January 19th, 2009
Champagne and sparking wines left smoking craters in cash registers during the 2008 holiday season.
Data from Information Resources Inc, covering the four week period ending January 4, 2009, show domestic sparklers falling by almost 15 percent and imports plummeting nearly 27 percent over the same period a year ago.
- Holiday 2009 Champagne sales plummet - click image to enlarge
LOSERS AT EVERY PRICE POINT
There were no price point winners for the 2008 holidays, just some who didn't crash as violently.
Not surprisingly, bottles costing more than $18 fared the worst, declining up to 33 percent over the 2007 holiday period.
By contrast, sparklers in the $13 to $17.99 category performed best -- losing only 12.5 percent over 2007 -- as holiday celebrants traded down for special occasions. The lowest-priced bottle -- those selling for under $7.99, followed closely behind.
HARSH TIMES FOR MAJOR PLAYERS
The world's largest producers sustained staggering declines:
- France down 33 percent
- Italy down percent 23.6
- Spain down percent 15.8
SMALL BRIGHT SPOTS
Smaller producers offered some faint bright spots in the overall sales picture. Israel, Argentina and South Africa posted large gains on relatively small dollar sales while Chile maintained its 2007 levels.
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