Champagne sales soar – again

Soaring demand for pink fizz has sent Champagne sales worldwide above the 300m bottle mark for the second year running.

Champagne trade body the CIVC has reported that worldwide shipments in 2005 were up 2% to 307.5m bottles.

Of those, 36m go to the UK, making it the world’s largest importer of Champagne. The Daily Telegraph reports that UK imports of Champagne account for almost a third of global market growth over the last decade.

And driving that growth is our insatiable appetite for rosé Champagne, sales of which have increased by 20% year on year since 2000. Almost all the major houses have a rosé in their range. Some, like Krug and Dom Perignon, retail at over £200 (€288) per bottle, but others are more accessible.

One of the most popular is the Moet & Chandon rosé, for which owners LVMH are builiding a dedicated red wine facility in its cellars in Epernay. LVMH’s Veuve Clicquot also launches a rosé next week, which will be about 25% more expensive than the traditional versions.

How important rosé is to Champagne houses can be judged by comments such as this from Moët & Chandon chief Frédéric Cuménal: ‘I believe for the next couple of years we will be successful in growing the rosé market by a very significant amount. I’m talking about more than 20% or even more than 30%.’

For her part, Veuve Clicquot CEO Cecile Bonnefond said over the next five years rosé sales ‘may be up to 10%, or if we are very, very successful it might be up to 20% of Yellow Label sales, but who knows?’

Written by Giles Fallowfield, and Adam Lechmere