We provide a summary of the champagne sales in 2020 in terms of volumes, turnover, details of the main export markets, and breakdown on the sale of champagne by cuvées. If champagne consumption was heavily affected by the covid-19 pandemic, all in all 2020 was less catastophic than previsuly estimated, proving the relisance of champagne as a high-quality wine and luxury product.

[toc]

Champagne Sales in 2020

The Comité Champagne-CIVC has recently released its final 2020 champagne sales report, confirming a total of 244 million bottles sold.

Champagne sales are hence down by 17.9% compared to 2019, which is not so bad considering the impact of the covid-19 pandemic on the on-trade consumption of champagne and the earlier expected drop in sales of -30%.

The turnover for the sector was €4.2 billion excluding taxes, confirming a loss of €845 million in just one year.

Commenting on the results, Jean-Marie Barillère, co-president of the Comité Champagne and president of the Union des Maisons de Champagne (UMC), said: “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. It is the strength and power of our appellation to be the champion of prestige and above all quality among our consumers.”

Champagne Sales in France in 2020

Already in decline before the covid-19 crisis, the French market continued to shrink.

In 2020, champagne sales on the French market fell by -19.9% to 113.3 million bottles–28.1 million fewer bottles compared to 2019.

The turnover dropped similarly by -17.9% to €1.6 billion (down by €358.3 million).

The French market accounted for 46.4% of champagne sales by volume (-1.1% compared to 2019) and 39% of turnover (-0.6%).

Champagne Exports in 2020

In 2020, for the third consecutive year, champagne exports overtook sales in France, totalling 130.8 million bottles (-16.1% compared to 2019), and a turnover of €2.6 billion (-15.9%).

Exports accounted for 53.6% of all champagne sales by volume (+1.1% compared to 2019) and 61.0% of turnover (+0.6%).

The United States, the United Kingdom, and Japan—the three biggest champagne export markets—also posted major drops in sales volumes in 2020.

However, this was mitigated by the relative resilience of traditional markets in continental Europe.

There was also significant growth in Australia.

Despite the sustained decline, Champagne’s export markets appeared to be more resilient than the French market.

Champagne Sales in the US in 2020

In 2020, champagne exports to the United States stood at 20.8 million bottles, down by -18.8%. Turnover fell by -24.6% to €501.9 million.

Despite an unfavorable EUR-USD exchange rate and a reduction in exports of high-value cuvées compared to a particularly dynamic 2019, the United States remains the number one export market in terms of value (19.2% of turnover) and the number two in volume (15.8% of exports), after the United Kingdom.

Champagne Sales in the UK in 2020

In 2020, champagne exports to the United Kingdom fell by -21.7% to 21.3 million bottles. Turnover decreased by -21.9%, to €338.2 million.

Despite this significant drop in sales, the United Kingdom remains the biggest champagne export market by volume (16% of total export volume) and the second biggest by value (12.9% of turnover).

Champagne Sales in the Japan in 2020

Champagne exports to Japan stood at 10.8 million bottles in 2020, down by -24.5%, for a turnover of €270.8 million (-23.7%).

The Japanese market particularly suffered in 2020 because champagne consumption in the country is primarily concentrated in bars, hotels, and restaurants.

Nevertheless, Japan confirmed its place as the third biggest Champagne export market, by both volume (since 2017) and value (since 2014), thanks to sustained growth over the past ten years: +7.6% by volume per year on average between 2011 and 2019.

Champagne Sales in the EU in 2020

Champagne exports to countries within the European Union stood at 66.2 million bottles in 2020, down by -13.4% compared to 2019. Turnover fell by -11.8% to €1.2 billion.

The European Union proved more resilient than France and the rest of the world in 2020, accounting for a record 27.1% of sales volumes and 27.9% of turnover.

The most important markets for Champagne within the European Union were severely impacted by the covid-19 pandemic.

Germany, the largest champagne market in the EU (excluding France), saw a drop of -13.2% in volume with 10.1 million bottles sold and a drop of -17.7% in value with a turnover of €167.4 million.

Similarly, Italy, the second-largest champagne market in the EU, saw a drop of -17.3% in volume with 6.9 million bottles sold and a drop of -19.2% in value with a turnover of €146.8 million.

However, Belgium, the sixth-largest export market for champagne, showed impressive performance compared to other European countries. In 2020, champagne exports shrank by just -1.9% to 9.0 million bottles and turnover decreased by 4.3%, to €142 million.

The Belgian market’s resistance to the crisis can be explained primarily by a significant increase in at-home consumption

Spain, the ninth biggest export market, experienced a decrease in volumes of -30.3% to 3 million bottles sold and a -35.3% decrease in turnover with €59.8 million.

Champagne Sales in Australia in 2020

In 2020, champagne exports to Australia–champagne’s seventh-largest export market–recorded a growth of +11.2%, reaching 8.5 million bottles. Turnover increased by +11.1% to €126.1 million.

This was the biggest growth in 2020 among champagne’s leading markets. In fact, 2020 marked the second-best year in the history of champagne exports to Australia, after 2017 (8.5 million bottles for a turnover of €131.8 million).

Since 2006, exports have increased in both volume and value by an average of 7.9% per year, propelling Australia from the tenth to the seventh biggest champagne market by value.

Champagne Sales in China-Hong Kong-Taiwan in 2020

Mainland China has been most affected by the pandemic, with champagne exports down by -25.8% with 1.4 million bottles in 2020.

Turnover remained stable (-0.2%) at €39.1 million, thanks to dynamic growth in prestige cuvées (+33.6%). China is the fourth largest market in terms of prestige cuvée market share, just behind Hong Kong.

Hong Kong was impacted very little by the pandemic and saw a moderate decline in champagne imports. In total, 1.7 million bottles were sold (-4.1% compared to 2019), resulting in a turnover of €46.4 million (+3.2%).

As in China, prestige cuvées (+0.7%) limited the reduction in volumes and helped increase turnover.

Exports to Taiwan shrank by -6.5%, remaining at a relatively low volume of 0.5 million bottles. Turnover fell by 5.1%, to €13.1 million. Taiwan is now the eighth biggest market in terms of prestige cuvée market share (9.5%).

Champagne Sales by Type (Cuvée)

All champagne types experienced a decline in sales in 2020. Prestige cuvées were particularly affected with a fall of -25.1%, and low-dosage champagnes (-20.1%).

Non-vintage brut and rosés saw less of a fall with -16.7% and -14.4%. Higher dosage and vintage brut Champagnes—which posted lower volumes—fared better, each suffering a loss of just -9.6%.

Non-vintage brut champagnes retained their 2019 market share, making up 78.5% of exports and 64.9% of turnover.

Champagne Sales by Category of Producer

Houses dominated champagne sales in 2020, with 72.7% of volumes and 77.8% of turnover.

Growers followed with 18.7% and 15.2%. Cooperatives accounted for the rest (8.6% and 7.0%).

However, if the number of Houses selling champagne increased in 2020 by 8 for a total of 403 maisons, the number of growers selling champagne shrank to 3,759 (-234). The number of Cooperatives remained stable at 42 (+1).