9 to 26 September, in London and participating outlets throughout the country. The final touches have been added to the Sud de France Festival 2011 which will run from 9 to 26 September. Celebrating the Mediterranean lifestyle, the Sud de France Festival will offer consumers a chance to experience the tastes and aromas of the Languedoc-Roussillon region. Now in its 3rd year, the event promises to be bigger and bolder and encompasses a full programme of nationwide promotional activities both in the on and off-trade, as well as an exciting range of consumer events. 

The Festival is an operational concept from Sud de France Export which breaks with the conventions of traditional promotional activities, and aims to position the Sud de France brand in a pro-active context while conveying the Mediterranean way of life. 

“The Festival is designed to promote Languedoc-Roussillon food and wine products to the end consumer with the help of our trade partners. It is an original marketing initiative involving the entire industry as we work closely with producers, importers, delis and high profile retailers to create a big push and maximum synergy” explains Isabelle Kanaan, Executive Director of Sud de France Export London office.  “While Sud de France focuses the majority of its activities throughout the year on the trade, the festival is devised to reach a large audience through a wide range of promotions and events” adds Kanaan.

An innovative series of promotions, including in-store tastings and features, promotional offers and competitions, will be organised in conjunction with participating outlets, notably restaurants and hotels, independent wine specialists and chains and mid-premium range multiple retailers. Côte restaurants, Hibiscus, Antidote, The Wright Brothers, Cork & Bottle, Kensington and Fulham Wine Rooms, La Cave à Fromage, L’Atelier des Chefs, Waitrose, Laithwaites, Majestic, Roberson, Marché du Quartier, Partridges will all be taking part and are gearing up for a series of bespoke Sud de France activities and events in a total of 318 outlets throughout the country.

The festivities will kick off on a high note with a consumer tasting and party held on a boat in West India Dock (Canary Wharf) on Friday 9 September. A night full of contrast, vibes and passion as Electro-Rock music, performed by the Gilles Peterson’s Worldwide Festival team, will echo Natural Wines championed by the indefatigable Isabelle Legeron MW. 

The festival will unwind in a stream of activities spanning two weeks; consumer events will include an exclusive tasting of high end wines from Languedoc-Roussillon, a series of tutored tasting seminars presented by leading experts, a food and wine Sud de France dedicated zone at the first Three Wine Men consumer fair, a giant “Gardianne” dish in Borough market, a pop-up Languedoc-Roussillon space for the duration of the festival at Vinopolis, Sud de France cheese and wine matching with La Cave à Fromage, cooking courses as well as numerous sampling opportunities. For full details of the Sud de France Festival, please refer to the complete programme below. 

Last but not least on the trade side the 3rd Sud de France sommelier competition will see the best sommeliers battle it out for the title through a demanding series of challenges.

“During two weeks we are generating a buzz around the Sud de France brand. The whirl of activities is backed up by a significant media campaign linked to participating retail outlets and a dedicated website http://www.festival-suddefrance.com.  The overall objective is to increase sales volumes and expand listings of Sud de France products across distribution channels. The summer has been miserable in England and we hope to bring a ray of sunshine to busy Londoners before the autumn. The fun and relaxed atmosphere will emulate the South of France Mediterranean lifestyle while Sud de France products will tease the taste buds and comfort the soul.” adds Isabelle Kanaan. 

The Festival mechanics have proved successful and the results speak for themselves: in 2010, more than 4,039 new Sud de France product listings were secured (food and wines) in the 1,052 retail outlets participating in Sud de France Festivals across the world. 

The festival is a worldwide event, and in 2011 Sud de France Export is setting up again Sud de France Festivals in New York, London, Shanghai, Brazil, Mexico and GermanyOver the course of two weeks, the towns will sway to the rhythm of Languedoc-Roussillon, thanks to a significant promotional campaign orchestrated by Sud de France Export and its local offices the Maisons de la Région Languedoc-Roussillon in New York, London and Shangai,

Full programme and information : http://www.festival-suddefrance.com

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