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Terlato Expects Buoyant Holiday Season For New Champagne Addition, Piper-Heidsieck

November 9, 2015

Following its transition from Rémy Cointreau USA to the Terlato Wines portfolio in July, the Piper-Heidsieck Champagne brand is gathering momentum ahead of the crucial holiday selling period, Terlato’s chief executive tells SND.

Piper had been struggling to gain forward traction in the U.S. market following Rémy’s sale of the brand to French luxury conglomerate EPI Group in 2011, declining 11% to 45,000 cases in 2014, according to Impact Databank, even as the overall Champagne market grew 4%. Despite being sold, Piper remained in the Rémy USA import stable until moving to Terlato earlier this year. (In turn, the Bollinger Champagne brand, which sells around 25,000 cases, moved from Terlato to New York-based importer Vintus.)

Terlato Wines CEO Bill Terlato says Piper-Heidsieck continued to soften over the first six months of this year ahead of the transition. One significant change Terlato has made since taking on the brand is to solidify retail pricing across the U.S. market. “This holiday season Piper-Heidsieck will have better pricing consistency,” Terlato says. “Last year the target was $42.99 (for the core brand), but you’d see it as low as $34.99. This year it will be consistent at $46.99.”

While firmer pricing is aimed mainly at the retail segment, Terlato adds that the effort is also having a halo effect in the on-trade. “It helps in the on-premise too, because restaurants don’t like to see a wine’s price slide that much at retail,” he notes.

As a result of the new focus behind the brand, Terlato expects Piper to fully regain the ground it lost over the first half and finish the year about even with its 2014 depletions total.


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