Gary Heck, President of Korbel Champagne Cellars
This is a partial transcript from Your World with Neil Cavuto, December 28, 2001. Click here to order Wednesday's entire transcript.
TERRY KEENAN, GUEST HOST: My next guest anticipated that many Americans' first new year's resolution would be to stay close to home this year, but he's still confident his company will be a big part of their celebrations.
Joining me now from San Francisco, Gary Heck, he is the president of Korbel Champagne Cellars. Korbel, by the way, is an official sponsor of the Times Square New Year`s Eve celebrations as well. And good to have you with us, Mr. Heck.
GARY HECK, PRESIDENT, KORBEL CHAMPAGNE CELLARS: Thank you, Terry. Nice being here.
KEENAN: How does business look this year?
HECK: It's changed a lot. A lot of people are going to be celebrating at home, with friends and neighbors, having block parties, instead of going out to major restaurants. So it`s going to be pretty much home body this year.
KEENAN: You know, it's interesting, because we have heard reports that in the wake of 9-11, there's been more drinking going on in the country. Have you noticed that trend as well?
HECK: Not really in the champagne business. You know, we are really a celebration drink, and there hasn`t been a whole lot since 9-11, but I think people are looking forward to bringing in the new year, and you know, most champagne, or a big percentage of it, 12 percent of it, is drunk the last week of the year.
KEENAN: I didn't realize that. I guess it makes sense. What typically happens during recessionary times to your types of sales, of champagne and kind of high-end drinks such as that?
HECK: Well, when you have a recessionary time, people still drink champagnes or fine wines. They may switch categories. You may drink Dom Perignon drink, you're likely to come down your $20, $30 a bottle, and maybe the low end might switch up a little bit. So the companies like Korbel, for an example, that $12.99 to $10.99 on a hot deal, it`s a pretty good value. So, we kind of are almost recession-proof, in some respects.
KEENAN: And what kind of threat are the French champagne companies to you?
HECK: Well, they, you know, they like to think they're a bigger threat than they really are, but they're a very small factor. Out of the 12 million cases that`s sold in this country, they're only about four million of it, so the rest is U.S.-produced product.
KEENAN: And they also to think that they`re the only real champagne, but I'm sure you would dispute that as well.
HECK: Well, if you want to just use the word "champagne," you can only use that in the Champagne region of France. If you make champagne in the United States, you must put the area of origin in front of it, such as California or American.
KEENAN: All right, thanks for joining us, happy new year.
HECK: Same to you.
KEENAN: Gary Heck, president of Korbel.
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