Champagne’s future markets: #8 the US18th January, 2013 by Rupert Millar
The US for many is as much of a sleeping giant as Asia. A market now comprising 19.3m bottles thanks to a growth rate of 14% in 2011, it is still only half the size of the UK market and with a population many, many times larger.
As le Marié notes: “In terms of growth the US has a huge potential. Only 10% of the population currently consumes Champagne, so given the size of this country there is clearly room for expansion.”
On the other hand, there are factors that go against the US. Most notably there is talk of the “fiscal cliff” that the US will have to tackle in 2013 and this may retard what have been positive signs of a recovery throughout 2012.
(Now with the benefit of hindsight, the “fiscal cliff” of economists’ nightmares turned out to be little more than a fiscal foothill and it has faded from the news again. For now at least,)
Furthermore, Laurent d’Harcourt, of Pol Roger, describes the US as “frustrating”.
A very large chunk of the US market is dominated by just three big names, he explains and, coupled with the three-tier import system, stock is very unevenly distributed throughout the country.
If the US is not already a major market will it ever be one? It may in fact be one of the tougher markets to crack on this list but that doesn’t mean it should be ignored.