Champagne Deutz enjoyed its best-ever year in 2013, surpassing the 2 million bottle sales milestone for the first time.
The brand has now reached an annual sales total of 2.03m bottles having increased sales by 100,000 bottles during 2013.
“It was a great year,” said Philippe Rivet, export director at the Aÿ-based Champagne house, during a discussion with the drinks business last month.
Although Rivet expressed his satisfaction at meeting the 2m “milestone” he said that Deutz hope to continue to grow in sales to reach a 2.3/2.4m bottle total in the “medium term”.
Explaining that the house made a “big investment” two years ago to increase the capacity of its winery and storage facilities, he stressed that Deutz now has the stock and space needed to supply a further 3.5m bottles to its customers worldwide.
“We want to reach 2.3 to 2.4m bottles within the next 2-3 years and we have everything in place,” he told db.
As much as 60% of Deutz’s production is sold in the domestic market, according to Rivet, who described France as “very important for us”, and “stable” in volume.
However, he explained that the house aims to balance domestic sales with exports.
“60% of sales in France is still pretty big, and although a few years ago it represented 70%, our goal is to get to 50%,” he said.
Switzerland is currently the largest export market for Deutz following the appointment of a new importer in the country seven years ago.
Rivet has high hopes for growth in the UK, the brand’s third largest export market after Germany, following the appointment of González Byass as UK distributor from September last year.
Deutz was previously represented by Berkmann Wine Cellars the UK, but this company now handles Champagne Drappier.
“We need to perform better in the UK if we are to reach 2.4m bottles [in global sales],” said Rivet.
Deutz also changed its distibritor in Germany, moving to Smart Wines in October 2012, which, like González Byass UK, is a small exporter which “will bring more focus on the brand,” according to Rivet.
Earlier in 2012 Deutz also altered its US distribution arrangements, and chose to appoint a series of regional distributors in place of Maisons Marques & Domaines USA, which had imported Deutz for the previous 13 years.
“One key to success is the quality of distribution,” Rivet pointed out.
As a result of the move, Deutz is now present in 15 states and enjoyed “slight growth” in the US during 2013, although the brand is “expecting more” this year, particularly now it has appointed a logistics company in Florida to handle all stock for the US market.
Rivet cited Brazil and Hong Kong as further growth markets last year, with the former enjoying a 50% increase in Deutz shipments, while he described Hong Kong, where Deutz is handled by Montrose, as “a good success story for us”.
Looking ahead, he said he believed Deutz “could grow by another 100,000 bottles from the UK, Germany and USA,” over the course of this year.
Meanwhile, Fabrice Rosset, chairman & CEO of Deutz admitted that his aim for the house was 1.8m bottles when he took over the management of the brand in 1996, but has now risen to 2.5m.
“My target used to be 1.8m… but now my target is 2.3 to 2.5m, and the last four bottlings we did were 2.35m.”