Experts believe they have finally found the answer as to why French people are drinking less every year.
After ten years of crunching through the data a team of retail scientists have concluded that the reason for tumbling consumer engagement is ‘because 90% of what they have to choose from is French.’
It was, admitted chief researcher, Odd Listing, ‘a deceptively simple answer that had been hiding in plain sight.
‘Or at least behind a row of crap Languedoc reds and cut-price cognac in your local hypermarché.’
Coq et bull
‘Frankly, if the choice is between French products and nothing, we’d rather have nothing,’ said a spokesperson for the consumer group Choice over Quality (COQ).
French shoppers, they added, ‘just want to be like their counterparts in Germany and the UK’ and be able to choose from floor to ceiling Marlborough Sauvignon, Italian Grigio and a dozen expressions of IPA.
‘That this is seen as a step up,’ they said, ‘just gives you some idea of how bad things are.’
C’est pas nous, c’est vous
However the French trade body Boissons d’Origines Francais (BOF), told Fake Booze that they felt the problem lay with consumers, rather than the products themselves.
‘Young people just need to ignore what their palates are telling them and learn how to eulogise drinks with a long history, even if nobody can explain why they became popular in the first place,’ said the group’s president, Pat Riotique.
The current situation, they said, ‘reflected poorly on the tendency of young people to prioritise pleasure over duty’ and was ‘probably the fault of social media or something’.
However, those charges were rejected by youth groups.
‘I couldn’t care less whether chartreuse was invented by monks,’ said Millie Nial-Voter. ‘It tastes rank.
‘Mixing sugar, spirit and half a compost heap might have played well 400 years ago, but let me tell you, it dies on Instagram.’
With no sign of things picking up at home, French trade organisations are relying on a bold new export focus to pick up the slack.
From 2023 onwards, BOF is hoping that a concerted marketing initiative will achieve double-digit growth in Liechtenstein and Armenia as well as ‘unleashing the exciting potential of Somalia’.
‘The collapse of a massive lucrative market and its replacement with a series of piss-ant trade details might sound like a step backwards,’ said BOF’s Pat Riotique, ‘but it’s bold thinking like this that has made Brexit such a huge success for the UK.’
Click here to read how a French supermarket withdrew a range of rosé after finding ‘fragments of flavour’ in the bottle; or here to read how Bordeaux has reclassified its current vintage of wine drinkers as ‘very poor’.