Impact Databank: Spanish Sparklers Bubble Up In The U.S.April 6, 2022
After higher tariffs disrupted shipments from Spain and other European nations in 2020, U.S. imports of Cava wine rose by 40% last year, reaching a new all-time high of 1.98 million cases, according to the Consejo Regulador del Cava. Total Spanish sparkling wine exports to the U.S. rose even faster in 2021, up 45% to 2.99 million cases overall—according to Impact Databank—after the tariffs were lifted.
Cava lagged the growth of Champagne last year, but in spite of global economic difficulties resulting from the pandemic, Cava outperformed Prosecco and other Italian sparkling wines in the U.S. Exports comprised 71% of worldwide Cava volumes in 2021, and the U.S. trails only Germany among all international markets. In the U.S. and in most nations across the globe, sales of Cava last year were back to above pre-pandemic levels, according to Impact Databank. Exports from the Cava region were greater than any other Denomination of Origin wine from Spain in 2021, including Rioja.
Organically-made wines were a key factor in Cava’s gains last year, as nearly 10% of all Cava produced was organic—with an impressive growth of over 65% compared to 2020. Last year, over 9% of Cava volume in the U.S was classified as Guarda Superior, according to Impact Databank, and current regulations stipulate that all Guarda Superior Cava be 100% organic by 2025.
Freixenet Mionetto USA leads the Cava category in the U.S. with its flagship Freixenet label and Segura Viudas. The latter posted a double-digit increase last year, as did Pernod Ricard’s Campo Viejo, as well as two sparkling wine brands from CIV USA—Opera Prima and Jaume Serra Cristalino.
Sparkling wines from Spain generally have a sweet spot of between $10 and $15 a 750-ml. at retail, and face pressure not just from higher-priced Champagne and Prosecco, but also from cheaper alternatives. The return to the on-premise and continued recovery from the pandemic may allow Cava and other Spanish sparkling wines to hold their own against competitors from all origins and price levels this year.—Juan Banaag
|U.S.—Top Five Spanish Sparkling Wine Brands
(thousands of 9-liter case depletions)
|1||Freixenet||Freixenet Mionetto USA||559||582||4.1%|
|2||Opera Prima||CIV USA Inc.||190||358||88.4%|
|3||Segura Viudas||Freixenet Mionetto USA||224||250||11.6%|
|4||Jaume Serra Cristalino||CIV USA Inc.||150||186||24.0%|
|5||Campo Viejo||Pernod Ricard USA||108||155||44.1%|
|Total Top Five2||1,231||1,531||24.4%|
|1 Based on unrounded data.
2 Addition of columns may not agree due to rounding.
Source: IMPACT DATABANK © 2022