Margareth Henriquez, CEO of Krug, discusses how the house will move forward in the modern market by leveraging its historical points of difference.
In a luxury world full of discussions about market share, brand expansion, and even matters of the stock market, it is refreshing to rediscover a luxury brand driven by the principle of rarity. Leading Krug into a new phase of growth is Margareth Henriquez, a woman passionate about sharing the heritage of the house and educating discerning drinkers as to Krug Champagne’s uniqueness.
To begin with, the brand has only five product lines without any form of hierarchy – pricing is dictated by quality and rarity on an individual basis. Their products are re-imagined each year, depending on the quality of the vintages, to ensure the most premium product for the time. And despite the obvious opportunities for capitalisation, Krug only produces approximately 600,000 of the 300 million bottles of Champagne made in the region per year, just 0.2% of total production in the region.
We caught up with Ms Henriquez in Lausanne, after she shared her insights on the issue of pricing and present the third in our series of 5 Minutes With…
In your time at Krug, what has been your favourite memory?
I love my times in Krug, they have been great and they represent a fantastic challenging experience, I am about to live them and they are not just memories. It is not fair to say that some memories are favourites as I feel every step in my life has given the entrance to the other and I have beautiful souvenirs from all my previous experiences. I could say this has been the most different experience and I sure it will be with me forever.
Which market are you currently experiencing the strongest growth?
France, it is amazing how the French team and all our local clients have received the new message of Krug and the reactions have been extremely positive. The Moet Hennessy team in France has decided to put high emphasis in developing Krug as its founder dreamt it and the results have been extremely positive. Many other markets are also reacting extremely well: UK, USA, Switzerland, Hong Kong and Japan among others.
What is the next major launch you can tell us more about?
At the end of this year we will be presenting three expressions that only Krug can do. The purest expression of Chardonnay of the year 2000, the purest expression of Pinot Noir of the year 1998 and the story of the year 2000 told by Krug through its Krug 2000. All these marvellous expressions are facets of Krug Grande Cuvee, the most generous champagne in the world with exceptional finesse, created by the founder to give every year the very best to his clients, independently of the weather effects.
Our vintages are very expressive of the years; they are not like the other houses where the style of the house prevails. In Krug, consistency with undisputed quality comes in Krug Grande Cuvee, a blend of 120 wines of 10 different vintages. Whilst every Krug vintage is a different story, all our champagnes are the same quality, and difference of price is due to rarity. In the House of Krug there is no hierarchy between our champagnes, another unique characteristic. For the first time a House of champagne will present 2 vintages at the same time to be able to boast our differences.
What is the biggest challenge Krug will face in the coming years…
To have everyone discovering the House as it was created and thought by its founder. Krug is a beautiful house created on the base of generosity. An idea of a man who wanted to give the very best to his clients every year in Champagne and to do so, decided to go beyond all existing boundaries. It is the very first and unique house in giving every year its master creation. It is the only House in understanding that Champagne is about pleasure and decided to create the ultimate expression of pleasure to offer it to our Krug lovers every year.
The most important challenge is to have the world discovering the House of Krug in this way and not into an intellectual complicated house of Champagne created only very few. To change paradigms is always difficult, this is our big challenge
What one word best describes your strategy?
What is the next opportunity you would like your company to seize?
We are open to seize all opportunities that allow us to connect to our Krug Lovers and to potential Krug Lovers. So many independent people, who love pleasure and good things, who do not know Krug and will be fascinated.
If you could change any aspect of the luxury industry what would it be?
In very humble way of course, I could say that Luxury implies evolution and has an enormous content of depth that sometimes is not seen and valued.
For more in the series of 5 Minutes With … please see our previous conversations with luxury leaders as follows: