COVID-restrictions in Spain pushed cava wine sales down as much as 40% sales, early projections suggest.
The early closure of bars and restaurants as well as limits on travel across much of the country meant that the country’s €1.2 billion cava wine sector is drying up.
Brands like Freixenet and Codorniu have been hit hard as shipments of cava according to Cava Regulatory Board Chairman Javier Page.
Shipments of the fizz, mainly made in the northeastern Catalonia region, fell 10.5% in January-September from a year ago.
Cava Regulatory Board Chairman Javier Pages said there was a bigger drop in domestic consumption than abroad, with sales to Britain, Sweden and Holland remaining steady over the year, despite the pandemic.
Over a nine month period overseas consumption of cava dropped just 7% in comparison with a 13% dip at home.
But manufactures are optimistic that the festive season will provide a boost in sales of the alcoholic drink.
Damia Deas, chairman of AECAVA business group representing 90% of the sector’s revenue and manager of the Vilarnau brand, in May forecast sales could fall between 25% and 40% in 2020 from the 250 million bottles shipped in 2019.
He said : “No doubt, it’s a terrible year…We had prepared for the worst but our sector has been able to resist a bit better than we thought thanks to exports.”
The present craze for prosecco is probably responsible for some of the drop in cava sales. After all, booze consumption has risen in lockdown, no reason not to drink fizz at home. Personally, I’d prefer a lovely Brut cava over sweetish prosecco any day.