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Champagne Sales Surge in Austerity-HitGreece

Champagne consumption in Greece jumped by almost a fifth last year, making the troubled country the world\'s fastest growing market for bubbly.

Published: 26th June 2015 08:12 AM  |   Last Updated: 26th June 2015 08:12 AM   |  A+A-

LONDON: Champagne consumption in Greece jumped by almost a fifth last year, making the troubled country the world's fastest growing market for bubbly.

Greece's champagne sales by volume increased by 18pc in 2014, compared to the global growth of 0.5pc, according to data from Euromonitor International.

Consumption in the sparkling wine's home country of France dropped by 1.9pc, while sales in the UK, champagne's second biggest market, crept up by just 0.4pc.

The disparity was even stronger in 2013, when Greek champagne consumption soared by 56pc while dropping by 0.8pc, 3.4pc and 0.5pc in the world, France and the UK, respectively.

The relative size of the markets goes some way to explaining the vastly different growth rates.

"It's not that all the Greeks in the last couple of years decided to go party and forget their troubles," said Spiros Malandrakis, alcoholic drinks analyst at Euromonitor. "In general, we're talking about minimal volumes in total. Champagne consumption is still lower than before the crisis."

Around 300,000 litres of champagne were drunk in Greece last year, a fraction of the size of France's 107.2?m and even the UK's 20.4?m.

Nonetheless, the champagne market in Greece is growing rapidly.

"It does appear to be a shocking figure," said Mr Malandrakis, adding it would be almost entirely based on the country's tourism influx, particularly to popular islands such as Mykonos and Santorini.

"More tourists are coming in the country, but they are also higher end tourists," he said. About 24m people visited Greece in 2014, a second consecutive record year for the country of 11m, which relies on tourism for roughly one sixth of its economy.



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