Coronavirus Prompts Slump in Champagne Sales

The pandemic has affected sparking wine industries in different ways

Champagne
You might not want to break out the champagne over this year's champagne sales so far.
nicolas genin/Creative Commons
By Tobias Carroll / May 31, 2020 7:00 am

Has life under quarantine changed the way people drink? It’s certainly made to-go cocktails a part of some people’s regular routines. And it’s shifted the drinking habits of others. A new report at Reuters, however, suggests that at least one aspect of the alcohol world is in the midst of a downturn: champagne.

This might not be a huge shock — after all, champagne is not necessarily something that’s going to keep for too long in the fridge, and it’s traditionally associated with social events, which are not terribly common these days. But it is something that could have repercussions on the industry for a long time.

As the Reuters article phrases it, champagne producers are seeing a particularly unsettling trend in sales right now:

The collapse is akin to a wartime depression, the champagne producers’ group CIVC told Reuters on Thursday. Lost sales could total over 1.7 billion euros ($1.9 billion) in 2020, and the downturn could last for many years, it said.

The article notes that the organization’s estimates “are based on a 75% fall in April and May.” This year’s slump follows an impressive year of sales in 2019 — which might make the year-to-year shift even more tumultuous.

Also noteworthy is that the troubles had by the champagne industry don’t necessarily apply to the world of sparkling wine as a whole. The article observes that cava makers are also seeing a downturn in sales, while prosecco producers are anticipating a slight increase of sales. Hopefully there will be grounds for celebration in all of these industries before long.

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