The United States has become the biggest export market for Champagne by volume, with the nation now consuming more bottles than the UK for the first time in history. Champagne shipments to the US shot up by 62% from 2020 to 2021, placing the U.S. second behind France among worldwide consumers of the sparkling wine, according to Comité Champagne’s year-end estimates. The domestic market drinks around 44% of all Champagne produced.
The US imported 34 million bottles in 2021, which was up 62% on 2020’s total of 21m – when the effect of the pandemic on sales was being most acutely felt. “This recovery is a welcome surprise for the people of Champagne after a troubled 2020 (with figures down by 18%) impacted by the closure of main points of consumption and the shortage of celebratory events across the world,” Maxime Toubart, president of the Syndicat général des vignerons and co-president of the Comité Champagne, said in a press release.
This promotion to top spot for the US concerns shipments by bottle specifically, with the US already holding first place in terms of sales by value. Meanwhile, shipments of Champagne within France reached 140m bottles for the year-end, up 25% on 2020 – a figure that was the same as 2019.
Champagne shipments to the US (2012-2021)
- 2021: 34m bottles
- 2020: 21m bottles
- 2019: 26m bottles
- 2018: 24m bottles
- 2017: 23m bottles
- 2016: 22m bottles
- 2015: 21m bottles
- 2014: 19m bottles
- 2013: 18m bottles
- 2012: 18m bottles
Earlier this month, Louis Roederer unveiled its latest vintage of Cristal, which hails from 2014. According to chef de caves Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon, it was a “year of clear extremes.”