French host U.S. house parties to promote wines and cheeses

Articles
May 15, 2009

French host U.S. house parties to promote wines and cheeses

Voulez-vous manger avec moi ce soir? Voulez-vous manger avec moi? We can’t possibly know if coucher will follow manger after these events, but the French government is hoping their latest export of wine-and-cheese house parties is as catchy as the song. The French Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries is subsidizing 1,000 house parties across America on June 4 to promote the notion of a pre-dinner mood setter they call the aperitif, a wine and light food relaxer. The effort in the U.S. is part of a 28-cities-around-the-world initiative by French wine and cheese producers to add yet another eating occasion to our day. We certainly don’t need another excuse to eat, but if tasty or therapeutic enough, the idea may stick with enough of us—especially since home entertainment is on the rise, and there’s the slight chance that the aperitif might work so well that some of us decide to skip dinner. The French have learned enough about our habits to supply these events (17,500 guests estimated) with less-pricey sparkling white wines instead of champagnes and with unintimidating cheeses for our palates, to increase the likelihood of acceptance. “The organizers are hoping that by showing their friends a good time, their hosts can persuade them to start buying French wine and cheese too,” concluded The Wall Street Journal.

Voulez-vous manger avec moi ce soir? Voulez-vous manger avec moi?

We can’t possibly know if coucher will follow manger after these events, but the French government is hoping their latest export of wine-and-cheese house parties is as catchy as the song.   

The French Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries is subsidizing 1,000 house parties across America on June 4 to promote the notion of a pre-dinner mood setter they call the aperitif, a wine and light food relaxer. The effort in the U.S. is part of a 28-cities-around-the-world initiative by French wine and cheese producers to add yet another eating occasion to our day.

We certainly don’t need another excuse to eat, but if tasty or therapeutic enough, the idea may stick with enough of us—especially since home entertainment is on the rise, and there’s the slight chance that the aperitif might work so well that some of us decide to skip dinner. The French have learned enough about our habits to supply these events (17,500 guests estimated) with less-pricey sparkling white wines instead of champagnes and with unintimidating cheeses for our palates, to increase the likelihood of acceptance.

“The organizers are hoping that by showing their friends a good time, their hosts can persuade them to start buying French wine and cheese too,” concluded The Wall Street Journal

At SupermarketGuru.com, we view the French soft-sell as an elegant spin on our nation’s social networking trend.  Going into people’s homes to introduce wine and cheese gives the party hosts new credentials. The good feelings that come from an unexpected treat, served in the comfortable surroundings of a friend’s home, takes sampling to an increasingly personal level and raises the likelihood of memorability, repeatability and future purchases.

By now, party hosts have been picked or are being selected. We suspect the buzz after June 4 will lead to more consumer interest in the promoted categories of French wine and cheese. We suggest that supermarkets could benefit from aligning their product offers with the foods, flavors and music of these events. One good place to start would be the website www.FrenchCocktailHourUSA.com.