Australia imported the second largest number of bottles of champagne in its history last year, according to the Comité Champagne who made the announcement at Prowien, Germany.
Data from the Comité Interprofessionnel du Vin de Champagne shows Australia ranking as the seventh largest Champagne market globally, and fifth largest per head of population. 7.4 million bottles landed in the country in 2016, just shy of the all-time record of 8.1 million the previous year.
However, these figures show the first drop in Australia’s Champagne consumption since the global financial crisis in 2009.
Tyson Stelzer, author of The Champagne Guide and host of the Taste Champagne event series, said the 2016 figures are fitting to Australia’s growth curve.
“Australia’s 2016 Champagne sales could hardly be considered as a decline. An exceptional sales record in 2015 was an anomaly, and 2016 figures perfectly fit Australia’s buoyant growth curve, popping an average of 600,000 more bottles every year since 2009,” said Stelzer.
The small decline was also reflected globally, with 306.1 million bottles of Champagne sold last year compared to 312.5 million bottles in 2015.
Despite the decline in volume of sales, the average value per bottle of Champagne rose globally by 1.5 per cent in 2016.Comité Champagne Communications Director Thibaut Le Mailloux said consumers are choosing more prestigious brands amid an increase of diversification of cuvèes.
“The diversification of cuvées is continuing in 2016. 8.6 per cent more bottles of Champagne rosé have been shipped than in the previous year, and prestige cuvées show an increase of 4.6 per cent. Champagne consumers turn to ever rarer and more prestigious cuvées,” said Le Mailloux.
Australia missed this trend, maintaining the same average bottle price as in 2015.
“Of Champagne’s top ten markets, Australia ranks lowest in proportion of rosé consumed, lowest in grower Champagne and second-lowest in prestige Champagne,” Stelzer revealed.
“Our per bottle spend remains one of the lowest in the world.”
Source: Statistics compiled by Tyson Stelzer from data supplied by the Comité Interprofessionnel du Vin de Champagne