The decline in sales during the 2017 Christmas campaign generated an excess of stocks that wineries had to absorb in 2018.
The cava sector has admitted that the campaign for the boycott against Catalan products that spread in late 2017 had its effects on sales and punished its activity. The Regulatory Council of Cava specified that due to the boycott, a reduction was generated from Christmas sales with the consequent excess of stock, which forced the expeditions to be reduced by 12.1% during the past year.
The president of the regulatory body, Xavier Pagés, downplayed this fall – which he attributed to “turbulence” by wanting to avoid the word “boycott” – because “despite the decline, he said, the consumption of cava in Spain last year grew by volume with a slight increase of 0.3% ». In addition, he stressed that so far in 2019 the trend has already been reversed and the data for the first quarter show an increase of 10.5% in global shipments and 33.4% in those destined for the internal market.
Pagés influenced, even more, the fact that the cava sold in the whole of Spain highlights its value because the premium brands made the turnover grow by 2.9%. “The cava is still ‘premixing'”, said Pagés and stressed that this is one of the objectives of the Regulatory Council: improve quality, and especially in the Spanish market is where the ‘premium’ products are more developed and represent 25 % of the total, while in the foreign market it is 7%.
In 2018, the DO Cava produced a total of 244 million bottles in 2018 (being the best recorded fourth year), 3.2% less than the previous year, worth 1,146.8 million euros (0.2 % less), and exported 165 million bottles, 1.8% more than last year and with a value of 4.3% higher.
As for foreign markets, 131 million bottles were sold from the DO Cava, with an annual increase of 1.8% and 4.3% in value. Of the total, 47.1% concentrated in the countries of the European Union, the main markets being Belgium and Germany. They are followed by the United States and the United Kingdom, although the latter registered a significant decline. According to Pagés, it is important to note that in just 10 years the cava has increased its sales abroad by more than 25%.
Coinciding with the presentation of the annual data, the Regulatory Council made a definition of the strategic plan designed to consolidate and increase its position as one of the most important Denominations of Origin in the world. The future goes, according to Pagés, to improve the segmentation of sparkling wines and to create a system to identify new areas and sub-zones of origin with a traceability guarantee, for which the regulatory body will leave the wineries free.