Travel & Gastronomy

LVMH wants to restore the image of its Mercier champagne, the group’s great forgotten.

New marketing strategy, new design, new image, the empire of Bernard Arnault will put back in the spotlight the house of Mercier, founded in 1858 by Eugène Mercier. The launch is planned for 2023.

Eva Morletto

By Eva Morletto04 mai 2022

On the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the digging of the Mercier cellars in Epernay, a major operation to rejuvenate the brand was launched (Shutterstock)

For years, Mercier champagne has suffered from a lack of notoriety and appeal compared to its more famous competitors in the LVMH portfolio (Dom Pérignon, Krug, Ruinart, Veuve Cliquot, among others). It should be remembered that Mercier champagne was the first brand in the history of the beverage to tacitly break the golden rule of reserving champagne for the elite. Mercier democratised champagne at the 1889 Universal Exhibition, when it transported a gigantic cask from Epernay to Paris.

On the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the digging of the Mercier cellars in Epernay, the shareholder has launched a major operation to rejuvenate the brand, which it wants to be urban and modern. This will be overseen by Berta de Pablos-Barbier, the CEO of Maison Moët, a new entity recently created by LVMH to oversee the brands Moët & Chandon, Dom Pérignon and Mercier. Berta de Pablos Barbier is very committed to responsible luxury and has not yet revealed the details of the future rejuvenation strategy of the traditional champagne house.

But if the operation remains secret, it is likely that Mercier will follow in the footsteps of the other champagne jewels of the LVMH group by forging partnerships with art, cinema and music. But it is above all in the protection of the environment that the house seems interested in investing. It is already a partner of the Moët Hennessy Global Research and Development Centre, the wine and spirits division, whose objective is to combine the skills of winemakers and researchers to make the group's spirits more environmentally friendly. The centre opened at the end of last year, in Oiry in the Marne, on a 4000 square metre plot of Champagne land. Mercier Champagnes will certainly not stop there, as ecological commitment seems to be the new hobbyhorse of the champagne world.

At the beginning of 2022, the actor Leonardo Di Caprio, for example, decided to invest in the small Telmont house in Damery, in the Marne region, a producer at the forefront of sustainable solutions and which aims to produce 100% organic champagne within ten years. In the first quarter of this year, despite some difficulties in the supply chains, LVMH's Wines & Spirits division reported a 2% increase in sales compared to the first quarter of 2021 (€1,638 billion/€1,510 billion). And overall, the Champagne business has started the year remarkably well, with a jump of +14%, thanks to sales of large volumes in Europe and Japan.

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