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March 24, 2021
April 12, 2021
Paris Wine Cup talks to Blanche Richard, Head Wine Buyer for Monoprix, France.
"Passionnée de vin, je suis ingénieur agronome et oenologue de formation initiale. J'ai poursuivi mes études à HEC par un Master Entrepreneurs afin de consolider mes connaissances en gestion d’entreprise, en management, en entrepreneuriat et en marketing.
J’ai commencé ma carrière professionnelle dans l’achat et la gestion des vins tranquilles et effervescents pour l’enseigne Monoprix, afin de mieux appréhender le milieu de la distribution du vin et des tendances de consommation."
Monoprix is one of the biggest retailers across France, and wineries and producers are always looking to get onto Monoprix’s shelves.
Blanche dives into her journey at Monoprix, and talks about how Monoprix selects wines to go on their shelves.
I first studied agronomy and winemaking and did a harvest in NZ and in Champagne. Then I worked for a wine auction company (iDealwine) before joining Monoprix.
My job consists in developing the Monoprix wine section, organizing wine fairs in our store and making sure that it pleases our customers. This is a very interesting challenge, since drinking patterns have been changing for a few years and consumption of red wine is decreasing while beer is becoming an alarming competitor.
There is not so much demand for imported wines except for Proseccos or for grapes that don’t exist in France, such as Chianti’s Sangiovese.
I try to find good value for money bottles and to offer a wide range of wine so that it can please everybody… I look at the origin, the grape, the price, and I especially look for organic wines.
Furthermore, Monoprix stores are mostly in urban areas, where shoppers don’t have a big cellar to store wines. We try to offer bottles that don’t need years of ageing, whether they are made to be consumed young or they have already aged.
It depends on the origin of the wine (“designation”, “appellation”…), but the main thing to remember is that it is very complicated if France to sell a bottle of wine at more than 10€. The average price at Monoprix is closer to 6€ than 15€.
Honestly? The biggest challenge is to choose, when you have the possibility between several very good wines which meet all the requirements of price, label, etc. !
More seriously, the demand for red wines is declining in France and we have to adapt our collections to meet with what new consumers want.
In France we are used to talking more about the geographic origin of the wine than about the varietal. During winter we have more demand on red varietals like Bordeaux Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot, Rhone Valley Syrah… White varietals are demanded all year long. The demand for rosés ones is four times higher in summer than in winter.
During an average week we taste around 10 different wines, but it can rise to approximately 1000 bottles when we do the wine fair selections in February!
I enjoy most of the wines but my preference would be white wines. My last great emotion was with an old Savagnin from Jura, a “Vin Jaune”.