Are you at the right place ?

Are you at the right place ?

September, 2023

Meet the mannequin that puts glamor in alcohol drinks

Wwd, United States - Credit, Joelle Diderich

Constance Jablonski and her partner, Maggie Frerejean-Asttinger, are at the forefront of the growing tendency to sobriety with their effervescent wine without alcohol French Bloom.

Champagne is synonymous with party, but guests who do not drink often feel excluded

It is a familiar experience for Constance Jablonski, who moved to New York at the age of 17 to continue his modeling career. Daughter of a doctor and a pharmacist mother, she has always been interested in well-being and had trouble following her peers.

"The life of a model is made of socialization, outings and events," she explains. "I always thought it was very difficult for me to get in touch with people because I was not the one who spent long nights until 5 am with the others.

This did not prevent the French model from climbing the ladder of his profession, of appearing in advertising campaigns for brands such as Calvin Klein, Estée Lauder or Hermès, and to make the cover of many magazines. She also holds a health coach diploma from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, which she has never used, however.

But when her close friend Maggie Frerejean-Asttinger fell pregnant in 2019, both decided to create a non-alcoholic alternative to bubbles to make sure everyone can participate in the party.

Launched in 2021, French Bloom A coincided with a movement of growing sobriety and is now served in leading places such as the Ritz Paris hotel, the Annabel's club in London and the Beverly Hills Hotel, as well as during events such as the Coachella music festival .

Ms. Frerejean-Asttinger, from Chicago, had noticed the development of what she calls "moderate agreement" when she was responsible for international development for Michelin Food & Travel, which led her to travel the world to The search for new high places of gastronomy.

"There is the agreement with wine, the agreement with non -alcoholic drinks, but we see more and more the mixture of the two: people who want to drink one or two glasses of wine during a meal of Five dishes. But what do they drink between the two?

She called on her French husband Rodolphe, founder of Champagne Frerejean Frères, and Carl Héline, former director of the Krug Champagne brand in the United States, to help her develop the drink, which is made from a Mixture of French organic wines having undergone a process of manual quenchoolization to obtain a sophisticated flavor, with prices of first order accordingly.

French Bloom White and French Bloom The rosé, which is certified vegans and contain neither sulfites, conservatives, nor added sugars, are selling 39 and 44 dollars respectively.

"It is a question of offering the same experience, the same architecture of flavors and the same complexity as a sparkling, but alcohol-free wine," explains Ms. Frerejean-Astinger. "We thought that people who do not drink alcohol, for any reason, do not want a less special product.

Although having decided to satisfy the most demanding palaces, the duo did not expect the drink to be a success in France, one of the main wine -producing countries in the world. They were surprised when a launch teaser on social media led to an exclusivity of three months with La Grande Epicerie, the gourmet restaurant of Bon Marché, the Parisian department store belonging to LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton.

"The answer was really incredible. We sold more than 30,000 bottles during this period. I think we realized, from the first three months, that our customers were not going to be the one we thought" , recalls Mr. Jablonski.

"We thought it would rather be pregnant women, completely sober, of the religious market, and we realized that there were a lot of people exactly like us, sober and curious men and women, Who simply wanted to reduce their alcohol consumption, "adds the model, who is an occasional drinker.

Today, French Bloom is available in 25 countries. The company sells approximately 15 % of its total volumes directly to the consumer via its own online store and works with traditional wine and champagne distributors, as well as with retailers such as the American Boisson channel, specialized in drinks without Alcohol, and the high -end Californian supermarket chain Erewhon.

Ms. Jablonski is the "digital marketing brain" of the operation, which employs more than 20 people in Paris, explains Ms. Frerejean-Astinger. "There is no doubt that she is the most competent in digital and social marketing, which has greatly contributed to the success of the business," she said.

The model has taken advantage of his relationships in the fashion world to increase the visibility of the brand. Face of the Royal Bee Care of Guerlain, she recently joined the beauty giant to offer a VIP box containing a bottle of French Bloom Hand painted, and she works with luxury brands such as Van Cleef & Arpels for the drink to be served during events and in stores.

However, Ms. Jablonski wishes to differentiate French Bloom From the trend of drinks supported by celebrities, who saw everyone, from Brad Pitt to Sarah Jessica Parker, enjoy the rosé boom. "I don't really see French Bloom Like a brand of celebrities, "she said." I feel like many people know French Bloom Without knowing who is behind, to be honest.

Having gave birth to her first child last year, Ms. Jablonski underlines the importance of supporting a product that she really believes.

"I don't think I really planned to be an entrepreneur five years ago. This project came alone and it's more a passion project than anything else," she explains. "It is not as if I had planned to create a brand, like creams or hair products. Honestly, I think that if you create a project that is not passionate, I don't think it will work" .

As the end of year celebrations approach, French Bloom plans to launch new formats and also work on products intended for high -end gastronomy. "Even today, I think you have to convince gourmets. They are more reluctant," notes Mr. Jablonski.

But with leading restaurateurs like Alain Ducasse and Dominique Crenn already on board, Frerejean-Astinger is optimistic about the future. "We hope to get something new out of the new year, which will reject borders," she said. "We are convinced that within five to ten years, it will be possible to drink a Grand Cru without alcohol.

The duo wants to ensure that its brand remains a pioneer and leader in its field. "We really want French Bloom Either a classic, "said Jablonski." I think the product talks about itself.