Aussie drinkers consumed bubbly in record numbers in 2011

Aussies tipped back champagne in record numbers last year. — Aussies tipped back champagne in record numbers last year. —

According to an industry update out of Vinexpo this month, champagne sales in Australia reached record levels in 2011 amidst a strong Australian dollar, weakened euro and a turbulent European economy. Vinexpo is one of the biggest trade events in the wine industry, alternating between France and Hong Kong.

Over the Christmas holidays, for example, Woolworths, the leading Australian distributor of alcoholic beverages, reported an increase of champagne sales by 30 per cent.

The biggest reason? What used to be a luxury item has become affordable to the average Aussie consumer, with US$100 (RM311)now able to buy two bottles of bubbly.

Meanwhile, French champagne house Moet Hennessy projected that sales of champagne would rise 15 per cent in 2011, as they did in 2010 despite the slump in consumer spending, said company spokesman Boris de Vroomen in an interview with The Australian last fall.

Moet Hennessy controls an estimated 40 per cent of the champagne market in Australia, followed by Veuve Clicquot, which holds 18 pe rcent market share.

Champagne makers may be eyeing Australia for growth, but the fastest-growing emerging markets continue to be China and Brazil. —



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