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Record Champagne shipments buoyed by quality-focused younger consumers

Published:  26 May, 2023

Champagne exports hit a record-high value-wise in 2022, with €6bn worth of fizz sales being driven by shifts in consumption from “exceptional occasions to more normal occasions”, the Comité Champagne said at its UK press briefing on 25 May.

Co-hosted by David Chatillon, Président of the Union des Maisons de Champagne, and Maxime Toubar, president of the Champagne Winegrowers Union, the UK-focused market insights also identified younger consumers seeking quality experiences over volume consumption as an additional driver of sales.

The headline figures for 2022 show that 325.5 million bottles were shipped at a value of £5.2bn (€6bn), with exports at 179.6 million bottles, up 4.1% on 2021, though with French consumption dipping slightly, standing at 140.7 million bottles.

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“This success can be attributed to global shipments,” said Chatillon, adding that new buyers in some markets, coupled with a rise in by-the-glass consumption and “new moments for consumption” were all driving the increase.

“There has been a shift from consuming Champagne on exceptional occasions to much more every-day occasions,” he added.

Turning attention to the UK, which sits in second place behind the US in terms of thirst for Champagne, volumes dipped across 2022, down -5.3%, but value sales rose by 9.5%.

Chatillon described the UK as “a market of connoisseurs”, revealing that a big part of that rise is down to prestige cuvée and rosé sales, describing it as “a very good performance”.

In terms of share of market, rosé now accounts for around 14% of UK Champagne sales, with prestige cuvées standing at just over 15%.