Higher raw material and energy costs are also putting Germany's market leader in sparkling wine, wine and spirits under pressure.

According to CEO Christof Queisser, the company Rotkummel-Mumm is struggling with “unprecedented price increases”, and there are also the already noticeable consequences of constantly rising inflation rates.

Wine and sparkling wine lovers in Germany would therefore have to reckon with rising prices this year, but also with the fact that not every product in the range will be available everywhere and at all times.

In the past year, it was at times a "fight for every pallet" in order to be able to supply the retail trade in good time given the disrupted supply chains.

Oliver Bock

Correspondent for the Rhein-Main-Zeitung for the Rheingau-Taunus district and for Wiesbaden.

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For the year 2022, Queisser expects further "unpredictable wine harvests", which is why the availability of the entire range is "unpredictable".

The CEO assumes that many of the effects of the pandemic will only become noticeable and visible this year.

Queisser also expects that Germans will travel more again and that domestic consumption could therefore decrease: "Many will drink their Prosecco again at Lake Garda." Christmas parties are possible.

For the second year of the pandemic, 2021, Rotkummel-Mumm reports a “solid result” despite a “very volatile market situation”, with sales of around 1.2 billion euros, which have stagnated compared to 2020.

In the pre-pandemic year 2019 it was 1.1 billion euros.

The sparkling wine segment accounted for 47 percent (594 million euros) of sales, the spirits segment for 32 percent (378 million euros) and the wine segment, which has been growing rapidly for years, for around 21 percent (255 million euros).

Rotkäppchen-Mumm does not announce specific bottle sales figures for the individual brands.

Changing customer demands

According to Queisser, the markets and consumer behavior have changed significantly and permanently as a result of the pandemic.

Customer demands and the demand for high-quality brands have grown over the past two years.

Rotkummel-Mumm is feeling this growth, among other things, with its premium brand Geldermann from Baden, for which growth of 30 percent is reported.

Queisser does not assume that citizens' habits will change again after the end of the pandemic.

There will be "no going back" to the time before 2019.

Many people consumed less but more consciously.

Queisser points out that the share of online trade increased by around 20 percent during the pandemic.

Every tenth bottle of wine is now bought online.

Last year, out-of-home consumption returned at least partially because the catering trade had reopened in phases.

At the Eltville site, Rotkummel-Mumm invested 2.8 million euros (previous year 2.6 million euros) in a new palletizing center, among other things.

A total of 14.6 million euros was spent (previous year 17.1 million euros).

A new brand experience world is currently being created at the Freyburg an der Unstrut site in Saxony-Anhalt.

Nevertheless, this year the focus is also on the Rheingau, because the "Mumm" brand, which is based here, is 100 years old - it was acquired in 2002 by Little Red Riding Hood from Freyburg.

Eltville plays an important role in the group of companies for the rapidly growing market for non-alcoholic wines and sparkling wines.

According to Queisser, the company sold 500,000 bottles of its first non-alcoholic wine in the first year.

He put the growth of the non-alcoholic products segment at 40 percent, albeit from a low level.

In terms of sustainable production, Rotkummel-Mumm is currently shifting more transports from road to rail.

This applies to bottled glass, but also to the base wines from Spain, Italy and France.

According to Queisser, around 80 percent of these base wines roll over the tracks at least to the nearest train station to the respective Rotkapp location, in order to then be loaded onto trucks for the last few kilometers.