From passed trays of champagne to glittering champagne towers, the iconic bubbly beverage has always been the quintessential symbol of celebration for weddings, gatherings, and occasions of every kind. Undoubtedly, this stems back to the strategic marketing of the early twentieth century, depicting the luxurious lifestyle of revelry and merriment... always with a glass of champagne in hand, of course. The Roaring 20's established champagne and celebration as synonymous. Here we are, exactly one century later and this sparkling libation has stood the test of time, still representing the image it has created.
Unfortunately, for the region of Champagne, France, everything came to a screeching halt this year with the onset of COVID and the restrictions of gatherings that came along with it. In a matter of just a few months, sales of champagne plummeted by nearly 1/3, these losses totaling around $2 billion. “We are experiencing a crisis that we evaluate to be even worse than the Great Depression (of 1929)," said Thibaut Le Mailloux of the CIVC. The CIVC is the organization that represents over 16,000 winemakers and regulates decisions involving the production and trade of Champagne. Recognizing the severity of the problem, they will be initiating unprecedented damage-limitation measures in order to avoid excess production that would inevitably cause bottle prices to plummet, and worse, destroy the status of champagne as a whole. It is likely that the CIVC will impose a cap so strict that record quantities of grapes will be destroyed or sold at discounted prices for uses other than champagne. Anselme Selosse, of Jacques Selosse, said it is “an insult to nature" that Champagne's prestigious grapes might even be redirected to manufacture alcohol for sanitizer.
There must be a pivot in the world of champagne as far as marketing goes. Assuming the effects of COVID last beyond the foreseeable future, it would be in Champagne's best interest to explore additional advertisement tactics other than solely being the drink of gatherings. The idea that champagne could be a weeknight wine, enjoyed at home with a good meal, in addition to maintaining its place as a drink of celebration, would help to solve the crisis of the drastic loss of sales. This of course is where I'd like to think We Drink Bubbles can come in to help. The culture of our company has always been to pause to enjoy the small moments of life with a glass of champagne. Whether it's making it through a busy work day, hopping on a zoom call with a friend, or just because, there are too many times we forget to celebrate the present moment, whatever it may be. We can all be a part of helping resurrect Champagne from this unexpected catastrophe by reaching for a bottle of champagne a little more often. Join me in my #CampaignForChampagne by highlighting when you pop some bubbly by sharing with friends on social media, in person, or digital meetups. Hashtag "CampaignForChampagne" and help spread the inspiration of opening a bottle of champagne weekly! Cheers and drink up!
Read more on the crisis in Champagne, France from NBC News HERE.