Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.

Nicolas Feuillatte pinpoints no/low as key rival for Champagne

Published:  27 January, 2020

Nicolas Feuillatte has pinpointed the burgeoning no/low category as a key rival for the Champagne market going forward.

Commenting on the prospering UK sparkling wine industry, Christophe Juarez, MD of Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte, told Harpers: “I don't see English sparkling wine as a rival, rather, I think it opens new opportunities for sparkling wine and that can only be a good thing.

“I am much more worried about the evolution of no/low alcohol, new beverages which are in a way very difficult to work with for Champagne,” he said.

"As a Champagne producer you don’t have any opportunity or solution in this area - there is nothing we can do and it is a huge question mark”, he added.

“I think that we have to be very careful and invest a lot in communication about what’s going on, what’s the strengths of an alcoholic product, what it's all about, and also to understand which category we are playing with.”

Meanwhile, Nicolas Feuillatte is also continuing to work hard on growing its on-trade share of the market, said Juarez.

“When we started our UK on-trade push we pretty much started from scratch and its only been just over a year so its still early stages, very much work in progress but our strategy is still to establish Nicolas Feuillatte in the on-trade."

As part of this strategy, the company acquired Champagne Henri Abelé in June, which sells about 300,000 bottles exclusively on-trade through specialised and traditional channels.

With no further acquisitions in the pipeline - “we want to succeed with Henri Abelé and also be more aggressive with Nicolas Feuillatte around the world” - the plan was to relaunch the Henri Abelé brand next year, said Juarez.

“We want to retool everything from scratch so we will be looking at the wines, the brand name, the design of the packaging - the plan is to do exactly the same exercise as we have done with Nicolas Feuillatte.”

In the UK off-trade, he said the Champagne brand was “just about back to where we were” in terms of sales before the Brexit referendum in 2016.

“When the referendum came we lost a lot of ground with the price of Nicolas Feuillatte increasing about 20% as a result of the ratio between the euro and the pound, but we are slowly recovering.”