2005 champagne sales sparkle, especially in UK

7th February 2006, Comments 0 comments

REIMS, France, Feb 6, 2006 (AFP) - French champagne growers had a sparkling year in 2005, selling more than 300 million bottles of the bubbling nectar and recording a two percent rise in sales, their professional body reported Monday.

REIMS, France, Feb 6, 2006 (AFP) - French champagne growers had a sparkling year in 2005, selling more than 300 million bottles of the bubbling nectar and recording a two percent rise in sales, their professional body reported Monday.

"This success delights us, the more so since the greatest progress was seen in export markets with high added value, such as southern Europe," Daniel Lorson of the trade organisation the CIVC told AFP.

In all 307.5 million bottles of fizz were sold, with the Asian market also growing strongly.

Most champagne (58 percent of sales) vanishes down French throats but "little by little we are arriving at a balance between France and export," said Lorson.

"The further you get from France, the greater the progress," Lorson said pointing to Australia and Japan where sales had risen by 24 percent. "We sold the Australians more than two million bottles, which is a lot for a population of only 20 million inhabitants."

The British remain champion swiggers of the famous fluid of north-eastern France and gulped 13 percent more than in 2004.

"The English adore us, it's fabulous, with them champagne is almost a social phenomenon," bubbled Lorson.

Britons put away as much champagne as the residents of the United States and Germany, the silver and bronze medallists in foreign consumption, combined.

In growth markets China bought 25 percent more and India doubled purchases, though quantities remained modest. Russia forked out for only half a million bottles but growers are encouraged by the ostentation with which President Vladimir Putin's fellow-citizens quaff their product.

"We could be up to the million bottles sold in a few years," said Lorson.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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