Drinks: Champagne faces competition | STERN.de

Drinks: Champagne faces competition |  STERN.de

Sparkling wine is becoming more popular in France. Instead of champagne, people are increasingly turning to a crémant. A trendy drink also contributed to its rise.

It doesn’t always have to be champagne – in France people are increasingly turning to a crémant instead, whose sales are increasing significantly, unlike those of almost all other wines in the country. Last year, the French sparkling wine recorded a sales increase of 5.7 percent and in the first quarter of 2024 of 6.7 percent, the newspaper “Les Échos” reported, citing data from the market research company Circana IRI.

“Sales broke a new record in 2023 in a difficult situation for the wine industry. This is the third year of growth in a row and a new historic year for the sector,” said the president of the National Crémant Producers Association, Edouard Cassanet, to the newspaper . Meanwhile, sales of champagne are declining, falling by 8.2 percent in 2023 and by around 14 percent since the beginning of the year.

Where is the upswing coming from?

Several reasons are given for the success of the Crémant. In view of inflation and purchasing power problems, sparkling wine is a cheaper alternative to champagne for many people in France. A crémant is available for 10 to 20 euros, while a bottle of champagne costs between 24 and 34 euros on average, depending on the quality.

In addition, the enormous success of the Italian Aperol Spritz has sparked interest in sparkling wine in general, said Cassanet: “Prosecco has multiplied sales of sparkling wine and attracted new customers for the Crémant.” Within five years, sales of Crémant increased by 20 percent to 108 million bottles.

By the way, Germany also contributes to this success story. Almost half of French crémant production is exported, particularly to Denmark, Norway and Germany, as “Les Échos” reported.

More and more winegrowers in France are now reserving a smaller part of their area for the production of Crémant, said the association president. The positive trend for sparkling wine is very convenient for them, as sales of other wines are declining. In the classic wine country of France, people are increasingly drinking beer or avoiding alcohol altogether.

Source: Stern

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