Pernod toys with world's most expensive bubbly

  • Tuesday 7 November 2006

Pernod Ricard is set to knock Cristal, Krug and Dom Perignon off their perches as the world’s most expensive luxury fizz.

The French wines and spirits group announced today that it would launch a Champagne that would make those marques – retailing at a mere £180-£220 per bottle – look like cheap Cava.

'It will cost around €1,000 (£670) a bottle. We won't do many cases,' Chairman Patrick Ricard told the company's annual shareholders meeting today.

Ricard said very little about the Champagne beyond hinting that it would be launched under the Belle Epoque brand, referring to Pernod subsidiary Perrier-Jouet’s top cuvee – a snip at around £70 a bottle.

He was responding to a shareholder's question about what was Pernod's strategy in the face of larger luxury groups such as LVMH, the world's leading Champagne house which owns Moet et Chandon, Krug, and Dom Perignon.

Pernod, which is also launching a new brandy costing £130 a bottle, is actively trying to take its brands upmarket.

'It is a fact that consumers all over the world want to identify with brands that represent themselves. This has to be brands with quality which are exclusive,' managing director Pierre Pringuet said. 'It's the same for fashion, cars, and spirits.'

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