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Sparkling wine sales down in 2020 but quick recovery forecasted

Total estimated sales of sparkling wine in 2020 were down due to the pandemic, but the decline was not as bad as feared, and a recovery is expected soon, driven by Prosecco’s performance.

As we consider in detail in the April edition of the drinks business – out next week the popularity of Prosecco has helped mitigate the decrease in sparkling wines sales overall last year, with the the International Wine and Spirts Record (IWSR) estimating that the drop will amount to 8%.

In an exclusive interview with db earlier this month, Daniel Mettyear, research director at the IWSR, said that the single digit decline in total sparkling wine sales was not as bad as expected and will be reversed quickly.

In terms of cases lost, an 8% decline represents a drop due to the pandemic of around 22m cases, with the global sparkling wine market in 2019 accounting for 262m cases, and 2020 expected to finish at 240m.

Bearing in mind projections for lost sales a year ago, when declines or 20-30% were being muted, the sparkling wine market has proved remarkably resilient during an extended period with almost no large events, limited social mixing, and a mostly shuttered hospitality sector.

In other words, people are not going to stop drinking sparkling wine just because there’s a restriction on socialising. However, the bottles consumed at home won’t make up for the lost trade via festivals, weddings, and going out with friends.

As for a recovery to pre-pandemic sales of sparkling, Mettyear believes this will come within two years, arriving in 2022 or early 2023, ahead of still wine.

“Such is the strength of the sparkling wine trend, which is driven in large part by Prosecco, that sparkling will recover faster than still wine, because there is a buzz about it,” he told db.

Sparkling wine: sales trends for 2020 for key styles (compiled by db using a range of sources)

  • Sparkling wine sales total estimate for 2020 according to IWSR: est. 240 million cases (-8%)
  • Champagne shipments 2020: 245m bottles (-18%)
  • Prosecco DOC shipments 2020: est. 452m bottles (-7%)
  • Prosecco DOCG shipments 2020: approx. 100m bottles (-2%)
  • Cava DO shipments 2020: 215.6m bottles (-14%)

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