Champagne producers have good reason to pop the bubbly this year as demand for the French sparkling wine skyrockets across the globe. Consumers around the world — and especially in the United States — are increasingly reaching for bottles of Champagne this year.
Demand has steadily increased since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, indicating a strong economic bounceback in the Champagne market. This year, exports have been exceptionally high with the United States leading in demand, as The Times reports in a Dec. 26 article.
While data from the past year is still emerging, it’s expected that 57 percent of all Champagne was exported in 2022. Over 34 million bottles were imported into the United States in 2021, accounting for some €794 million (nearly $848 million USD) in sales. Between 2020 and 2021, U.S. sales volume jumped by nearly 64 percent, according to Comité Champagne. 2022 saw a continued increase in sales — causing some difficulties for producers.
While drastic increases in sales could be considered a “Champagne problem,” it certainly leads to sourcing issues for producers. Michel Drappier of family-owned Drappier Champagne shared with French language news platform BFM Business that worldwide demand had caused a shortage in the Champagne house’s supply.
A mandated 20 percent decrease in production, occurring during Covid-19 slowdowns in 2020, only builds upon these issues. Some producers, including Drappier, have restricted sales to keep up with demand, according to The Times.
Restrictions occurring in November 2022 led to an 8.5 percent decrease in sales compared to the same month in the previous year. While this tactic helps keep pace with worldwide exports, Drappier told BFM Business that bubbly might prove difficult to find well into the new year.
“We limit sales a little bit to make sure we have enough at Christmas, for Jan. 1, and for St. Valentine’s Day,” he says. “It would be terrible if we had a shortage of Champagne to celebrate St. Valentine’s Day.”
Sourcing bubbly might be more difficult in 2023 — which is all the more reason to cherish popping a bottle this New Year’s Eve.