Conceived by Dutch entrepreneur Paul Herman and created by champagne bottler M.Hostomme, Hello Kitty Cuvée Spéciale is an officially licensed, nose-ticklingly bubbly, demi-sec rosé Champagne consisting of 50% Pinot Noir, 30% Pinot Meunier and 20% Chardonnay wines.
Though Hello Kitty Cuvée Spéciale would seem to be aimed rather disturbingly at the pre-teen alcoholic drinks market (or more to the point, creating one), the tipsy tipple is actually an attempt to get Chinese consumers with caviar budgets into the champagne-buying habit.
Champagne marketers have been frustrated time and time again by the reluctance of China's rich & famous gift-givers to embrace what is to westerners the height of extravagance: “champagne wishes and caviar dreams,” in the words of Robin Leach.
It's not that China's power centers ignore the trappings of luxury (anything but!) but the basic properties of champagne have hobbled its rise to the ranks of rare red wines and cognacs. Unlike those luxury drinks, champagne must be consumed immediately and completely once the cork is popped: resealing a bottle and displaying it for admiration is not an option. As well, wine in China is more business expediter than social lubricant; the former environment favors non-sparkling potables.
Dutch entrepreneur Paul Herman (left) of Herman Wines has been observing the prevailing trends regarding China's nascent high-end drinks market and noticed the nation's younger female demographic was more accepting of sparkling wines such as champagne. This market niche has also embraced Hello Kitty both as a character and as a sort of spokesman for luxury items.
“It's amazing what you can find,” enthuses Herman. “Hello Kitty-branded Swarovski-encrusted bikes, Mini Coopers, even Eva's (Eva Air) Boeing jets that fly the Taiwan to Tokyo route where the inflight meal features Hello Kitty.” Even so, some parts of China may be more amenable to this pink drink than others; one reason why Herman introduced the beverage in Hong Kong.
The Dutchman's intuition regarding the evolution of China's taste for luxury may be beginning to pay dividends already, as Hello Kitty Cuvée Spéciale has “seen a lot of interest from restaurants” of late. It just goes to prove people of means will gladly pay for a drink with... extra character. (via Jing Daily and The Drinks Business)