Champagne producers launch cheaper brands to fight crisis

Laurent Perrier, the fourth largest international champagne producer has launched this week a new brand Jeanmaire, which will sell at less than EUR 10 per bottle, entering in direct competition with other brands such as Mercier and Canard Duchene. The net profits of Laurent Perrier dropped by 85% while sales decreased by 23%. LVMH Group which owns several top champagne brands is set to develop cheaper version early 2010.

China is the only international market to register increased champagne consumption. While in 1999 the Chinese bought 80.000 bottles of champagne, this year sales are estimated at 1 million bottles.