Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Luxury Brand Moët Hennessy Moves Into Direct-to-Consumer Sales

The original headline was "Luxury Champagne Brand..." but I've never thought of Moët as luxe, a good serviceable wine but like Cordon Rouge, the booze you break out when your guest list is a hundred or more couples. But that's probably just me.

From Yahoo Finance:

Anu Rao, Moët Hennessy USA VP of Communications, talks about the French parent company's move into DTC sales, champagne sales as the new year approaches, and the best way to enjoy a glass of bubbly.

Video Transcript

ADAM SHAPIRO: There is no better way to tell the people you love, whether they be family or friends, especially on New Year's Eve, than with a fine bottle of French champagne. And among the best champagnes out there, Moé. Moet, excuse me. I always pronounce it incorrectly.

We want to bring Anu Rao in right now, Moet Hennessy's USA vice president. It's good to have you here. Vice president of communication. And when we talk about Moet, Americans, when we talk about champagne, there is something special about having French champagne on New Year's Eve. But now we're having all these headlines about, you can't get French champagne. That's just not the case. Or are you seeing big demand for it this year?

ANU RAO: Oh my gosh. Well, first of all, thank you for having me. Love being here talking champagne. Now, listen, I mean, I think every industry, as we know, is having some challenges with supply, et cetera. But no, there is an absolute demand, and there's, of course, the opportunity to go get a wonderful French champagne. There's nothing like that pop of the bottle to signify the 2022 year coming in, which I think everyone is just waiting to start a positive new year next year.

So yeah, no, absolutely go out and get your Moet, or your Veuve Clicquot. You can trade up to some Krug or some Ruinart. These are all products that are readily available. So yeah, absolutely, Adam. I hope you're doing all right.

ADAM SHAPIRO: Within your brand household, isn't Dom Perignon-- I won't pronounce that correctly. I speak Spanish, not French. Isn't that one of the offerings? Although I don't know if I have the budget for it.

ANU RAO: Absolutely. Dom Perignon is fantastic. It is one of our best. It is aged anywhere from eight to 10 years. It's fantastic. And we actually just launched a wonderful site called Our Cellar, which is a site that is literally opening our cellars to people to get our products directly from the maker. So check it out. You can even customize some of our bottles for your friends and family. It's a wonderful thing for the holiday season. But yeah, Dom Perignon is absolutely one of our shining stars, for sure.

ADAM SHAPIRO: So walk me through. Help us understand, those of us who aspire to patrician palates, but have plebeian wallets. What's the good starting brand if we don't know champagne?

ANU RAO: This is a great question. We have products for, truthfully, every wallet and price point. You know, we have a wonderful California sparkling wine called Chandon, which is fantastic. We just launched a new product, the Chandon Garden Spritz, which is a spritz in a bottle. And essentially, that's a $20 bottle of sparkling wine, and it's absolutely fantastic. Made with the same traditions and methods as the rest of our champagnes, just made in California.

And then we've got Moet. If you're really looking to pop up that bottle of Moet on a New Year's Eve, but don't have the budget, there's the minis, which are absolutely fantastic. They're beautiful. They have two glasses of bubbly in them, and you can get that for your friends and yourself. So there's many different options within the portfolio, from a sparkling, bubbly perspective.

ADAM SHAPIRO: Do you find that those of us in the States are more inclined to go to a California sparkling wine? It's not champagne. It's the same kind of drink, but you can't call it champagne. Or do we really have that bias for the original French stuff?

ANU RAO: You know, honestly, I think when it comes to New Year's Eve, I'm going to have to say I think we have that bias. And I think we just want to go for that celebratory, wonderful, special night to really celebrate the year. And like I said, toast the new year. And those French bottles are super popular, and just are a wonderful way to really do that....


Oh, I see. The headline was referring to all the LVMH brands not just the Moët & Chandon.

As to Ms Rao, she seems a quintessential champagne salesperson: bubbly and moving into the upsell to Krug and Ruinart by the end of the first paragraph.

A word of explanation for my borderline supercilious tone. From a 2014 post, Alternative Investments With Liquidity: "Fine Wines, Best Value":

When I was a young hotshot I decided I would sample every representative wine of one type or another.

I had decided on Bordeaux and told a very connected sommelier/procurer of my intent. He advised I definitely not go with Bordeaux as I "would have cirrhosis before I was a quarter of the way through" the 1500 wineries, each with multiple labels. Even if I limited the experiment to certain châteaux, the multitude of vintages would probably mean I'd end as just another poor alcoholic with an educated palate.
So we decided on the Champagne instead.

Anyone serious about this stuff should probably read "'Dimson et al: "The impact of aging on wine prices and the performance of wine as a long-term investment'" wherein, as a special bonus I recount the sommelier's favorite wine joke. (you've probably heard it but it is so bad it's good)

Thanks to that sommelier I have managed to avoid turning my liver into a very expensive wine-infused foie gras.