Latest Drinking Trends (June 6, 2003)
The fact that the two most purchased wines across Canada in the white
and red categories are both Australian jives with a worldwide movement
away from traditional wine-drinking habits.
Champagne, the drink the French gave the world, has not been performing
well. Not even on its home turf. Champagne sales are flat and even the
French are turning to less costly sparklers such as Spanish cava or German
Sekt at a quarter of the price. The only market where champagne sales
rose last year was the United Kingdom, thanks to marked-down prices after
the high point of 1999.
Eastern European are now drinking more champagne than the French; the
French are knocking back more Scotch than the British, whose entry-level
drinkers (1824) are more often turning to vodka than to the Scotch
their parents drank.
The biggest growth in the European market is for flavoured alcoholic
beverages (a phenomenon that has yet to take hold on this side of the
Atlantic). Last year the category earned $4.9 billion, up from $1.8 billion