Q4 2008 Worst In Champagne History

Moet Chando SwarovskiOfficial figures of the CIVC (Comité interprofessionnel du vin de Champagne) from early February confirm that 2008 was a difficult year for sales of champagne. In its press release, the CIVC speaks of “a break after a long period of growth”. The European sales of champagne fell last year by 6.6%. In the press release an increase in December is mentioned, at least for the French market. Final export figures are not given and are anyhow never released in detail.
Figures we obtained from an anonymous source at the CIVC, show that the fourth quarter of 2008 was the worst ever for champagne sales. Overall, champagne sales dropped by twenty percent. (In the February press release only figures for France, Europe and developing countries are given. Global figures are not included.) For the major brands ( “grandes marques“) such as Moët and Veuve the decline is even worse, even to minus 23%. The figures for Vranken-Pommery are purportedly even below that, although the company painted a rosier picture in a recent press release. (In 2008 quite a few brands augmented their prices substantially, so the overall decline in sales is often less visible or remains hidden in pr-blurb.) Bollinger sold minus 15% in bottles and minus 11% in turnover. Overall, hundreds of thousends of bottles of champagne remained unsold in 2008.