Champagne is continuing its recovery from a challenging 2020, with total shipments in 2021 increasing to 322 million bottles, up 32 per cent on the previous year.

Exports have continued to rise, to a new record of 180 million bottles, while the market in France was up by 25 per cent at nearly 142 million bottles, a return to 2019 levels.

Maxime Toubart, President of the Syndicat général des vignerons and Co-President of the Comité Champagne (CIVC), said: “This recovery is a welcome surprise for the people of Champagne after a troubled 2020 (with figures down by 18 per cent) impacted by the closure of main points of consumption and the shortage of celebratory events across the world.”

Australia continues to be an important market for Champagne, as The Shout reported last month this was one of the only markets in the world to show growth in 2020, a fact not lost on the region.

“Throughout 2021, the monthly export indicators show that Champagne exports to Australia have not slowed down, but the exact opposite,” the Champagne Bureau told The Shout.

“Comité Champagne has described the really strong sales of Champagne in Australia as ‘astonishing’ and the continued strength of the Australian market has given the whole of the Champagne region the confidence to believe that international market for Champagne will rebound after the disaster of the last few years, and early indicators are that it has.”

There are still concerns around a Champagne shortage, but these appear to be the result of a number of complicated issues – mostly relating to global and domestic supply chains, and not the result of harvest decisions by the CIVC or bad weather as was widely reported in the lead-up to Christmas.

Jean-Marie Barillère, President of the Union des Maisons de Champagne and Co-President of the Comité Champagne, is understandably delighted with the 2021 figures, saying: ‘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 stresses ‘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)’.

Having been impacted 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.

Andy Young

Andy joined Intermedia as Editor of The Shout in 2015, writing news on a daily basis and also writing features for National Liquor News. Now Managing Editor of both The Shout and Bars and Clubs.

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