Champagne poised for a record year

Sales of Champagne reached a record high last year, driven by strong demand from export markets, favourable exchange rates and steady sales in France.

According to estimates from news service Reuters, 312 million bottles of the French sparkler were sold last year, up 2-3% on 2014, while value sales were up 4.4% to €4.7 billion.

If proved correct, 2015 would go down as a record year for Champagne sales by value, beating the previous record set in 2007, when sales reached €4.56 billion prior to the global financial slowdown.

However, the volume estimate falls short of Champagne’s former high point, when the region shipped 338.7m bottles in 2007.

A flurry of prestige cuvée releases such as Dom Pérignon 2006 helped drive sales last year, along with a growing demand for rosé Champagne in Japan and the US.

A return to pre-recession decadence boosted Champagne sales in the UK, while Spain and Italy both showed a growing appetite for the fizz. Champagne sales are also creeping up at hypermarkets and specialist stores in its homeland after years of being on the slide.

“France is on a recovery path. Consumers need to enjoy life,” Bruno Paillard, CEO of Lanson BCC, told Reuters.

Official figures for 2015 will be published next month by the CIVC.

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