Freixenet Group grows in scope and scale

Freixenet is a brand with a purpose: “To help the world celebrate life’s small and big moments"

Americas Duty Free: How have sales been in the Americas in 2016 over 2015?

Philippe Jamme: The Freixenet Group sales in Travel Retail in 2016 vs 2015 were as follows:

North America: +54.8% in Vol. and 49.2% in Value

South America: +31.9% in Vol. and 25.4% in Value

In North America the cruise liners have been the main sales driver with new listings. In South America, Brazil and its neighbors have recovered from a difficult year in 2015.

ADF: How do you see the wine category changing in GTR?

PJ: Until now GTR has predominantly been a spirits market. This provides us with a great opportunity to reflect the overall trend from the global millennial consumer to experiment more with wine. There seems to be a momentum growing in the way consumers are now experimenting with wine, and the category is becoming more relevant across new consumption occasions.

The opportunity going forward is for the global travel retail operators to reflect the new consumers’ demands by increasing the visibility of the category and providing consumers with choices and merchandising accordingly. It is also important to have the right balance of wines on offer, as not everyone is willing to pay the price for super premium wines. Opportunities are being missed at a more affordable price point.

ADF: Freixenet has released a couple of exciting products lately. Can you please tell me a little about them?

PJ: We are a brand with a purpose: “To help the world celebrate life’s small and big moments,”and we have a key objective to achieve this: “To become the Number 1 choice of sparkling wine in the world.”

Our strong portfolio and exciting new product development will play a key role in helping us achieve these goals.

In Spring 2016 we launched Freixenet ICE in both domestic and duty free markets. This has already been a great success in the three markets where it initially launched: France, Spain and the UK. This summer we are bringing a new addition to the ICE Franchise with a rose variant, Freixenet ICE Rose.

During the exhibition at Cannes we also presented our new Freixenet Prosecco, which will be officially launched in March 2017. A number of travel retail operators had already had the opportunity to see our striking Freixenet Prosecco, which will be exclusive to Travel Retail channels with its DOCG version product. Their feedback has been very encouraging for us.

Producing a Prosecco didn’t come “out of the blue.” The Freixenet Group has been producing sparkling wines for many years from Spain (Cava), France (Champagne), Australia (South Australia and Victoria), USA (California), Mexico (Querétaro) and Argentina (Mendoza). We have a history and expertise in winemaking for more than 150 years, a number-one global position within Cava and a wide portfolio, all of which gives us the credibility and integrity to expand our portfolio and launch a premium Prosecco, with the aim to drive more value into the sparkling wine category.

Freixenet is already well known for creating premium sparkling wines around the world. Its Prosecco did not come "out of the blue"

Freixenet Prosecco has been extensively researched, from the packaging to every single element of our wine, from the aroma, color and acidity to the iconic packaging that was tested against the top luxury sparklers. We have created a blend that has been tested with consumers across the key global markets for sparkling wine, performing well above its category peers.

ADF: What do you think the trend will be in the coming year/years? Why?

PJ: The growth that we’ve seen in sparkling wine over the last five years will continue, driven mainly by Prosecco but also with new styles becoming more visible and relevant in the consumer’s repertoire and drinking occasions.

As younger consumers start engaging more with the wine category, they’ll prioritize quality vs. quantity as a reflection of a value proposition. In order to gain their loyalty and remain relevant, brands need to articulate a differentiating point to consumers that goes beyond product and category attributes.

Our category insights highlighted an opportunity for a “better quality” Prosecco vs. the current offer, as consumers’ most searched item in Google during the last Christmas season highlighted the confusion and lack of differentiation between the existing Prosecco offer when consumers were seeking a “the best” Prosecco. This also validated the role that Freixenet could play as an established sparkling wine brand, adding value to the category with the launch of a branded Prosecco.

ADF: What will your priorities be in the region for the coming year?        

PJ: Our main objective for 2017 is to share and activate our brand mission into everything we do, and our strategic new product launches will be key drivers for this.