Well travelled

De la Giraudière notes that “outlets doing best in the prestige market are the ones welcoming a significative proportion of Asian and South American travellers”.

Lynn Murray, brand manager at Hatch Mansfield, UK agent for Taittinger, says Europe is the most important area for the brand with key hubs in the UK, Scandinaivia, Amsterdam, Madrid and Zurich. “Sales are primarily driven around price promotions on twin packs, with purchases for gifting; consumption on arrival at holiday destination; and discovering something not readily available locally – so it’s a good place to encourage trial on new cuvées,” says Murray. “Supplying the champagne in premium gift boxes is key.”

The fact that a brand such as Bollinger is getting more involved in the travel retail market says a lot about how this sector has become more ‘luxury friendly’, for, as Guy de Rivoire, Bollinger’s global sales director, says: “We are not a promotion-focused brand.” In travel retail, he adds: “Brand recognition is prime, together with visibility, and retailers like bespoke offerings, for instance our Bollinger 007 limited editions. This sector has been growing for us over the past few years, though it still accounts for a small proportion of our volume.

“With the number of international travellers set to grow, we expect to benefit from some further visibility and distribution,” says de Rivoire.

Sales are currently mostly derived from “the UK, mainland Europe, Australia, Dubai & Hong Kong, but we see Australasia and North America as areas of developments for Bollinger”.

The travel retail market for champagne looks set to grow at a faster rate than the overall market, at least in the short term.