Disappointing first half for Champagne

Tuesday September 10 2019 by Vitisphere

The Champagne PR campaign is aimed in particular at making Millennials want to drink Champagne.The Champagne PR campaign is aimed in particular at making Millennials want to drink Champagne. - Photo credit : DR

Champagne sales in the first half of 2019 declined by 3.1% compared to the first half of 2018. Sales in June were particularly poor (-13.1% compared to June 2018) and markets were affected across-the-board. The most severe decline was in France (-6% in the first half), with shipping firms (-9.3%) worst affected. “We underestimated the impact of the EGAlim law* on supermarket sales," explained Jean-Marie Barillère, chairman of the Union des Maisons de Champagne, at a press conference on July 24 in Epernay.

EGAlim reduces sales by 10 million bottles

The loss in sales due to the new law is estimated at ten million bottles. Winegrowers posted stable sales in the first half of the year, but had to consent to greater sales efforts. “My property’s sales did not decrease”, explained Maxime Blin, spokesman for the vineyard promotion committee at the Champagne winegrowers’ association SGV, who sells 90,000 bottles per year. “But with markets more competitive, we have to get out and about more and offer more discounts”. The main source of concern for industry members is the way young people drink - they are more likely to turn to a spritz or a beer than a glass of Champagne. “Bars are making more profit on this kind of drink”, said Blin. “The SGV's PR campaign aims to make people want to enjoy a glass at any time and to rejuvenate the image of Champagne. It is a long-term lever”. In the short term, all eyes are now on the political decisions made by Boris Johnson and Donald Trump, as the United Kingdom and the USA are Champagne’s two leading export markets.

*The law aims to restore a balance in trade relations between supermarkets and their suppliers





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