Piper-Heidsieck pushes quality

22 March, 2012

Piper-Heidsieck Champagne is setting out to refocus on the prestige of the house – and is prepared to sacrifice retail volumes to do so.

The strategy change came after the house was bought from the Rémy Cointreau Group by luxury brands group EPI, along with unrelated Champagne house Charles Heidsieck, last July.

EPI chief executive Cécile Bonnefond told OLN: “We will try to be less price-oriented than we have been in the past and that will have an impact on volume. That is not my goal, but we will do whatever it takes. 

“We have seen a lot of price promotion in the past and we will be more careful in the future and try to bring more value to our off-trade consumers – they deserve more channel-centred activities. We will be really listening to their needs.

“I hope we will be able to build plans with our customers which will bring them more value, even if it is a bit less volume.”

Piper-Heidsieck aims to shift its distribution from a slight off-trade bias today to 60% on-trade.

“We want to be mainly in the on-trade and in the quality off-trade. It doesn’t mean no supermarkets, it means we want to be in quality supermarkets. We are a brand for the general public, we are not the most selective brand.” 

A key message will be about the quality of the wines, which, with winemaker Régis Camus, have won awards around the world over the past decade.

“We want the world to know that when you see a Piper-Heidsieck label it is just an excellent Champagne – an excellent wine from an absolutely talented winemaker,” said Bonnefond.

Piper Heidsieck is supplied by First Drinks in the UK.

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