Could Brexit Be to Blame For Declining Champagne Sales?

© Miguel Medina / Getty Images

By Jillian Kramer Posted March 20, 2017

The industry thinks so.

Pop the champagne—or not, depending on where you live. Champagne sales have tumbled around the world and especially in the United Kingdom, thanks—at least in part—to Brexit.

ICYMI, the U.K. voted in June last year to leave the European Union. The British pound took a nose dive, and just one consequence has been a lower demand for bubbly, experts say.

As a nation, the U.K. is the biggest buyer for champagne in the world. But according to the Comité Interprofessionnel du Vin de Champagne (the CIVC), which is France's main champagne industry body, the U.K.'s demand for the bubbly beverage has dropped by 8.7 percent—or a whopping 31.2 million bottles—since Brexit, Reuters reports. Financially, that's a 440 million Euro—or 381.16 million pound—hit to the industry.

Around the globe, champagne sales fell too, the CIVC says. They're down by 2.1 percent, or 306 million bottles, last year. It's unclear whether Brexit can be blamed for this drop, too.

This isn't the first time the CIVC has pointed the finger at the U.K.'s heavily-debated exit as the reason for declining champagne sales, however. In January, its general director, Vincent Perrin, told the crowd gathered at the weekend festival Saint Vincent de l'Archiconférie the sales drop in the U.K was almost entirely due to Brexit. At that time, Perrin said France had its second largest champagne turnover ever, with its third lowest volume sold in 10 years.

In good news—for the champagne industry, anyway—sales are up in the United States, the second largest market for bubbly, according to Reuters. In fact, exports to the U.S. rose by 6.3. percent by volume and 4.9 percent by value last year, the news wire reports.

Sales to Asia and even some other European countries have also grown in the last year, the CIVC says, which has helped keep bubbly market bubbling, if you will.

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