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The future market of Champagne for the next ten years
This report highlights the current issues and pressures that the Champagne industry is facing. It highlights the supply chain,
independent review s, trendsand analyses and how they are linked to economic grow th and emerging markets. As a result, it
has been established that the supply chain and new emerging markets w illplay a large role in the future of Champagne.
Porter’s five forcesand the SWOT analysis technique w ere used as a test.
Champagne w as created by French monks, w ho were the first to bottle this sparkling formof w ine. The method of making
"mousse" (another name for bubbles) in a bottle w as invented by the efforts of Frère Jean Oudart (1654 – 1742) and Dom
Pierre Pérignon (1639 – 1715), Benedictine monks and cellar masters at the respective abbeys of Saint-Pierre aux Monts de
Châlons and Saint-Pierre d’Hautvillers (Bellis, 2014).
Champagne is a sparkling w ine produced fromgrapes grown in the Champagne region of France. All sparkling w ine needs to
be produced/manufactured fromthe region follow ing specificrules and demands of the Comité Interprofessionneldu Vin de
Champagne (CIVC) w hich includes a second fermentation of the w ine in the bottle to create carbonation. The term Champagne
is used under the rules of appellation. Champagne is traditionally made fromthree types of grape; Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier &
Champagne appellation law s only allow grapesgrownin specifically designated plots to be used in the production of
The Comité Interprofessionneldu Vin de Champagne (CIVC) is a semi-public body set up under the aegis of the French
Government to co-ordinate the common interests of wine growers and producers in Champagne (the region in France). Among
its key duties are the promotion and protection of the Champagne appellation around the w orld.
The report highlights the challenges the industry faces and potentialoutcome for the next ten years.
Champagne has experienced rapid industrialisation since the 1840s w ith over 21 million bottles sold, 80% of w hich have been
sold abroad (Jones 2013). How ever, 2011 saw a decline in sales of Champagne in Western Europe, and a further drop from
1% total volume decline to 2% in 2012. This dow nturn is due to the financialcarnage of the recession, despite other sparkling
w ines such as Cava and Prosecco experiencing an increased market share of 2% total value grow th forWestern Europe in
2012 and more than 6% in North America (Malandrakis, 2012).
Prosecco had been the drink of choice during times of financialausterity, but w as overtaken by Champagne for the latter half of
2013. The United Kingdom has traditionally been one of the highest importers of Champagne and 2014 is set to see a return to
form. Jean Francois Clouet, a French Champagne producer, said: “A combination of a high quality w ine with an exceptionally
high yield in 2010/2011, coupled w ith the UK economy gaining more strength means Champagne producers are forecasting a
UK export grow thof 36% in the coming year” (Stamford, 2014).
Euromonitor state that the latest research points out that the industry’s optimising for growth is unfounded and that global
Champagne volumes have actually declined by 0.4%. This serves as the first of the w arningssigns for the state of the economy
in Europe and America w here the problemlies (Malandrakis, 2013).
The Eurozone crisis has significantly impacted the Champagne market, w hich saw worldwide year on year shipments slump to
6.5% in the first half of 2012. How ever there is no forecasted economic rebound for the Champagne market before 2014 or
2015. Champagne is a reliable indication of the economy as changes in consumption are a direct measure of the economic
crisis (as seen in the Eurozone). The question of how long the crisis w illlast is therefore important - the 2008 recession was
reasonably short due to Asia propping up the w orld economy. The long term prospects of Champagne w illdepend on its ability
to adapt to future crises (Charters 2013).
The recovery since 2012 in the US has been a surprise to the Champenois, as a rise in shipments w as not predicted due to the
economic crisis. The surprise w asdue to ongoing economic challenges in the country, providing hope for Western Europe.
There is a feeling that that consumers are fed up w ith austerity, and therefore, based on these challenges, the question over
w hether brands are changing their global strategy due to new markets, both general (such as Asia) and specific (such as China
and Australia), remains potent (Woodard, 2012).
Uncertainty means that global investors may become pickier due to seeing emerging markets as a cluster rather than a single
asset class. The investments w illonly be made in countries that adopt reform, dismantle state monopolies and oligopolies,
boost corporate governance and allow the private sector to flourish - countries such as Mexico have proven this already. JP
Morgan’s Aserkoff advised that countries where the states actively interveneon how businessis controlled w illhave an impact
on investment. An example of this is Brazil, a country w here private enterprise is being hindered, a trait w hich can be identified
in a lot of Latin American countries in the emerging markets.
Countries are stifled by bureaucracy, with countries like India that have a paralysed government, looming elections, and an
oftentimes hostile attitude to foreign business. When comparing this to China, w here Premier Li Keqiang insists on greater
economic diversification and more consumption, less state-led investment is a positive sign. How ever, this raises alarmbells
w hen considering the city of Beijing, w here the recent mini-stimulus plan handed a capital boost to export-geared state firms.
China is actively seeking further stimulus, yet investment has only been made due to emerging markets showing good signs of
grow th. Asa result, can emerging markets process the reformneeded to sustain this trend? (Wilson, 2013)
Emerging markets, fromfrontier African states to the largest and most pow erfulof the Brics’(Brazil, Russia, India, China, and
South Africa) grouping of nations, have flourished in post-communismtimes. Despite this, no real action has been taken to
assist business growth over state interests by slashing bureaucracy and corruption or resolving currency crises. Now that
recovery is taking place in the US and Western Europe, emerging markets w illneed to address the political contentions or
global funds w illcease the developments (Wilson, 2013).
How ever, investments in these emerging markets have seen currencies increase, but this is now changing due to the recovery
of economic crises in the US according to Brazilian Finance Minister Guido Mantega, w ho assertsthat there is a currency war
taking place. “This means investors are selling emerging market currencies. Rising currencies were making these new markets
uncompetive” (Walker, 2014). This has to be balanced w ith countries that have inflation problems w hich willbe aggravated by a
falling currency, because it makes imported goods more expensive.
The effects on currency on these markets w illleave a large numbers of borrowersinsolvent if their incomes and assets are in
local currency. More generally, emerging countries are thought to be more economically resilient than they used to be. Many
w eathered the global financialcrisis relatively w ell (Walker, 2014). “Despite the currency issuescountries like Brazil, despite the
high taxes of around 150% the economic boom and inherent culture of w ine drinking and appreciation has not slow ed markets
dow n,” according to Deutz’s Export Director Philippe Rivet. “Other areas such as Colombia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Egypt and
Turkey, have had exceptionalgrow th - South Korea in particular is booming.” according to Chairman of Laurent-Perrier Michel
Boulaire (Schmitt, 2013).
The countries w here we willsee continued grow thover the coming years w illbe the US, Japan and Australia. How ever, the
grow th drivesthe future as well, especially in China, India, Russia, South America and severalAfrican countries. The conquest
of these markets w illtake time and effort to position the Champagne and attract consumers. Japan and Australia have driven
grow th in 2012 for a third consecutive year (13.8 % in Japan to 9.1 million bottles and 11.2 % in Australia to 5.4 million bottles)
a cumulative gain of 1.6 million bottles (CIVC, Appendix 3). The global landscape is changing, w ith surging growthin the Middle
East & Africa and ‘surprising’markets emerging. A direct correlation exists between Champagne sales grow th and realGDP –
in fact, Champagne is predicting real GDP. Assuming that things do not take a turn for the w orst, the highest growth markets
are as follow s:
6. Sw itzerland
10. Brazil (Jones, Malandrakis, Fallow field & Peretti, 2012).
One of the countries that should be a focus is Nigeria, based on emerging w ealth fromoil. Asia Pacific is of course a major
target for the future as w ell, comparing Fig 1 & Fig 2 on the reality of grow th.
There is a clear message that to grow and maintain market share in the Champagne industry, suppliers and retailers need to
move to emerging markets w ith consumers with disposal income, credit availability and improving living standards (Moran,
2013). How ever, that does not give Champagne suppliers and retailers the guarantee, as despite the Japanese economy
returning to positive grow th in 2012 w ith GDP going up 2%, setting the ideal market backdrop for luxury goods like Champagne,
consumers remain price conscious on luxury good spending (2013).
Global w arming is seen as a positive in the industry by CIVC’S Environmental Manager Arnaud Descotes, w ith the CIVC having
identified a continued frequency of vintage Champagne (a Champagne harvest producing high quality Champagne). The
average temperature is projected to climb 1.5 to 2.5 degrees celsius over the next 50 years — tw o of the region’s main grape
varieties may produce entirely different wines in coming years. This could change the game significantly due to grape types and
narrow temperature band for idealgrow th and fullbodied taste. This may also affect also the ability of vines to produce
acceptable grapes (Donner, 2011).
Exports have tripled in the past 20 years w hich posesa problemfor northern France, w here the bubbly hails fromnot enough
grapes (Gumbel, 2008). The Champagne market is almost at its planting limit and the plan to extend the region w illtake several
years before harvests can make Champagne. The extension of boundaries is seen as a necessity for “value growth”. The
maximising of value (value perceived in high quality Champagne) is a focus over the production quantity as grape costs are
becoming more significant proportion of the cost per bottle according to L’Anson. The focus willbe to position the quality in
prestigious markets. It still needs to be developed due to some believing that it has reached its production ceiling (Britner,
The grape price has given grow ersmore bargaining pow er due to the supply chain w holesales (retailers, Champagne glass
suppliers). Given the retail price, and the actualgrow ing costs, if the price of grapes is high, the grow ersget a large part of the
profits (Flanders & Thiry, 2006). What has increased the concerns is that exports have tripled in the past 20 years and this
poses a problem for northern France, w here the bubbly hails from not enough grapes (Gumbel 2008).
Despite its challenges the CIVC is forbidden under EUlaw to fix grape prices and now that Champagne appellation is
now fullyplanted to vines, prices will continue to creep up (Richard Woodard 2012). The cost of a bottle of
Champagne due to the high grape costs per kilo having an impact on profitabilityfor those engaged with low prices
competitive retailersin the UK, French and German market in particular. Thissituation is not like to improve until at
least 2020 or even possibly2025. This is due to the first wines from the Champagnes revised and expanded
appellation which will come on stream. The has caused uncertaintybut there is talk of further consolidationas the
cost of buying grapes and financing stock will continue to increase without necessary equivalent price rises to
consumer market. This willbe most apparent in the Christmasseason with painful discountsto consumers. The
champenois would like to change this perception bysoftening the Champagnes seasonalitybyspreading the
Champagnes geographic reach acrossdifferent countriesand culturesthat don’t buyso seasonal (Woodard, 2012).
There is a new focusto safeguard the uniqueness of Champagne and improve the average quality of production stated by the
managing director of Mum Perrier-Jouët (Woodard, 2012). These changes need to take place to compete against other
sparkling w ines. Champagne has seen losses over the last couple of years due to the financialcrisis, but in spite of this other
sparkling w ines continue advancing, proving that they are evolutionary, adaptable and hence perfectly positioned to take
advantage of the financial situation.
Other sparkling w ines posted more than 2% total volume grow th in Western Europe in 2012 and more than 6% in North
America - affordable and casual Cavas and Prosecco and Champagne (Malandrakis, 2013). Champagne Houses are looking to
break aw ay fromtraditionalmarkets and some are already reaping the rew ards with the opening of w ineries in Nigeria and
China, as w ellas India. Moet Hennessy is already targeting young, urban and aspirational drinkers exciting them w ith local
produce sparkling w ine w ith the intention that that they w illmigrate to Champagne w hile maintaining loyalty to an umbrella
A renew ed focuson the drinking ritual and the ceremony around the serve, a re-discoveryof half-forgotten and rather theatrical
Champagne protocols like the ‘art of sabrage’is now becoming a focus, a daring experimentation w ith sweeterstylesor special
servings like the proposed addition of citrus zest for Lanson’s White Label are only some of the key initiatives that w illinform
the category’s future direction. Untraditionalmarket for Champagne like African markets such as Nigeria - highlighted by
Euromonitor International years ago - are on their w ay to becoming a priority target as the European economy’s disposition
remains uncertain. Traditional Champagne w illremain the category’s key attributes but adding a bit of playfulness,
experimentation and innovation to the mix w illbe vital for retaining its relevance.
There are still challenges ahead, but Champagne can navigate them provided it diversifies both its offerings and regionalfocus
(Malandrakis, 2013). The industry has already seen new markets developing w ith Brazilannouncing its registering and
recognition of the trademark of Champagne. This registration w illallow the regionaltrademark of Champagne to benefit from
full protection on Brazilian territory fromall unauthorized use of the name, label, or other derived terms (Lechevalier, 2012).
Brazil thus joins a number of countries like China, India, Australia, or South Africa, who now recognize and protect the
Champagne regional trademark (Lechevalier, 2012). These areas are classified as new found spending powersand upmarket
Champagne goes hand in hand w ith consumption (2012).
There are more dynamic sales trends w ith US resurgent and Japan w ith Australia becoming the new rising stars. The
economies of Asia and greater China (w ith a small base of Champagne customers) are exciting markets w hich are currently
offsetting declines in other developed markets. The recovery and growth willcome in 2015 w here shipments could break
through the Euro billion revenue barrier for the first time (Woodard, 2012). The idea to develop these markets w ill to be to
innovate by bringing ideas like low er ABV (alcoholstrength)seasonalflavours, varying bottle pressure and smaller formats.
This w illallow different needs of globalmarkets to be addressed. Non-vintage Champagne w illprobably remain the focus of
shipments, how ever Champagne Houses w illlisten carefully over the next 200 years to understand national differences but
keep authenticity and craftsmanship to the same high standards (Jones, Malandrakis, Fallow field & Peretti, 2012).
Figure 1 results suggest that the greatest grow th is likely to come from India and China. These tw o countries show the lowest
alcohol market share for Champagne and sparkling w ine of the 17 territories surveyed, at 0.4 and 0.7 per cent. Researchers
have pointed out that these markets could possibly quadruple to a possible 2.3/3.2 percent if there w ere no barriers to market.
The US and UK markets could also double to 9.1 and 6.5 percent respectively as these markets are now seeing Champagne
as a non-celebratory drinkand more a lifestyle drink. This research is based on TNS’ conversionalmodel tool - it evaluates the
tw o criticalfactors affecting brand choice: powerin the mind - w hich is how people feelabout a brand, and pow er in the market
- w hich is influenced by factorslike price and availability (Chahal, 2012).
Champagne Houses are luring more drinkers by using endorsements fromlocalcelebrities, sponsorship of exclusive parties,
and even iPhone apps to educate consumers on w hat some vintners callthe "protocols of Champagne." Mumm, ow ned by
Pernod, holds tastings w here consumers learn how to choose and serve Champagne (Fletcher & Lin, 2013). The huge grow th
in the emerging markets can be linked to the economic grow th of those regions and the taste for brands that might not have
been available. Hugues Le Marié, Americas and Western Europe regional director of Champagnes at Pernod Ricard, explains
how Champagne is seen as an aspirationalproduct and is associated w ith success (Chahal, 2012).
Based on the information and evidence above, the biggest impact on the five forces over the last tw o years is as follows;
Existing competitive rivalry betweensuppliers
Farmers are now becoming more efficient in supplying Champagne directly to retailers. We also see Champagne Houses
targeting new markets and the same countries.
Threat of newmarketentrants
Prosecco and other sparkling w ines like Cava have entered the Champagne market w hen countries sufferfromrecessions.
Evidence has show n that this is very short lived as once economies recover consumersrevertbackto Champagne. Market
entrance is hard due to the high appellation standards fromthe CIVC and having to ow n a Champagne house in the region.
Bargaining power of buyers
Retail stores and supply chains have been selling Champagne as a lost leader to bring customers into store. This has affected
Champagne brand for exclusivity.
Power of suppliers
As the market is expanding, the appellation of Champagne is limited to the region, Grape grow ersare demanding more for the
price of grapes. This is affecting the ability of Champagne houses to maintain profits. Long term issues around future profits are
concerning if the new markets (consumers) don’t adopt the Champagne taste or exclusivity.
Threat of substitute products (includingtechnology change)
Due to climate change, the taste of Champagne may change in the years ahead. This may move consumers to sparkling w ine
or Cavas w hich taste similar. Alternative products like Cava and Prosecco may have been seen by consumers as suitable
products, but evidence has shown when economies are on the up, so are Champagne sales.
Research has been carried out both fromthe CIVC w ho facilitate and protect the Champagne industry, professionals fromthe
drinks industry, suppliers, critics and economic specialists. Data has been captured and compared to provide a balanced view .
The reason for the review wasbased on presentations fromCIVC, Louie Roder, Tatinger, and Nicholas Fuette about the new
revised areas for growing Champagne due to shortage demands. I w anted to investigate w hat wasdriving this demand, and
therefore Michael Porter’s 1979 Five Forces tool w as used to investigate the pressuresof the market. Due to the CIVC
involvement, political and economic review shad to be taken into account. I w anted to understand the rationale for entering new
markets, as w ellas w hat evidence this wasbased on. Porter’s tool w as used, as this is based on a more deliberate strategy
compared to Henry Mintzberg’s, w hich looks at a more changing market. As the new markets are unpredictable at this stage
and there is no pattern set as yet, in my opinion Michaels Porter’s tool seemed more relevant.
The Champagne market and its customers are evolving w ith new continentstaking to the exclusivity and luxury of Champagne.
There is overwhelming pressure on producersto make higher quality and quantities of Champagne. New market segments are
a must to protect future revenues for producers as it can be identified that existing markets are slow ing down and the
dependency on these markets is too high. How ever, economics and politics play a large part of the developing of these
markets. Below in the SWOT analysis outlines the landscape of the current market and some of the current challenges;
It is apparent that the future of Champagne is evolving, despite the loss of 2% market share to other substitutes like Cava and
Prosecco in Western Europe and 6% in North America (Woodard, 2012). It highlights that consumers are still w illing to drink
bubbly w ine but are happy to change, subject to their budget and the state of the economy around them. Now that an economic
recovery is starting to take place in 2014, the question that w ould need to be asked is w hether consumersare happy to change
back to Champagne after tasting Cava and Prosecco despite the forecast of sales increasing this year (Stamford, 2014).
The optimism fromChampagne Houses may be too high, but leaves doubt over w hat the repercussionsmay be. There is still
clarity needed around this optimism, as this may be speculation to keep confidence high in the market. It is also apparent that
the economic recovery willtake time (Charters, 2013) and that this confidence is unsupported. A feeling that consumers are fed
up w ith austerity (Woodard, 2012) does not support the recoveryof growth forecasted for Western Europe. Therefore, based on
economic recovery, is investment into new markets justified?
There is definitely evidence to support this w ith growth in countries like Brazil, despite the 150% tax on imports, show ing that
w ine drinking and appreciation has not slow ed markets dow n (Schmitt, 2013). Equally, exports have tripled in the past 20 years
(Gumbel, 2008). The question over how Champagne Houses can deal w ith such pressure with planting limits and the plan to
extend the region means that it w illtake severalyears before harvestscan make Champagne (Britner, 2013).
Global w arming may help w ith making better quality Champagne (Donner, 2011), yet the yield w illremain the same. It is
unclear how these markets w illbe sustainable and w ho is best to invest in w ith so much uncertainty w hen investments from
financialinstitutes w illonly be made in emerging market countries that adopt reform(Wilson, 2013) - and even so, this may be
limited subject to the economic crisis in the US and Western Europe continuing (Walker, 2014).
The focus should be more on the price of grapes, w hich is impacting the w holesale price, and how to reduce the cost of
grow ing the grapes (Gumbel, 2008). As w ellas this, attention should be paid as to how to manage the grow ing demand, as this
controls the pow er of the grape growers. The future price of grapes is likely to continue increasing, and if focus is not made in
this area the price of grapes w illcontinue to ascend, as price fixing of grapes is prohibited by the European Commission
(Woodard, 2012). This w ill affect the long term profitability of Champagne Houses and therefore asks the question: are price
rises for consumers likely to increase?
The outcome of the analyses may have been different if consumers were surveyed on their thoughts, and raises the possibility
of a further investigation into economic environment, and w hether there is evidence for any association with luxury spending
and Champagne being linked. By using a resource-based view, it becomes prudent to question w hether the outcome may have
been different, despite perhaps not being sustainable (Barney, 1991).
The future for the Champagne industry is facing uncertainty with pressure to keep quality high w ith the ever-growing demand of
countries w ith economic growth looking for luxury and exclusivity. Asmuch as the industry has gone through saturation in
current markets over the last year, and the economic crises in the United States and Western Europe are ongoing, Champagne
w illstill remain in high demand.
What is evident is that Champagne prices w illincrease over the next 10 years, and as emerging markets mature, the need for
higher quality Champagne w illincrease putting more pressure on the price of grapes and driving the price higher despite the
new appellation area to expand grow ing regions. The analysis states that emerging markets w illbe invested in by Champagne
Houses, even though there is an element of riskin terms of w hich countries willdo so. This points to a need for more analysis
on the economic state of countries over the next 10 years so that a long term strategy in terms of entrance to market and
sustained presence can be formed.
Not only is an economic analysis needed, but a political analysis as w ell, particularly in regard to currency fluctuation and
barriers to entry. Over the next 10 years the Champagne industry needs to plan to protect against the effectsof an economic
crisis in order to protect its future revenues, as wellas w orking with the CIVC to develop a more balanced approach in
conjunction w ith w ine growers who willcontinue to increase their pow er as a supplier due to the price of grapes. Further
investigation is needed to develop how more higher quality grapes can be produced w ithin the region.
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