BRICS: The Future of Champagne?
Estella Shardlow explains why emerging economies look set to become the lifeblood of the luxury Champagne trade
Forget about Bordeaux. Emerging economies are catching onto the charms of prestige cuvées and look set to become the lifeblood of the luxury Champagne trade. But with rising costs of production and reduced spending power in traditional bases, the road ahead will be far from easy for the Champenois.
Global Champagne sales in 2011 managed to scrape into positive figures with a 1% rise, most of which was driven by a surge in appreciation and sales from BRICs countries. Within LVMH’s wine and spirits portfolio, it was solely markets outside Europe and the US that generated actual revenue growth in 2011. Whilst in the UK – historically the biggest export market for Champagne – year-on-year sales moved towards decline.
The Asia Pacific region once again confirmed its significant role in Champagne consumption, as import rates to Russia and China in 2010 grew 89.9% and 87.6% respectively. Whilst the Chinese interest in Bordeaux and Burgundy has been well established with astronomical auction prices, for the first time the region is developing a substantial appetite for Champagne. In Mainland China, young, urban consumers are increasingly choosing sparkling in bars and nightclubs.