Australia has become the world’s fourth biggest market for Champagne, with 12 million bottles heading to our shores last year. That’s up 53% from 2019.
Sales to the United States, champagne’s top export market, soared 31% compared with 2019, reaching a record 34 million bottles. Exports to Britain rose 7% in 2019 to 29 million bottles while sales to Germany jumped 28% to 15 million.
It was Australia, however, that registered the highest growth, surging past Japan, Italy and Belgium to fourth position.
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,” said Maxime Toubart, president of the Syndicat général des vignerons and co-president of the Comité Champagne.
With tourism and the staging of events still reduced due to the health crisis, Comité Champagne said 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 said: “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 stressed “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.
Australia’s fastest growing Champagne brands
According to IRI’s 2022 FMCG Outlook Report Champagne is headlining at-home celebrations in Australia.
It is responsible for the top three wine category brands for growth in Australia with Moet & Chandon (+27%), Verve Clicquot (+26.3%) and Mumm (+22.5%) now being enjoyed as an almost ‘everyday indulgence’.