With absolutely nothing to pop the bubbly over during the coronavirus pandemic, Champagne sales are fizzling out.
The widespread closure of restaurants and bars — not to mention cancelled events such as weddings, bar mitzvahs and sporting occasions — are causing the bottom to fall out of the market.
Despite other types of booze seeing a potentially dangerous amount of popularity during lockdown, global Champagne sales are forecast to fall by a third — the equivalent of 100 million bottles — in 2020, Champagne producers group CIVC told Reuters.
Lost revenue could total more than 1.7 billion euros ($1.9 billion) this year, and the slump shows no sign of reversing.
“When someone loses a job or someone dies in his family, they don’t want to celebrate, so we’ll certainly see that risk hitting us for several years,” CIVC co-chairman Maxime Toubart said.
The estimates are based on a staggering 75 % drop in April and May. CIVC predicted sales would remain below average until the end of the year, the festive holidays making little difference.
Toubart’s co-chairman Jean-Marie Bariellère said the organization hopes the situation will improve when “hotels, cafes and restaurants reopen and people return to a more normal and more optimistic life.”
But, he added, “It’s hard to say how fast that happens. We are preparing for difficult times ahead.”