Champagne and Problems Bubbling Beneath the Surface: Post-Recession Sales Decline and Growth in Sparkling Wine
According to Pierre-Emmanuel Taittinger, outspoken president of the eponymous champagne house, "Champagne's stiffest competition comes not from other sparkling wines but from Viagra". If there ever was a sentence encapsulating the category’s inherent contradictions, emotional gravitas and effervescent overconfidence, that would be it.
Reality is unfortunately less lyrical. According to Euromonitor International’s latest research, global champagne volumes declined by more than 1% in 2013 – a relative improvement compared to the moribund performance of 2012 but still nowhere near the heady heights of pre-recessionary exuberance. And while an inverse correlation between Viagra sales and champagne is yet to be established, other sparkling wine’s seemingly unstoppable advance is highlighting the dangers of competition coming from Cava and Prosecco rather than pharmaceutical companies.