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Millennial Focus Pays Off For Piper-Heidsieck

August 23, 2019

Champagne Piper-Heidsieck, owned by French luxury group EPI, joined the Terlato Wines portfolio in 2015, parting with longtime marketer Rémy Cointreau, which had owned the brand up until 2011. Since moving to Terlato, Piper has enjoyed a renaissance, increasing its U.S. volume by about 57% over a three-year span, including an 18% jump to 66,000 9-liter cases last year, according to Impact Databank.

Terlato Wines president and CEO Bill Terlato says a heightened focus on bringing millennial consumers into the Champagne category has paid dividends for Piper-Heidsieck. This year, the brand is projected to reach approximately 80,000 cases in the U.S.

“Millennials make up a larger percentage of Champagne drinkers at 36% of U.S. consumers, while other markets are closer to 15%-20%,” Terlato notes. “The U.S. Millennial consumer is leading the trend. Millennials are willing to spend more on quality Champagne and consume it differently than their parents have.” He adds that Piper-Heidsieck is up about 30% so far this year in the on-premise, which is a key focus for the brand.

Piper’s marketing mix has included a presence at high-profile events like the Academy Awards, where it has been the official Champagne for five years running. The partnership features an Oscars-themed magnum release of Piper’s Cuvée Brut that’s served at the ceremony and the official after-party, Governors Ball. Terlato says the Oscars partnership has strengthened Piper’s brand awareness and connected the franchise with new consumers.

Since taking on the brand, Terlato has also firmed Piper-Heidsieck’s pricing and executed a rebranding initiative that launched about 18 months ago. Under the rebranding, Piper received a more modernized look across the portfolio, which includes the core Cuvée Brut as well as vintage offerings, Rosé Sauvage, and Cuvée Sublime.

Meanwhile, Piper’s tete de cuvée, Rare, recently received a packaging update of its own and is now being marketed separately as its own brand. That effort has borne fruit in the early going, with Rare outpacing the overall $100-and-above Champagne category with 37% growth in the year to date through July.—Daniel Marsteller and Mary Keefe

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