Moet Hennessy Numbers Reveal Champagne Slump Continues
There are not a lot of corks popping around the world right now. One of the most popular brands of champagne is feeling a big hit. Decanter reports that Moët Hennessy Champagne sales were down 35 percent in the first three months of this year. The company owns many of the biggest brands in the category such as Moët & Chandon, Veuve Clicquot, Ruinart, Mercier and Krug. Revenues from its Champagne and still wine business fell 22 percent in the first quarter.
Consumers are ordering less champagne and so retailers and restaurants are trimming their orders to meet demand. Official shipment figures from the Comité Interprofessionnel du Vin de Champagne show a 34 percent drop in volumes in the first two months of 2009 with shipments to other countries in the EU down 47 percent and exports to other countries outside the EU down 42 percent. Rumors continue to circulate about the possibility that LVMH may sell Moët Hennessy to Diageo.
These latest results are part of an overall champagne slowdown that has brought bad news for a variety of brands. France's wine industry has struggled over the past few years but champagne has remained high. Some are calling for a cut in production of the 2009 vintage in order to accommodate a market that has not reached its bottom yet and may not for some time to come.