Bijou boosts rosé potential in Southeast Asia
Following the success of Bijou in Australia and New Zealand for several years now, the French brand is up for a new challenge, growing its presence in the APAC region by cornering distribution in Southeast Asia.
Bijou has been bringing the essence of Southern France to consumers in Australia and New Zealand for a number of years now, and 2023 was no exception, as the brand saw significant expansion in distribution. It continues to thrive in both the on- and off-trade, ranging from five star wine lists to premium commerce shelves.
Ready for a new challenge, Bijou has now cornered distribution in Southeast Asia. Rosé still constitutes a smaller category among the local Asian demographic than French red and white wines, but these wines are growing rapidly.
Pauline Nardo, Bijou’s international sales and marketing manager, says of the brand’s success: “The launch of Bijou in Thailand and Taiwan marks the start of our Southeast Asian expansion. While every market features a unique consumer’s profile, it is fascinating to observe the large numbers of European tourists to these regions are delighted to find their preferred wines far from home, and are driving outstanding initial results in both countries.”
In Thailand, Bijou is targeting premium hotels and restaurants. Though in its early stages of distribution, the company has set an objective to extend to premium on-trade locations across the islands. Considering its current success in the tourist areas of Bangkok, the brand is confident about continued growth.
Bijou’s objectives for the rest of the region are similar. Harnessing its popularity among European tourists, Bijou plans to entice the droves of tourists that flock to Singapore, Vietnam, The Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia. Although these territories pose new challenges, with on-trade venues still recovering from Covid-19, the brand is confident it can rise to the challenge.
Bijou is also tapping into taste trends in order to broaden its appeal. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir have gained notable popularity in Asia, as they adapt well to a wide variety of flavours, making them a seemingly obvious choice for the hugely diverse cuisines of this region.
In response, Bijou is extending its premium gastronomic range, Éminence de Bijou, to include both a Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, from the higher altitude vineyards of Limoux. Using grapes grown in the unique terroir of La Haute-Vallée, a six month ageing process in french oak barrels provides a robustness designed to pair well with a huge range of Asian dishes. Only a small production is planned for these wines so far, which the brand hopes will spur demand.
Le Bijou de Sophie Valrose, already available in the Asian market, is also getting an extension, with two new whites joining the ranks of the rosé — a Vermentino and a Macabeu. These wines are a celebration of the rich winemaking culture of the Roussillon to which both grape varieties are indigenous, and both hail from the Côtes Catalanes. The Vermentino is full, round and fruity, enhanced by a fine acidity that provides a lingering finish. The Macabeu is crisp and expressive with a citrus tension.
You can find Bijou at Wine Paris and Prowein, the former of which will be the first chance to taste the new range extensions, and discuss this varied and intriguing market with the team.