The head of the company that owns Dom Pérignon, Château d'Yquem and Cheval Blanc claims the future of luxury products is bright and that we’ll still be drinking Dom Pom “in 20 years” but the iPhone may not exist.
In an interview with business news channel CNBC on Tuesday, Bernard Arnault, the head of luxury goods company LVMH, said: “I often compare our industry to other fast-growing industries. For instance, I have great admiration for Apple and for the iPhone. I have myself an iPhone but can you say that in 20 years people will still use an iPhone? Maybe not. Maybe we’ll have a new product or something more innovative. But what I can say today is 20 years from now I’m quite convinced that people will still drink Dom Pérignon.”
The first Dom Pérignon cuvée was produced in 1921 – relatively recently compared to a number of other Champagne brands. For example, stablemate Ruinart was founded in 1729.
However, the monk who gave his name to the Champagne pioneered a number of winemaking techniques in the 17th Century and Arnault believes it is these historical associations that will stand LVMH's brands in good stead for the future.
“People want to come to visit, for instance, Dom Pérignon’s cellars...they want to be in contact with the history of the brand, and there is a link between the history of a brand and the future of that brand. And I think that’s the reason why we have been successful,” he claimed.
Questioned about slowing economic growth in China, he remained optimistic, noting that, with growth of around 7 percent, China is undergoing a rapid expansion compared to Europe.
“It is still growing very fast,” he said. “China, I would say, may have some bumps over the years and has been through a very positive trend for many years economically. The buying power of the Chinese population has increased dramatically and I think we’ll continue to see increases in the years to come.”
In 2013, the wines and spirits side of the business reported a profit of 1.37 billion euros. It sold 57.4 million bottles of Champagne compared to 56.8m bottles in 2012. The United States was the biggest market for the group, accounting for 23 percent of all wine and spirit sales by value. Asia now represents more than one-third of sales.