“If I have to guess, I think that consumers are ready to celebrate even just the little things in life,” said Natalie Pavlatos, a spokeswoman for the Champagne Bureau, USA.
Champagne sales are surging to record highs as 2021 comes to an end (back above what they were before the COVID pandemic hampered sales and kept people away from celebrations).
Sales in 2021 are expected to top 5.5 billion euros ($6.2 billion), above a previous peak of 5 billion euros two years ago before the coronavirus pandemic, Jean-Marie Barillere, president of champagne industry group UMC, said.
“It’s been huge and so unexpected that we’ve seen some breakdowns in the supply chain, like in all sorts of other products at the moment,” he said.
In fact, the rush to enjoy the famed sparkling wine again could leave some champagne lovers short during the year-end festive period.
“The category was down almost 18% last year after declines of 2% in 2019,” an IWSR analyst said, citing the group’s Drinks Market Analysis figures.
The UK and the U.S. are leading the way when it comes to procuring real champagne with 21.3 and 20.8. million 750 milliliter bottles, also called bouteille, imported in 2020, respectively.
You will find more infographics at Statista
“It’s been very exciting for champagne,” Richard Bampfield, a Master of Wine recognized by the Institute of Masters of Wine in the UK, told CGTN.
“I can only assume that there’s a lot of people out there who were fed up with being miserable and wanted to start celebrating properly again,” said Bampfield.
Reuters reports that champagne was already showing the biggest out-of-stock level among major grocery categories in French supermarkets in early November, according to retail data specialist Nielsen.
In his specialist champagne cellar in central Paris, Benoit Melendez is also seeing deliveries from some suppliers dry up.
“My fear is not to be able to satisfy customers who are looking for specific things (…) and not by December 31.”
The question is – what will the new year bring? With politicians threatening more lockdowns, endless mask-wearing, and multiple jabs (and some nations even banning the sale of alcohol) in an attempt to ‘slow the spread’; will 2022 be the year when the global public throws in the towel on their faith in public policymakers (and drinks even more celebratory bubbly) or will things get even darker and more authoritarian (forcing people to drink more also!).