Record Cava exports have brightened up the Spanish sparkling wine's bleak domestic market in 2011.
Cava producers sold a record breaking 152 million bottles to foreign markets in 2011 – a 2% increase over 2010 – but poor domestic sales were mainly to blame for a 2% fall in overall sales in 2011.
Taking into consideration current economic conditions, the Cava regulatory board chairman, Gustavo García Guillamet, said ‘it is very positive to claim that cava sales achieved a record figure in the foreign market’.
However, sales in Spain have been difficult within the domestic market, compounded by an unemployment rate of more than 22%. During the last quarter of 2011, Cava sales suffered an ‘unexpected’ fall of 8.7% compared to 2010.
Exports have grown steadily in the past decade, rising by almost 50%, according to the regulatory body’s figures.
Nick Mantella, managing director of Codorniu UK, told decanter.com ‘Sparkling wine as a whole is becoming an everyday product rather than a celebratory drink.
‘There has been a lot of promotional activity driving the sparkling category in the last 10 years. Sparkling wine is a minority category compared to still wines. It is not in everybody’s daily repertoire so we have to work extremely hard to drive people to it,’ he added.
Written by Rebecca Gibb