Bubble bursts in UK Champagne market
Sharp fall in the import of champagne from
Despite the obvious plunge in sales, the
The latest figures have been published by the industry's trade body the Champagne Bureau which represents 14,000 growers and "houses" in
Despite the fall, industry in the UK have remarked that the figures still reflect excellent performance and if anything was not as bad as some had feared.
In total, 141.3m bottles crossed the French border last year, and the
The Champagne Bureau director, Françoise Peretti, said of the
She said that with major celebratory events to come this year in the UK such as the Olympic and Paralympic Games in London and the diamond jubilee, the prospects for 2012 were even better: "Champagne is forever Britain's first choice for celebration, and we have a great deal of celebrating to do."
Guy Woodward, editor of Decanter magazine, said: "Although the
"It'll be interesting to see, this year, whether English sparkling wine can make any inroads into champagne's market dominance. If it's ever going to do so, 2012 is surely the year. Production and quality are both increasing, and patriotism is bound to play a part."
He went on: "The advantage that champagne has is one of size. Its brands are so established, and so huge, that they wield huge power at both ends of the market - sponsoring high-end, aspirational events on the one hand, and being discounted in supermarkets, which use champagne to drive volume and footfall. Other sparkling wines can't compete with that."
Both consumer markets and the beverages industry have seen a strong clawing back of market share by English vineyards such as Chapel Down wines, Denbies Estate and others.