Champagne sales hit record high thanks to foreigners

Champagne sales hit record high thanks to foreigners
Sales of Champagne hit €4.75 billion last year but it's not just the French who clearly have cause to celebrate.

Champagne set a new sales record of €4.75 billion ($5.29 billion) last year thanks to growing overseas thirst for French bubbly, the industry said on Wednesday.

The figure was up 5.6 percent from 2014.

Sales to non-EU countries were up 4.8 percent, totalling a record 70.5 million bottles with a higher average price per bottle because of transport costs.

“These faraway markets are prepared to pay the right price for a product that represents the French art of living to them,” Thibaut Le Mailloux of the Comite Interprofessionnel du Vin de Champagne (CIVC) told AFP.

In fact, these buyers are typically drawn to “rarer, more expensive” lots such as rose, vintage and prestige champagnes, he said.

A total of 312.5 million bottles were shipped in 2015 compared with 307.2 million in 2014, for a 1.7 percent increase.

Unsurprisingly, December was once again the bubbliest month with 42 million bottles sold.

The year 2007 retains the record for sales volume, at 339 million bottles, but their total value was €4.56 billion.

CIVC co-president Jean-Marie Barillere said in December that value was likely to continue to grow faster than volume “in the decades to come”.

Sales within France stayed level with 2014 at 162 million bottles after several consecutive years of declining sales.

For Europe, sales were up 3.3 percent at 80.2 million bottles, continuing an upward trend seen last year.

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