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Interview, Part 2: Rémy Cointreau Americas CEO Nicolas Beckers

January 12, 2023

In the second part of our interview, Rémy Cointreau Americas chief executive Nicolas Beckers discusses growth opportunities beyond the Cognac category, including Rémy’s key brands in the liqueurs, gin, Scotch whisky, American single malt, and Champagne segments, as well as the state of the supply chain. Overall, Rémy Cointreau saw sales climb 21% to €867 million ($856m) in its fiscal first half ended in September, including 21% growth in the Americas region.

SND: Cointreau has earned Impact “Hot Brand” awards the past two years and is now above 400,000 cases in the U.S. What will drive the brand in the new year?

Beckers: On Cointreau, we see a very good trend both on-premise and off-premise. We’re focusing our campaign and programming around the Margarita and Cosmo cocktails. What it has done is show that Cointreau is an essential ingredient for the home bar. Recently we launched a big campaign with actor and director Dan Levy, including a digital content series highlighting Cointreau cocktail recipes. And we’re launching a new packaging design for Cointreau that will be available from mid-February, bringing to light the flavor profile and rich history of the brand.

SND: Last year, you made a big push with The Botanist gin, now above 60,000 cases. Do you see it gaining further traction with consumers?

Beckers: This is a very interesting category. We have strong momentum for The Botanist following last year’s advertising during the Super Bowl. Our ambition for The Botanist is to become the leader in the ultra-premium gin category, which is growing in the U.S. We’re launching a new campaign called “Look Further” that invites consumers to discover the brand and its mission to do things differently. It’s about the sustainable foraged botanicals that go into the gin, our commitment to the community, and the unique taste of The Botanist, which is probably one of the most versatile gins.

SND: You also recently reentered the Champagne category with the Telmont brand. How is progress there?

Beckers: Yes, we launched Telmont in 2021. It’s a century-old Champagne brand founded in 1912. Actor Leonardo DiCaprio joined us last year as an investor and has helped spread our brand message of sustainability. It’s about biodiversity, moving step by step progressively to organic vineyards, and making strong statements like having no gift boxes and developing a lighter Champagne bottle. And the trend has been very positive on the brand.

SND: In whisk(e)y, you have Bruichladdich from Scotland and Westland from Washington in the emerging American single malt category. How are prospects for those brands?

Beckers: We have one of the leading brands in American single malt with Westland, and there’s a unique opportunity both for the brand and the category as it receives formal recognition by the U.S. government, we’re hoping in April. That only happens once, and it’s a major step. We’re also looking forward to launching Westland’s newest whiskey, Solum, in March. It uses American peat to dry the barley like the peated whiskies of Scotland. For Bruichladdich, this year we’re launching a new campaign called “We Also Make Whisky.” It leverages the aqua color of the packaging for Classic Laddie, and reframes the brand as more than a Scotch whisky, but also an agent of positive change.

SND: Given that much of Rémy Cointreau’s portfolio is imported from Europe, how is the supply chain shaping up as we begin the new year?

Beckers: It’s true that in the past there was some significant disruption in the supply chain. But at this stage we’ve taken some internal measures and have upgraded our organization and supply chain, and today in the U.S. we don’t see any major disruption.

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