Cheese and wine events



World sparkling wine situation in 2018





In the last twenty years, the sparkling wine market has expanded in response to high global demand. One of the factors behind the global success of sparkling wines is the deseasonalisation of consumption (which is not linked to end-of-year celebrations or parties anymore) combined with a more diversified supply characterised by a broader range of prices than in the past. Nowadays, consumption of sparkling wines tends to be more regular, as an aperitif or used to make cocktails and includes a larger share of consumers.



Sparkling wine production


In 2018 the world sparkling wine production reached for the first time 20 mhl, with an overall increase of +57% since 2002 (i.e. +3% per year on average).


While before the economic crisis of 2008 sparkling wine used to represent about 5% of global wine production, in more recent years it reached an average weight of 7%, with a record-high 8% in 2017.


the production of sparkling wine is highly concentrated. Almost half of the total volume produced in 2018 comes from Italy (27%) and France (22%) and the top 5 producing countries account for 80% of the global sparkling wine production.


The production of sparkling wines is distributed all over the world. However, the highest concentration of producers is within the European Union. In fact, since 2000 the EU has represented between 70 and 80% of the world production volume.


Italy is the world’s largest producing country since 2016. Italian sparkling wine production in 2018 is 5.3 mhl, about 10% of its total wine production. Since 2008 the production volume of Italian sparkling wines has more than doubled, recording an average annual growth rate of 9%. This substantial increase has been mainly driven by high demand for both closed tank sparkling wines (Prosecco production includes Prosecco (80%) and Conegliano-Valdobbiadene (20%); the latter is the new designation of origin of Prosecco, which is only produced in a specific area in the Veneto region and, although to a lesser extent, bottlefermented wines (e.g. Franciacorta and Trento). Out of the total national production volume of sparkling wine, Prosecco alone represents 66%.


France is the second-largest producer of sparkling wines with 4.4 mhl in 2018, a value in line with the average registered over the last 15 years


Champagne is the first sparkling wine produced in the country with 2.7 mhl produced in 2018. In recent years, other sparkling wines known as “crémant” have increased their market share. It is the case of Crémant d’Alsace, Crémant de Bourgogne, Crémant de Loire, and Crémant de Bordeaux whose 2018 production volumes were equal to 310 khl, 232 khl, 185 khl, and 67 khl respectively.


In third place in 2018, there is Germany with a lower-than-average production of about 2.8 mhl (whereas the average of the last twenty years is more than 3 mhl). Among all producing countries, Germany is the one with the largest share of sparkling wine in national wine production (28% in 2018).


In 2018 production of sparkling wine in Spain amounts to 2.1 mhl. Since 2000, this category of wine has almost doubled its production volume, recording an average annual growth rate of 4%. Cava is by far the most produced sparkling wine in the country and represents 52% of the total volume produced in 2018.


The only large producing country outside the EU is the USA, where the sparkling wine production (1.3 mhl in 2018) has flourished since 2008, with an average annual growth rate of 4%. The largest share of sparkling wines comes from the Napa Valley, where the production volume in 2018 was equal to 1 mhl (i.e. 77% of the national total).


Although the production of sparkling wines remains concentrated in a few countries, new producing countries are emerging in recent years. These countries have registered significant increases in their sparkling wine production over the period 2008-2018. In order of the average annual growth rate, we find the UK (+33%/year), Portugal (+18%/year), Brazil (+7%/year), and Australia (+3%/year). It is also worth noting that in the UK sparkling wines represent more than 70% of the total domestic wine production


Sparkling wine production 18





From the beginning of this century, the global consumption of sparkling wines has significantly increased. Over the period 2002-2018, demand for sparkling wine has been rising consistently, with the only exception of the biennium 2009-2010 when the global economic crisis negatively impacted sparkling wine sales. The steady growth path recorded since then - with an average annual growth rate of 3% - culminated in 2018 when global sparkling wine consumption reached 19 mhl. In terms of the relative weight of sparkling wines in overall wine consumption, while in 2002 it was at 5%, in 2018 sparkling wines represent 8% of total wine consumption.



In 2018, five countries - Germany, France, USA, Russia, and Italy - represent 62% of global sparkling wine consumption.


Germany is the first country in terms of sparkling wine consumption in 2018 with 3.2 mhl. White sekt is the domestic sparkling wine most consumed in the country.


France is the second country in terms of consumption with 2.6 mhl in 2018, a value slightly below the average observed in the last twenty years. The most consumed sparkling wine is Champagne, with 147 million bottles sold in France in 2018.


The USA registered a significant growth in the period 2008-2018 with an average annual growth rate of 7%, reaching in 2018 a consumption volume of 2.6 mhl.


In 2018, Russia registered a sparkling wine consumption of about 1.6 mhl. Overall, imports represent 30% of the total volumes consumed.


Italy is the fifth consumer in the world, with 1.6 mhl consumed in 2018. Since the 2008 crisis, the internal demand has been increasing at a fast pace of about 5.5% per year. The first sparkling wine consumed in the country is Prosecco, which accounts for about half of total consumption.


It is worth noting the rapid expansion of the UK market, which registered on average +7% per year since 2008. The UK is the sixth country in terms of consumption in 2018 with 1.5 mhl.


The share of the six largest consuming countries has declined from 76% in 2008 to 70% in 2018. Over the same period the part of consumption represented by “other countries” has increased by 1.7 mhl. This variation can be attributed, to a large extent, to the rise in the consumption of the emerging sparkling wine consuming countries.


Considering the average annual growth since 2008, the top-ranking is: Mexico (+13%), Sweden (+11%), Canada (+8%), Brazil (+8%), Japan (+5%), Australia (5%), Switzerland (4%) and Argentina (3%).


Sparkling wine consumption 2018



Sparkling wine world trade


The international trade of sparkling wine has intensified since the end of the last century. It has steadily increased both in volume and in value, with the only exception of 2009 when the economic crisis heavily impacted international markets. Since then, the volume of internationally traded sparkling wine has almost doubled, with an average annual growth rate of +6%.


In 2018 the volume of global exports was 8.9 mhl, which represents 9% of total wine exported worldwide. In terms of value, the growth since 2009 is even more substantial, with an average of +8% every year. In 2018 the total value of sparkling wine exports reached a record-high 6.2 bn EUR, which represents 20% of the overall value of wine exported.


Volume and value indexes (set equal to 100 in 2002) show not only the significant growth of sparkling wine trade but also the different impact of the economic crisis on volume and value. While the crisis has sharply hit premium sparkling wines, which explains the sharp decline in value in 2009, at the same time, it favoured the entrance in the international markets of lowerend sparkling wines, which has mitigated the adverse effects of the crisis on volumes. Since then, both trade volume and value have risen at a similar pace.


By looking at the evolution of average export prices at world level, we can observe different behaviours when comparing sparkling and bottled still wines.


Sparkling wines have prices growing significantly in the pre-crisis period, reaching in 2007 up to EUR/l. A sharp price decline was measured between 2007 and 2009, when demand for “premium” and “ultra-premium” sparkling wines fell considerably, thus opening the doors of the export market to “lower-end” sparkling wines. Export prices started to grow again in the period 2010- 2012 and have stabilised at around 7 EUR/l since then.


On the other hand, average export prices of bottled still wines recorded a more stable evolution. In 2018 the average export price per unit of still wines was 4 EUR/l, almost double than at the beginning of years 2000s.



Sparkling wine exports


The export market is highly concentrated, with three countries - Italy, France, and Spain – representing 85% of world sparkling wine exports in 2018. It is worth noting that the weight of these three countries in the world total has been increasing consistently since 2008 (when their share was about 79%).


With 3.9 mhl exported in 2018 (i.e. 73% of its national production), Italy alone accounts for 43% of the world sparkling wine export market. Since 2002, the exported volume of Italian sparkling wine has registered an average growth rate of more than +10% per year. Behind this boom is Prosecco, that in 2018 represents 65% of Italian sparkling wine exports. Main destinations were the UK, the USA and Germany. In terms of value, sparkling wine exports in 2018 were worth 1.5 bn EUR, i.e. 25% of global export value. France is the second exporter in terms of volume at 1.9 mhl in 2018, with Champagne alone accounting for 1.1 mhl.


Exports represent about 43% of total national sparkling production, thus confirming the important role played by the strong internal demand. Export volume has been increasing consistently since the beginning of the century (with the only exception of the biennium 2008- 2009 when the economic crisis hit hard on the demand of Champagne). However, while France used to represent about 33% of the total exported volumes worldwide at the beginning of the 2000s, in 2018 the weight of French export is about 21%. Main export destinations in 2018 were the USA, the UK, and Singapore. In terms of value,


France still represents 52% of the global export value with 3 bn EUR, although in 2003 this share was about 70%.


Spain in 2018 is the third-largest exporter just behind France, with 1.8 mhl. Unlike France the great majority of Spanish sparkling wine produced is sold abroad (88% in 2018). Since 2002 Spain more than doubled the volume of its exports, a growth driven by the rise in demand of Cava that reached 1.2 mhl of exports in 2018.


The main destinations for 2018 were the USA, Germany, and Belgium.


In 2018 Spanish exports are worth 0.5 bn EUR, i.e. 7% of global value.


As highlighted above, high market concentration does not leave much space for other countries in the global export market. It is worth noting, however, that

Germany holds the 4th place in terms of volume (0.3 mhl in 2018) and 5th place in terms of value (128 m EUR in 2018). Also, an important role is played by re-export platforms such as Lithuania (5th in volume in 2018 with 0.1 mhl) and Singapore (4th in value in 2018 with 329 m EUR).


Exports Sparkling wine by value and volume



Sparkling wine imports


In 2018, more than half of the bottles of sparkling wine exported were shipped to the 5 world-largest importers: the UK (1.4 mhl), the USA (1.4 mhl), Germany (0.7 mhl), Belgium (0.4 mhl), and Russia (0.4 mhl). Among the top five importers, the USA, Russia, and the UK recorded the highest average annual growth rate over the period 2008-2018, with 11%, 7%, and 6%, respectively.


In terms of value in 2018, the USA is the largest importer (with 1112 m EUR), followed by the UK (723 m EUR), Japan (523 m EUR), Germany (425 m EUR), and Singapore (308 m EUR). Since 2008 the USA and Japan have recorded significant growth with an average of +9% and +7% per year.


Top 10 importers of sparkling wine by value


Top 10 importers of sparkling wine by volume


Abbreviations: l - liters, hl - hectoliters, khl - thousand hectoliters, mhl - million hectoliters, m - million, bn - billion, EUR: euros


Source OIV

April 2019



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