The 350 French and foreign winegrowers present this weekend at the Grand Tasting Paris 2021 - a tasting festival (in moderation) of nearly 2,500 wines or meetings with professionals - should have a broad smile.
Since the arrival of the Covid-19 crisis, the wine market has experienced a new dynamic despite health constraints, climatic events or even the closure of bars or export problems.
In 2020, 25% of French people said they had increased their consumption of spirits.
The share of "heavy consumers", that is to say those who drink once or several times a week had even climbed by nearly 14 points compared to the previous year, according to Thierry Desseauve, wine expert and organizer of the event.
Record sales for champagne
An improvement that continued in 2021. According to a recent survey, 62% of French people say they are interested in the world of wine. During the first half of 2021, sales of wines, spirits and champagne increased by 15% compared to the same period of the previous year. This is particularly the case with champagne. Indeed, after a difficult year 2020 due to the fall in exports with a drop of almost 18% compared to 2019 and a loss of 60% in value. In 2021, the relaxation of health rules was accompanied by a dynamic recovery in this market with even record sales recorded in March (+ 117% between March 2021 and March 2020).
Two major trends explain these developments.
During the first quarter of 2021, the closure of bars and cafes reinforced the increase in purchases in shops but also and especially on online sales platforms which are recording transaction records.
The other is an evolution in consumer tastes.
Now, one in two consumers, ie an increase of 2%, show their preference for “still wines” (which do not form bubbles when opening a bottle).
Next come consumers of beers (39%), champagnes (33%) and cocktails (26%).
According to Thierry Desseauve, consumers seem to prioritize quality and uniqueness.
They are curious about the diversity of wine regions.
With two thirds of consumers sensitive to the labeling of wines, organic continues to grow.
57% of them are ready to pay more for an organic wine and 71% of young people pay attention to labels (an increase of 40 points compared to 2019).