Total shipments of Champagne in 2021 rose to 322 million bottles, an increase of 32% over 2020. The market in France was up by 25% at nearly 142 million bottles, a return to 2019 levels. Exports continued to rise, to 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 across the world,’ comments Maxime Toubart, president of the Syndicat général des vignerons and co-president of the Comité Champagne. He is otherwise pleased to note ‘the healthy state of the national market’.
With tourism and the staging of events still reduced due to the health crisis, there is room to believe that home consumption has taken up the slack. Consumers have chosen to entertain themselves at home, compensating for the generally gloomy mood with new moments of conviviality and sharing.
Uncertainty about the duration of the health crisis led the wine trade to reduce stocks in 2020; but in 2021 they reversed that direction, having been surprised by the acceleration in demand since April. Problems linked to logistics and transport disruptions have also played a part.
Jean-Marie Barillère, president of the Union des Maisons de Champagne and co-president of the Comité Champagne, is delighted that ‘thanks to exports and the consumer’s devotion to fine cuvees, Champagne will reach a record turnover of more than 5.5 billion Euros*’. But he stresses ‘the average shipments in 2020-2021, at 280 million bottles and 4.9 billion Euros, remain under the pre-pandemic levels (300 million bottles, 5 billion Euros in 2019)’.
Afflicted by the health crisis in 2020 and challenging climatic conditions in 2021, Champagne now hopes that 2022 will open the way to a new cycle of growth.
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