This summer, Lanson is introducing the five-strong Besserat de Bellefon Cuvée des Moines range, which has been available in France since 1927, to the UK. The range featured a lower "dosage" of sugar and smaller bubbles than standard Champagnes, making it a more suitable accompaniment to food, claimed Lanson.
Its launch is part of a major overhaul of Lanson's UK portfolio to reposition it as "a house of brands." Lanson, which has rebranded itself for the UK market as Lanson International (UK), is also introducing Tsarine, another of its established French brands, to the market.
The three-strong range will be marketed as a celebration Champagne and arrive in The Co-operative Group later this month.
By focusing on different occasions aperitif for Lanson, food for Cuvée des Moines and celebration for Tsarine Lanson was responding to "retailer demands for a wider variety of taste profiles in Champagne", said Paul Beavis, MD of the company's UK division.
"Lanson International now has three brands within its portfolio," he said. "Each one has a different role within the category, which we want to redefine for retailers."
Beavis cited research suggesting that most consumers had some knowledge about a Champagne brand or they bought based on price, but few bought based on taste or occasion. "Champagne is exceptionally fragmented, as retailers and consumers are faced with an array of brands," he added. "Somebody has to take ownership of the category under the premise of educator."
Lanson's sales have grown 16.9% to £25.6m, with volume up 18.8% in the past year, while the Champagne category has grown 7.8% in value and 12.5% in volume [Nielsen MAT 15 May 2010].
The company is in talks with retailers over prices and listings for the new lines. Its UK range currently consists of eight Champagnes.