Champagne Rothschild aims for 30% growth in China

Champagne Barons de Rothschild is aiming for 30% sales growth in Mainland China and Hong Kong this year as it expands its on-trade distribution channels, according to managing director, Frédéric Mairesse.

Frederic Mairesse, managing director of Champagne Barons de Rothschild, at the Longines Masters in Hong Kong

Speaking to dbHK on the sideline of Longines Masters held over the weekend in Hong Kong, Frédéric Mairesse, managing director of the prestigious Champagne house, said the winery is expanding fast with hotels such as the Ritz-Carlton in Shanghai and fine dining restaurants with its partner, ASC Fine Wines.

“With our expanding on-trade sector, we can grow 20% this year, and off-trade sector we can add another 10% or so,” Mairesse said. The Champagne house first tapped into Hong Kong in 2008 and Mainland China around 2011.

Despite Champagne’s global sales decline in 2016 by 2% compared with 2015, the outlook in China which currently comprises about 15% of its global Champagne sales, is bright, he said, partly due to the winery’s link to the Rothschild family group, a prestigious name that has been well established on the Mainland.

Asked about the company’s positioning strategy, the executive explained that although Moët & Chandon currently takes up about 80% of market share in Mainland China, Rothschild is looking to corner the top-end premium sector.

“Even just two or three per cent of the market is good enough for us,” Mairesse added, noting Champagne sales have stabilised on the Mainland, getting closer to the peak in 2012 at two million litres.

The range of wines available in China and Hong Kong include Brut NV, Rosé NV,  Blanc de Blancs NV and Vintage 2006 with another two wines – Vintage 2008 and Extra Brut – being added later this year.

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