Case Study


Driving Export Sales Using "Adventurous" Trade and Consumer Promotion

Client: AOP Wines of Languedoc (CIVL)

Goal: Increase distribution, sales of this emerging AOP tier of wines from Sud de France.


  • CIVL hired Benson in late 2008 to complete a re-branding, initiate a more aggressive press campaign and to reverse a slide in exports to the U.S. over the previous years.
  • In 2012, Benson expanded the program with trade and social media initiatives, including “L’Aventure Languedoc,” a comprehensive, month-long consumer promotion incorporating digital media, social media, advertising, blogger and press tastings, and in-store tastings and restaurant promotions. The program continues.
  • This is really a sales campaign. Benson sells the campaign directly to on/off premise buyers, who create their own “adventure” using in-store tastings, wine dinners, BTG flights, etc. In return, a digital ad campaign drives consumers to participating accounts. Everyone wins.

Average Results per Year (2012-17)

  • 2-3 cities, 95 accounts, 150+ retail tastings, 100 staff training seminars
  • 150-250 new wines added to lists each year
  • 16-22 AOCs from Languedoc represented

US Campaign Sales Results, 2009-17:

  • After years of flat or declining sales in the U.S., export volume has risen under Benson’s campaign by a factor of 5 while x-cellar revenue has risen by a factor of 8.
  • 2017: AOP Languedoc exports were up 26% by volume at 733,000 9L cases total, and value rose even more, 36%. This is second in French AOP export growth only to Provence.