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Friday 29 January 2021

Covid-19 fails to quench Australia's thirst for Champagne

While many Australians were locked indoors with restaurants closed and events cancelled, they still drank more Champagne than before in 2020.

Overall, there was an 18% drop in Champagne sales volumes globally in 2020, but Australia defied the trend with imports up by 14% overall.

Shipments of Champagne in 2020 totalled 245 million bottles with the global health crisis the major reason for the slump.

"The closure of main centres for consumption and sales, along with the cancellation of many events, put the business under pressure and called for rapid adaptability, in a climate of considerable uncertainty, to ward off the consequences of the health and economic crisis," the Comité Champagne announced this week.

Already in retreat before the crisis, the French market continued to fall (-20%).

Champagne’s three leading export markets also recorded serious drops in 2020: 20% in the United States; 20% in the UK and 28% in Japan.

Australia's gain of 14% seems extraordinary against such figures.

“Faced with an unprecedented crisis, the organisation of our sector has proved its resilience," the Comité said in a statement. "Together, the Champagne winegrowers and houses took last year wise decisions about yields."

The Champenoise maintain a positive outlook.

“Despite the crisis, Champagne remains dear to the hearts of consumers who feel the need to keep something exceptional in their everyday lives, to choose quality products when so many other pleasures are unavailable due to the health crisis,” added Jean-Marie Barillère, co-president of the Comité Champagne and president of the Union des Maisons de Champagne.

“It is the strength and power of our appellation to be the champion of prestige and above all quality among our consumers.”

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