“Champagne sales plummeted by 80% in March and April”

Tuesday May 05 2020 by Vitisphere

Maxime Toubart, chairman of the producers’ organisation SGV: “I renew my call to shippers to roll out a broad-ranging communications campaign for Champagne, targeting consumer profiles and countries. This is the right time to do so”.Maxime Toubart, chairman of the producers’ organisation SGV: “I renew my call to shippers to roll out a broad-ranging communications campaign for Champagne, targeting consumer profiles and countries. This is the right time to do so”. - Photo credit : SGV

How are March and April sales faring?

Maxime Toubart: We don't have precise figures yet, but it can estimated that the drop in sales over the two months is 80%. Every venue where Champagne is consumed is closed. When you produce wine for celebration and partying, the impact of the current situation is inevitable. The health crisis has brought our industry to a standstill, and winegrowers, shippers and co-operatives are all in the same boat.

Will the yield for the forthcoming harvest be low?

The marketing board will decide at the end of July on the appellation’s yield level for the 2020 harvest. To say more before this date would be irresponsible. We don't know what the end of lockdown will look like, nor when and how bars and restaurants will reopen. Nor do we know how consumers will behave. The yield level will be a compromise between our ability to sell bottles and the financial capacity of winegrowers to absorb one or more small harvests.

Do you anticipate that exiting the crisis will be a slow process?

It will take several years. It's too early to know whether it'll take three years or ten years to get over it. If trade picks up at the end of the year and annual sales reach 230 million bottles (Ed: compared to 297 million in 2019), the outcome is not the same as if we only sell 150 million bottles. We have a very good reputation and I have every confidence in Champagne's ability to continue to be a part of joyful and festive moments. The producers’ organisation’s communications campaign is being upheld for the beginning of the summer. It will be adapted. I renew my call to shippers to roll out a broad-ranging communications campaign for Champagne, targeting consumer profiles and countries. This is the right time to do so.

 

 

 

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