New DF&TR listings for Lanson as it serves up Wimbledon tennis activations

By Luke Barras-hill |

Lanson has been pleasantly surprised by the rebound in travel retail Champagne.

Reims-based Champagne Lanson is strengthening its presence in global travel retail this year after striking agreements with Gebr. Heinemann and Dufry to stock Le Black Label Brut from the popular core range, TRBusiness has learned.

Le Black Label Brut, which draws on a 50% blend of grand and premier crus (50% pinot noir, 35% Chardonnay, 15% Pinot Meunier) and is aged for four years, is expected to begin listing with Dufry’s World Duty Free at Gatwick Airport from around July.

Champagne Lanson began a global partnership with Dufry at the start of the year, while the Cuvée is already on-shelf with Gebr. Heinemann.

Meanwhile, Lanson is currently engaged with Dubai Duty Free at Terminal 3 arrivals throughout June and July to promote the Champagne house’s latest Le Rosé limited edition gift pack to celebrate the Wimbledon Tennis Championships held in London.

This year, Lanson is celebrating a 45-year partnership with The Championships and All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club.

Edouard de Boissieu, Head of Travel Retail, Champagne Lanson spoke to TRBusiness during an on-location visit and tour of the maison’s facilities in Montagne de Reims.

BUSINESS IN BAHRAIN

Activations that toast the Wimbledon special edition Rosé are also being hosted at London City Airport and London Luton Airport with Lagardère Travel Retail’s Aelia Duty Free over June, July and August, TRBusiness hears.

The latest developments follow on the heels of promotional activity at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport and Frankfurt Airport for Lanson’s newly released limited edition gift box for Le Rosé Fruit Market.

As reported, decorated Lanson market stalls offering tastings and fruit pairings for the cuvée are available at Paris CDG Terminal 2 courtesy of Lagardère Travel Retail.

In addition, visitors can discover Le Rosé and a GWP opportunity at Frankfurt Airport Terminal 2 via Gebr. Heinemann.

According to Nielsen, Lanson positions in the top six international premium brands in travel retail Europe, number two among international premium brands in the UK, and is one of the leading Rosé Champagnes in the country.

The house has partnerships with a number of leading travel retail operators including Lagardère Travel Retail, Dufry, Gebr. Heinemann and ARI, and is in discussion with a number of others, notably in the US.

It is also available as a pouring wine onboard the likes of American Airlines, Lufthansa, British Airways, Aeroflot and Oman Air.

Situated underground Maison Lanson within the elaborate network of cellar space, Paradis Lanson houses some of the the 1760-founded company’s most prestigious reserve/vintage cuvées.

VOLUME PERFORMANCE MATCHED

De Boissieu said: “We still need to develop in Asia. This is really where we have growth potential, not only in terms of volumes but image and value. We don’t know what is going to happen this year.

“We have been approached by a few suppliers but not for airport sales but Hainan, for instance. I think duty free activity in Asia this year will remain in Hainan but hopefully in 2023 it will recover.”

Last year, Lanson gained new business with Aer Rianta International (ARI) at Bahrain Duty Free’s upgraded shops as the Champagne industry and global travel retail enjoyed a healthy rebound in many markets.

“That rebound is really surprising. We did not expect the rebound to be so sudden and strong. We are not pushing the volume sales – we are doing less price promotions than what we are used to do. This is the case for most of the Champagne players.

“The demand is here for Champagne at the moment for [several] reasons. First is the reopening of the shops; people wanting to celebrate; and the fact that nowadays, the majority travel for tourism and not business.”

Asked for a performance prediction in full-year 2022, de Boissieu pointed out that volume restrictions make predictions difficult, though a maximum volume return of +20% this year versus 2019 is a possibility.

An arresting view of a Champagne Lanson press house in Verzenay, Montagne de Reims. The press house was rebuilt and reopened last year and TRBusiness paid a visit to the facility this week.

Value growth is slightly different and while not being drawn on a particular forecast, de Boissieu suggested single-digit as a possible growth indicator for this year.

“Value is getting slightly better we are doing less promotions,” maintained de Boissieu. “We are not promoting as much as we did. This is the best way to gain value.”

Earlier this week, IWSR Drinks Market Analysis put recorded growth of Champagne in volume terms at +24% in 2021.

TRBusiness was on location in Reims this week for a guided tour and immersive education session on Lanson’s terroir and vinification processes. More to follow…

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