Many people often ask me; “It is a real cava trend right now isn’t’ it? I just see cava every where.”. I have to totally agree with them. I have these last years seen a steady trend here in Sweden and also experienced the same on social media. The interest for cava is growing, but I also think that with my own focus I tend to notice cava more since I’m already interested, and so does the people who ask me this question. But there are facts that support that there is actually a cava trend. Just look at all the restaurants that have started to serve cava by the glass and even advertise it outside. There are also specialized cava bars or “cava inspired bars”, that are popping up all over Europe. Even on the island Gotland outside Sweden’s east cost in a very small village called Ljugarn, you can find a very good one. So yes, cava is absolutely growing when it comes to popularity and trendiness. But this development has been going on for quite some time.
In 2000 a total of 196,7 million bottles of Cava were produced, of which 50 percent were consumed within Spain. In 2013 there were 241,4 million bottles produced. Not only has the production grown with almost 23 percent during this period, the consumption has also shifted. Now 66 percent is exported and enjoyed by us living outside Spain.
The biggest cava lovers, if we look at volume sold, are found in Germany, followed by the UK, Belgium and the US. Sweden holds place number ten, which I must say is quite good with barley 10 million people. Divided on the population Swedes drink about 0,3 bottles of cava annually, while the Germans who are the biggest importers drink half a bottle of cava per person a year. So maybe the love is not that much bigger in Germany than in Sweden… they are just more people.
Looking at statistics from Consejo Regulador del cava, one interesting thing is to see what type of cava we drink. Almost nine out of ten bottles of cava sold (and I presume consumed), fall in to the category of young cava, that is aged for a minimum of nine months. Only ten percent is aged for more than fifteen months and the production of Gran Reserva (aged minimum 30 months) is only two percent. So it is not strange that most people have an image of cava as young, uncomplicated and rather cheep.
On top of this the statistics show that importing countries don’t really like the really dry cavas, since almost half the bottles we buy are Brut, and 49% is Seco or Semi-Seco!
One might conclude that when it comes to cava outside Spain, what most people drink is approximately half a bottle of very young semi sweet cava a year… and on top of everything they then compare it with champagne! I rest my case.