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UK still top Champagne market despite 15% drop

The UK is still the world’s number one Champagne market, despite shipments falling by more than 15% in the past year.

A total of 30.52m bottles of Champagne were shipped to the UK in 2009, the same amount as the three next-highest export markets (the US, Germany and Belgium) put together.

But this figure is nearly 10m bottles lower than its peak of 2007, and is now back at 2002 levels.

Andrew Hawes, chairman of the UK Champagne Agents’ Association said that while the off-trade was ‘in steady recovery’, on-trade consumption in the UK is still ‘in decline’.

‘People are continuing to drink Champagne, but more often at home.

‘There’s been a move away from more premium styles, with the exception of rosé, which is doing extraordinarily well.

‘Up until 2007, we had seen 15 years of unprecedented growth. We would expect to see a period of stability before the continuation of slow and steady growth.’

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Written by Stuart Peskett

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