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Champagne sales set to fizz

CONSUMPTION OF champagne is set to rise by a fifth next year as revellers celebrate the end of the millennium. According to Datamonitor, the market research group, demand for champagne is set to jump by 22 per cent in the UK, Germany, France and the US in 1999, with sales of sparkling wine also rising sharply.

The report raises the prospect of a champagne shortage, with demand possibly exceeding the 320 million bottles which are available around the world. By comparison, however, growth in the demand for beer and next year wine is expected to be relatively modest.