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In 2021, Champagne shipments totalled 322 million bottles, which is up by 32% on 2020. The French market has grown by 25%, with nearly 142 million bottles, returning to its 2019 levels; exports are continuing their upward trend, with a new record of 180 million bottles.
"This recovery is a welcome surprise for the people of Champagne after a troubled 2020 (with figures down by 18%) impacted by the closure of main points of consumption and the shortage of celebratory events worldwide," explains Maxime Toubart, President of the Syndicat général des vignerons and Co-President of the Comité Champagne. He is delighted to note "the healthy state of the national market".
With the tourism and events sectors still not fully recovered and some lingering restrictions owing to the health crisis, home consumption seems to have taken over as a growing trend. Consumers have opted to entertain themselves at home, and to organise alternative opportunities for having fun together despite the gloomy general mood.
Amid uncertainty over the duration of the health crisis, the wine trade had reduced stocks in 2020. They reversed that move in 2021, however – the pickup in demand since April catching some of them by surprise. This led to a few logistics and transport disruptions.
Jean-Marie Barillère, President of the Union des Maisons de Champagne and Co-President of the Comité Champagne, is thrilled that, "thanks to exports and the popularity of fine cuvée wines with consumers, Champagne is poised to achieve record revenues of over €5.5bn*". Be that as it may, he says that "average shipments in 2020-2021, at 280 million bottles for €4.9bn, remain below pre-pandemic levels (300 million bottles for €5bn)."
Hard-hit by the health crisis in 2020 and challenging climatic conditions in 2021, Champagne now hopes that 2022 will pave the way to a new cycle of growth.