It’s the journey that matters

“People want to take something with them as a reminder of French Art de Vivre, our objective is to be an ambassador [for the country]. While the house of Hennessy has an outlet in Taiwan, in Asia champagne is relatively young and the market underdeveloped. It’s much more European focused,” says De Fontaines-Guillaume.

For the group which boasts the five brands – Moët, Ruinart, Krug, Veuve Clicquot and Dom Pérignon – that she describes as the “jewels of Champagne”, it’s been an action packed summer. It’s launched three cuvées aimed at pushing the boundaries of champagne consumption, two Rich styles from Veuve Clicquot and Moët’s Ice Impérial Rosé, and bursts of activity have been organised around these new wines.

The latter pink style is a partner to white Ice Impérial, which has been specifically promoted in travel retail over the past five years. Targeted locations during the peak summer season include Ibiza, Malaga, Palma, Barcelona, Nice, Sydney, Hong Kong and Singapore.

“Feedback from travellers is excellent, as most of them experienced it in beach bars and clubs and are delighted to find it at the airport to bring it back home,” says De Fontaines-Guillaume. “At the airport, we recreate the atmosphere of a summer beach club with deck-chairs, palm trees and live music. Travellers are invited to discover a perfect serve of Moët Ice Impérial in a large Cabernet glass with three ice cubes. Ice Impérial Rosé was launched this summer in a few selected locations, with very limited quantities, keeping the sense of exclusiveness and the excitement around the Ice Impérial collection.”

It’s a similar story for Clicquot where the rosé style has been introduced to join Veuve Clicquot Rich, first launched in 2015, in domestic and travel retail markets in Paris, London and Sydney. In 2016, Rich has conquered new airports with the launch in Hong Kong and Singapore, while Veuve Clicquot Rich Rosé has been introduced to complete the collection exclusively in travel retail Europe. Although this is a summer campaign, it’s always summer somewhere in the world and De Fontaines-Guillaume makes the point that one of the strengths of travel retail is that sales aren’t heavily slanted towards the last quarter of the year as in so many domestic markets.

While these sweeter styles are specifically designed for summer drinking, more like a cocktail, mainstream brand Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label Brut gets a new travel retail campaign in the shape of the Clicquot Journey, in line with the brand’s usual clever, innovative marketing.

There are 20 city destinations in the Clicquot Journey Collection. The tins, in the shape of an arrow, list the name, be it Amsterdam, Istanbul or Kyoto and give the distance in kilometres from Clicqout HQ in Reims on the box – respectively 351kms, 2,147kms, and 9,504kms, as I’m sure you’d want to know. A very simple but smart idea.


Pernod Ricard, with its GH Mumm and Perrier-Jouët brands, has also been increasingly active in this sector with initiatives including pop-ups designed to bring a sense of theatre to airport outlets. “During the last edition of Design Miami, Perrier-Jouët invited international travellers to discover the Enchanted Garden, a multisensory pop-up space at Miami International airport,” says François Plantecoste, MMPJ business acceleration director. “Travellers were offered the opportunity to buy an exclusive product set with bottles of Grand Brut and Belle Epoque plus two flutes, priced at US$180.

“Offering a full brand experience to consumers with events such as our Perrier-Jouët pop-up store in Sao Paulo or the Mumm Melbourne Cup experience in Sydney boosts customer store penetration and sales.”

For the larger house of Mumm, French domestic sales remain key, but notable successes in the fast-growing Australian market, helped by sponsorship of the Melbourne Cup and F1 (until very recently), have seen that become the brand’s first export destination. “Within the top 10 champagne houses, Mumm is the fastest-growing in Australia,” says Plantecoste. “And globally, our two brands are the fastest growing, gaining 0.4% market share, according to IWSR 2015 figures.”