagne only comes from Champagne’ and why virtually every country in the world reserves the Champagne name exclusively for these wines,” said Thibaut Le Mailloux in his opening speech. “There are now over 100 other countries including Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, India, Mexico, South Africa and the European Union in standing for truth-in-labeling and ensuring their consumers are confident that wines labeled Champagne come from Champagne, France.” Says Le Mailloux.

IMG_7473

Champagne Region Updates

US and Global Exports
Sam Heitner advises the US media in attendance that “in 2015, Champagne shipped more than 312 million bottles worldwide, which was an increase of 1.7 percent compared to 2014.” Also, “in 2014 more than 19.2 million bottles were shipped to the United States, making it the second largest export market behind the United Kingdom.”

Champagne Education
The Comité Champagne leads a comprehensive education, promotion and protection campaign worldwide. As part of this effort, they recently launched several new initiatives to encourage people to learn more about Champagne wine and the region. First, the Comité developed Champagne Campus, an educational website. Second, the Comité created a virtual reality video), which takes users on a vivid 360° tour around the vineyards, villages and caves that make the region so unique.

Champagne Campus
To sum it up — here you can discover the wonderful world of champagne, including: the region, vines, winemaking process, AOC and tasting. It’s a fun website and app where you can learn and also test your champagne knowledge.

The website and app is also available on the Apple Store and Google Play
www.champagnecampus.com

360 Degrees
This is a 3D film which was explained by both Sam Heitner and Thibaut Le Mailloux – they directed us to use special goggles so we could get the full immersive experience. During this seven minute film, we saw 360 degrees of vineyards, cellars and famous Avenue de Champagne. I experimented by moving the device left and right, and up and down – this totally changed the view and perception. I have travelled to the region many times and I was happy to see that this device showed the landscape from every possible angle.

Le Mailloux explained that “nine cameras mounted by gopros on drones were used, to create this 360-degree experience.”

As well as Youtube, the film can be downloaded as an app at the Apple Store, Google Play and Android devices.

You can also view the video on The Champagne Bureau Facebook page at www.facebook.com/champagnebureau/videos

Watch for [Part 2 Media Lunch].