The economic impact of the COWID-19 pandemic resulted in an 18.8% decrease from the previous year.
31. March – WASHINGTON – The U.S. Champagne Bureau announced today that 20,838,248 bottles of champagne were shipped to the U.S. in 2020, down 18.8 percent from the previous year. Despite a decline in volume, largely due to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the value of these shipments reached more than $572.2 million (€501.9 million) in 2020, the highest of any country outside France. Globally, 17.9% fewer bottles were shipped in 2020 than the previous year, less than the 30% loss originally expected.
credit : Champagne office, USA
Champagne has proven its resilience before and will continue to do so, says Jennifer Hall, director of the Bureau of Champagne, USA. After the Great Recession, the industry recovered and experienced seven consecutive years of growth in champagne shipments to the United States. We believe Champagne will once again prove its strength as the United States continues to recover from the global pandemic.
The champagne industry has already experienced turbulence on a global scale, most recently after the 2008 financial crisis. U.S. shipments fell nearly 27% in 2009. Nevertheless, shipments recovered quickly and the U.S. experienced seven consecutive years of shipment growth between 2012 and 2019, averaging 6.2% per year.
At a virtual press conference*, Hall discussed the latest supply data with Gaëlle Egoroff, director of appellation protection and promotion at the Comité Champagne, which represents 360 houses and 16,100 French champagne producers. Mr. Egoroff noted that the closure of primary consumption and distribution centers, as well as the cancellation of on-site events, are putting pressure on the industry. He noted that the Champagne Committee had taken steps to maintain the economic structure of Champagne and had invented new winemaking practices to meet health requirements.
These included hygiene measures to ensure the safety of the 30,000 permanent workers and the 100,000 seasonal workers who come to Champagne to help with the harvest, including the use of mobile COVID-19 testing equipment in the vineyards. While restaurants and bars have closed, producers have also reinvented the way they market their products, including through virtual trade fairs, e-commerce and social media sales, demonstrating the champagne industry’s ability to adapt to unprecedented constraints.
*The access code for the virtual press conference is 61VfxzF$.
The Champagne Bureau in the United States is the official representative of the Comité Champagne, a trade association representing Champagne growers and houses in France. The Bureau seeks to educate American consumers about the uniqueness of Champagne wines and raise awareness of the need to protect the Champagne name. For more information, see http://www.champagne.com.