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Deau Cognac enters travel retail markets

Deau Cognac, as a first time exhibitor at the TFWA Asia Pacific exhibition (Singapore 10-14 May), is positioning itself as “a real alternative” to the better known brands in travel retail in terms of look, quality and positioning.

With 40% of its business currently in Asia – and a new commercial office recently opened in Zhuhai – Deau believes the Singapore show will play a critical role in helping the company to build business within the region. 

While a relatively new name to consumers, Deau has a long history, dating back to 1685 when Louis Deau settled in the region as a wine grower, ultimately discovering the magical alchemy of pot stills. Today, the 40ha domain is owned by the Bru Legaret family, with Véronique Bru Legaret presiding over the destiny of the company. 

Originally that destiny was for Deau to sell its eaux-de-vie to other major Cognac players in the market for their own use. But in 2012 the family decided that its Cognacs really were too good to simply sell to other brands. The company began to market under its own label with a range of Cognacs that target all lovers of superb quality premium and luxury spirits. In just three years, the Deau core range of six Cognacs: Collection VS, VSOP, Napoleon, XO, Black and Louis Memory has won just about every relevant gold and silver award going, including World’s Best Cognac Design for its beautiful sail-shaped decanter at the 2014 World Drinks Awards.

Within the category, Deau is able to compete at the very top end of the market with its Deau Cognac Privilège and Deau La Vie en Or. Originally introduced as a Christmas and New Year offering in 2012, Deau LVO is beautifully packaged in a luxurious decanter layered with gold leaf that was commissioned by Parisian fine jeweller Arthus Bertrand. Also perfect for travel retail are two Tasting Boxes, beautifully presented, and enabling consumers to try either three or all six of the main Deau Cognac expressions.

Says export director Olivier Hidier: “Deau is presenting itself as a true alternative brand, offering the prestigious and luxury values of Cognac that have always been promoted by our peers – but with the addition of our own USP in terms of look, quality and range.

“We believe the potential for Deau in travel retail is excellent. We recognize our main challenge is that, while Deau is a very old French house, we only started exporting under our own label in 2012 and, therefore, there is still a lack of brand awareness. But that is changing. We are strong in Asia and are growing in North America, Europe, Russia and the Middle East. We see travel retail as a great showcase and excellent platform from which to build the name of Deau!”

Deau Cognac comes to Singapore following a first travel retail outing at the recent Duty Free Show of the Americas.

“It was our first travel retail show and was unexpectedly good,” continues Hidier. “The reception was extremely positive, particularly to the decanters which seemed to have an almost magnetic attraction – the presentation is one of our strengths, for sure. We are very confident of confirming new listings in the Americas as a result.”

Hidiere believes the most logistically sensible route forward is to work with regional agents and distributors in order to “be flexible and efficient”.

Says Hidier: “We are really looking forward to attending TFWA Asia Pacific – we truly believe we have a product offer that is perfect for travel retail. In an environment where travellers are looking for new, premium, different, unique and alternative…Deau most definitely fits the bill.”

20 April 2015 - Felicity Murray The Drinks Awards, editor