Monday, March 24, 2014

Not quite grasping the market...

Apparently some French people in charge of Champagne believe that somehow or other cheap champagne is ruining the image of the product...
Supermarket cut-price deals are “a parasite on the image of champagne”, according to a trade association representing producers.
Last Christmas, Asda and Tesco sold exclusive label champagne at £10 a bottle – less than half price. The supermarkets also slashed the cost of branded labels, with 71 per cent of the total volume sold at reduced prices.
But the drastic discounts being offered have been criticised by the producers’ professional body, the Comité Interprofessionnel du Vin de Champagne (CIVC). Its communications director Thibaut le Mailloux told Off Licence News (OLN) magazine: “It’s just a marketing ploy. It puts in the head of the consumer that champagne can be made at that price.
“It’s at the expense of champagne. It’s a parasite on the image of champagne. Retailers are shooting themselves in the foot by downgrading the category and making consumers expect a price where producers and retailers can’t make a margin that’s sustainable.
“The message is not to make everything as cheap as possible, but to give balanced offers to consumers.”
 Do you get the feeling that they don't wish their product to be accessible to the peasants?
Now I don't know where the supermarkets got their product from, but I'd be willing to bet that they didn't make a loss out of the deal. They might have used it as a loss leader (unlikely it's not something everyone would buy) but in the end M. Thibaut le Mailloux doesn't quite appear to grasp the ethos of the supermarkets whose task is to sell as much as possible and make as much as possible and by selling champagne at £10 a bottle they appear to have found a market for it rather than have it gather dust on the shelves at £20 a bottle. I hardly need mention that you aren't going to get many wine connoisseurs in a supermarket going over the shelves for cheap plonk either.
Champagne is what it is, a celebratory drink on the whole and its image such as it is, is hardly likely to be damaged by selling it cheap. After all you can buy many just as worthy competitors as cheap which can taste just as good from fizzy sweet to fizzy vinegar depending on the persons taste.
Once again we have some who want the world what they want it to be (even if they price their products out of the market) rather than what it now is.

6 annotations:

wiggia said...

One thrust of your piece needs correcting, no Champagne gathers dust in this country and hasn't for years, we are the biggest export market for the wine and in all its forms it is consumed in large quantities by all and sundry, just stand in a supermarket aisle selling the stuff and watch who buys.

Dioclese said...

I like champagne, I also like anything made from the same grapes by the same method outside the region which can't be called champagne even though that's exactly what it is.

If you want the real stuff then I'm very fond of Bollinger Special Cuvee that sells at around £40 a bottle. I drink another genuine champagne called Ayala which is about half the price and you can't tell the difference.

The French take the piss with champagne. They hype it up and sell it to snobs with more money than sense. Typical of the French really.

JimS said...

Champagne? Is that the stuff that silly schoolboys spray over themselves at the end of each F1 event?

Michael said...

Well given that they are the ones producing the stuff and under EU legislation it may ONLY be called Champagne if it actually originates in the Champagne region I fail to see what they are dripping about. They make the stuff, sell it to the Supermarkets etc. and are screaming foul because the Supermarkets are daring to actually SELL the stuff! What did they think the Supermarkets were going to do with it? Wash the dishes with it? This is the cheap end of the market and I doubt it will be winning any quality awards but who cares?

FrankC said...

JimS - better to spray it than drink it.
Champagne has always tasted like over fizzy cider to me.

James Higham said...

Just call it bubbly and everyone will be happy.