In a first for both brands, Chandon India partners with designer Manish Malhotra to design two limited edition bottles for Chandon Brut. To celebrate the season and dial it up a notch, the bubbly brand signs on the name synonymous with Indian fashion and glamour to create two iconic bottles. Together, the brands bring you one of the most glamorous and inspirational symbols of luxury to indulge in this Diwali.
Sophia Sinha, Senior Marketing Manager, Chandon India states, “From the fantastic world of Hindi films to the splendour of couture, Manish Malhotra has spun myriad reams of magic for 26 years. For us, Chandon X Manish Malhotra is the coming together of two likeminded brands which represent an evolving India — one that speaks of an international lifestyle, yet tied into Indian tradition, just like the two limited edition bottles.”
Expressing his excitement, Manish Malhotra adds, “This collaboration with Chandon promises to be an interesting one given it’s outside the realm of clothes! The limited edition bottles are the beautiful result of a unique fashion story — where old-world glory meets contemporary, global influences. I do hope that India will enjoy these limited edition bottles as much as I have enjoyed designing them.”
In conversation with Managing Director, Moet Hennessy India, Stéphane de Meurville, FC gets’ some insight on the collaboration as well as his take on the Chandon story.
Tell us about the collaboration between Chandon India and Manish Malhotra.
As Moet Hennessy is a Maison, we have a portfolio of unique brands in our bouquet and try and present the best there is to offer. So when one keeps the best in mind then the collaboration with Manish Malhotra comes very naturally. Manish needs no introduction, we couldn’t have asked for someone better. We thought he would politely decline, but he was delighted to partner with us and to bring his unique design sensibility to Chandon. He is an international name and we are very happy to have him on board as our partner for this occasion. Manish has designed two beautiful bottles for the festive season inspired by Indian clothes — the sari and sherwani. This is his first for a spirit brand.
Share with us the success story of Chandon India.
As you are aware Moet Hennessy has a variety of French manufactured and bottled products. We then started production in Argentina and have been trying to find the best regions to create great sparkling wine with consistency. India has made us very happy, we have found a good quality grape most suited for the sparkling variety in Nasik. This is where we manufacture Chandon. It has worked out extremely well for us as it has the best groves in India. We have also acquired a winery which is beautiful. Those who enjoy wine, sommeliers and restaurant owners have given us great feedback, they love the taste, colour and body. We have seen fantastic appreciation and that is our favourite part of this success story.
Moët & Chandon has been synonymous with Champagne in India for decades. How does that make you feel?
Thrilled of course; but more importantly it has been like this not only in India but almost across the world. Moët & Chandon champagne is popular and beloved in many countries and we are lucky with this.
Do you think one of the reasons for Chandon’s success is the aspirational value attached to it?
In India import of champagne and other spirits is very heavily taxed due to the import duties, so champagne becomes expensive for many. However, as Chandon is made in India by our maison, it is a sparkling variety, which has become the preferred choice not only for occasions, but also for casual evenings because of its quality and affordability. It is not only popular with the aspirational but even with those who can afford super premium brands. Our consumers like our sparkling category even when they can afford international duties. So I’m happy we have created this segment for ourselves.
What are your plans for the brand?
As Chandon is growing at a great pace, we are going to try and realise our full potential and full operational capacity, instead of looking at other brands or spirits like malts or vodka. The focus is on taking the sparkling drink which is doing very well in the cocktail and party circuit a step further. For this we are going to strengthen the distribution arm and our presence across a number of cities. We want to expand in the metros in places where we haven’t tapped into as yet. We have opened the winery which is beautiful and a real treat. We are still in the stage of expansion and want to increase our footprint in Delhi, Mumbai, Gurgaon and Bangalore. The second step will be to access cities like Chennai, Kolkata and tier 2 cities where there is a huge diaspora of people who appreciate our product. Finally, our vision is to take Chandon to the Indian country side, which in real time gives us access to millions of customers.
Can we credit some of Chandon’s success to the fact that it has managed to make inroads with female consumers in a country where drinking alcohol by women is somewhat frowned upon?
This is an interesting question, I believe that there is no real taboo and women have been consumers of spirits especially in the category of clear spirits like vodka and gin. Wine is also preferred amongst women. India has a mood of festivity and occasion; there is always so much to celebrate and nothing compliments occasions better than Chandon
Chandon has a huge demand in the 25 to 40 age group category. Why is this so?
Chandon is affordable, aspiration and available, but more importantly it is delicious thus the huge demand in this age bracket. They want the best quality at the best price. Chandon is well priced and the flavours work well for post work soirees. Usually as one grows older with age, one also indulges in super premium brands which are expensive as they become more affordable. People in their fifties may take to cognac or other such liquors but by and large I feel that Chandon is appreciated and is very popular across age groups. Even those who like super premium brands favour and recognise the quality of Chandon.