Laurent Reinteau – Keep it simple

CUTTING DOWN

Once the new UK distributor was in place, Reinteau began work on the next stage in the Jacquart story. This came with a range revision and repackage, which was unveiled for the first time at last month’s London International Wine Fair. As a result, Jacquart’s Mosaïque range (pictured overleaf) now comprises just four Champagnes – a brut NV, rosé NV, blanc de blancs (vintage) and extra brut – to simplify the offer and focus on the most commercial cuvées. However, the range-topping Brut de Nominée has survived the cull. “With this new brand platform we are concentrating on developing sales in the on-premise, especially in the UK, because historically Jacquart was more for the off-premise in the UK [when distributed by PLB],” he explains.

Once broader on-trade distribution is in place, Reinteau says Jacquart will “start investing in the brand image as well”. This will focus on bringing the trade and consumer’s attention to two key aspects of the Champagne. “The first is about true pleasure and authenticity,” he begins. “We can explain to our customers all the secrets of the product from the beginning to the end because we control 100% of the process, from the growing of the grapes to the winemaking.” Continuing, he says: “Jacquart is the winegrowers’ brand, which is why we can talk about true pleasure.

“The second part,” he adds, “is about good wine, good design at the right price. It is not about bling, not about ostentation, but it is about hedonism.”

While transparency is important, so is simplicity to the new Jacquart. “We need one message,” he states, and, referring to the aforementioned range revision, he stresses, “while we used to have 19 different products – with a different range for the on- and off-trade – now there are five.”

With the previous situation, Reinteau asks rhetorically, “If we were running an ad campaign, which label would we put in it?” He also says that the new look “builds on the existing strengths of the brand”, and retains the logo with its allegorical figure of fame (La Renommée) riding her winged horse Pegasus.

Then there’s a new winemaker, Floriane Eznack, who, like Reinteau, comes from Veuve Clicquot, and took up the role in May this year. She is currently looking after winemaking as well as wine communication, although Reinteau says there will be no change to the style of Jacquart, which is driven by a high proportion of Chardonnay – it accounts for 35-40% of the blend.

With these changes now in place, Reinteau is hoping to expand the amount of Jacquart sold internationally. “Fifty-five percent of Jacquart’s total sales are in exports, but the target is to take that to two-thirds,” he states. The core business is France, the UK and Germany, but Reinteau has also selected a list of “strategic markets where we will over-invest to increase the development of the brand”. These include the US, Hong Kong and Switzerland, as well as, but of lesser importance, China, Canada, Brazil and Spain.

Explaining this approach, he says: “If you look at per capita consumption in France or Belgium, it is one to three bottles of Champagne per year, but in the US, it is a glass, in Brazil it’s even less, and as for China… no comment.” Building a presence in emerging markets now, however, is important for Jacquart, because “it’s less costly than waiting and going in when the markets are mature”.

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