In France, the price of champagne has skyrocketed, leading to a reduction in sales of the sparkling beverage of 20% this year, according to a report by BFM Business TV channel.

A liter of champagne is presently selling for an average price of about €30 ($32), which has led French consumers to trade down to cheaper alternatives such as Alsace cremant and prosecco, which cost about one fifth the price of a bottle of champagne.

Dominique Schelcher, CEO of retail cooperative Systeme U, said in an interview, “Champagne is going through tough times because it’s too expensive for many French people. Other sparkling wines, such as Cremant d’Alsace, are on the rise.”

Earlier in the year, the Champagne Committee in France issued a forecast which predicted that champagne production, which sat at 138.4 million bottles in 2022, would fall by about 6% to 130 million bottles by 2023.

The committee also predicted that this year would see a dramatic decline in production, as inflation would mix with a declining trend, following record demand which was seen due to the pandemic over the past two years.

Assuming the pattern seen over the previous 11 months continues for the next few weeks, there could be a 110 million bottle decline in champagne sales over the 2023 sales period, which would mark the lowest level in years.

In France, inflation has been particularly damaging to consumer’s pocketbooks, with food and energy exhibiting the worst price increases, as inflation peaked in February at 6.3% after steadily rising since the end of 2020. Even as inflation has eased in recent months, coming in at 3.4% in November, the price of food has continued to rise.

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