Great times for Champagne. An increase of + 3,3% has signed 2015 year in Europe.
Although it is only the seventh ranking buyer of Champagne, Italy is seen by the French as one of those markets where knowledge of the product is well-developed. The refined tastes of Italian consumers lead them to a constant search for high quality labels. The numbers show that 6.3 million bottles of Champagne were sold to Italy in 2015, the third consecutive increase since 2013 (+9.7%), for a value of 130 million euros (+14%).
The Italians prefer the great Champagne houses, which account for 85.4% of the market in volume, followed by small growers and cooperatives, (respectively 11.3% and 3.4% of bottles shipped). The Italian consumer, compared to the average buyer in the EU, chooses more special and prestigious cuvées, amounting to 6.5% of the whole, compared to 2.7%, the average in the EU. The numbers are impressive: 416,000 “cuvée de prestige” generate 27.2 million euros of business, or 20.8% of Italian imports of Champagne. One fact should be noted, though: French exports to Italy are still far from the 2007 levels when they sold more than 10 million bottles of Champagne to their southern neighbor. Overall, the year 2015 was a record for French sparkling wines, which in all sold 4.74 billion euros, up 5.3%. Excluding France, where half of all Champagne is bought (161.8 million bottles, a number constantly falling, when compared to the 185 million of 2010), Great Britain leads as the principal market, buying 34.1 million bottles (+4.5% over 2014), followed by the United States with 20.5 million bottles, up 7.1%.