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GrapeStars co-founder details the market for celebrity wine and spirits

GrapeStars Co-Founder and GrapeStars Entertainment CEO & President Jean-Jean Pelletier joins Yahoo Finance Live to discuss the celebrity wine market, curating cultural figures' alcohol brands, its international marketing strategy, and the company's growth outlook.

Video Transcript

- GrapeStars is an online platform curating and marketing celebrity-backed specialty wine and spirits. Here to help us discuss the spike in star power, endorsing, and owning liquor brands is Jean-Jean Pelletier, GrapeStar's co-founder and GrapeStar's Entertainment CEO and President. Jean-Jean merci beaucoup. Thank you so much for being here, monsieur. I want to start off--

JEAN-JEAN PELLETIER: I'm honored to be with you, Karina.

- Thank you so much. I want to start off by just understanding your business model a little bit. You had a soft launch back in 2020. How does that model work? Because I know you curate celebrity alcohol brands. So how does that get to the consumer, and then how do you interface with the celebrities that are on board your platform?

JEAN-JEAN PELLETIER: Well, it's a good question. I saw the market with my brother and my partners, about the celebrity-- that they were shifting, after celebrity perfume, to go in the alcohol business. And the [INAUDIBLE] is very strict in the United States. You cannot send sell directly to consumers if you're a celebrity.

So we decided to create this new technology called GrapeStars, which is a mobile app and a web platform where the celebrities can now go on their social media and direct to consumers say, hey guys, this is Jon Bon Jovi. This is Mary J Blige. Get my alcohol on GrapeStars.

And we fulfill in 45 states through different retailers, partners, that we have in the team of GrapeStars.

- You know, Jean-Jean, Alexis here. Good to have you on the show. So you know, when I think of some celebrities, you know, I feel like everybody's got their own wine, their own tequila, their own bourbon. Why has it become that-- I know it was once perfumes, but why have wines and spirits become sort of the preferred choice of revenue stream for so many of these celebrities?

JEAN-JEAN PELLETIER: Well, when you see a guy like The Rock who's now the largest in the history of alcohol, the most sell of tequila since the beginning of his tequila. And they all wanted to follow what George Clooney did with this tequila, Casamigos. He sold for $1 billion.

So they said, listen, [INAUDIBLE] let's do this. So now we've got on GrapeStars more than 300 celebrities. And the market, it seems that it doesn't stop. So we believe that we're a game changer in the industry. We decide to focus only on celebrities, but I want to say something.

When you look at here, the wine of Mary J Blige, it's made by Marco Sentinel in Italy, who's one of the best wine maker in the world. When you look at John Legend, he made a deal where he partnered with Jean-Charles Boisset, who's one of the best winemaker in the world also.

So these products are fantastic. And we're very proud. We believe that we're truly a niche market, but we think we're a game changer.

- And then who is your market, exactly? Who are you trying to appeal to? And you know, what is the allure of buying not just any alcohol, but celebrity-backed, owned, or endorsed alcohol?

JEAN-JEAN PELLETIER: Yeah. I would say everybody. And I was talking about COVID, the pandemic, during this bad moment of history. Sales skyrocket. You see a competitor, a company like Drizly, sold for $1.1 billion to Uber. So the market is huge.

There is new product that are coming on the market that we see, the new shift. Alcohol without alcohol, canned wine, and you know, all these can have been booming like crazy. And this year, we decide that in 2022, we're going to launch in a different country. We're talking with some partners in Canada to launch GrapeStars over there. Latin America also.

My brother is in Medellin in Colombia with some celebrities there, discussing about the opportunity there. We see that the NFT and the Metaverse is the way to go. So we are launching in 2022 GrapeStars NFT. This will be a game changer for many, many companies.

But I think that in the wine business, you saw Robert Mondavi recently doing an NFT Sarah Jessica Parker, who just launched her new Sex and the City just launched her own NFT. So GrapeStars will be on the forefront of this new technology.

- And Jean-Jean, not much time to go, but I want to ask you really quickly. What are some of the most popular offerings? And then when you do have customers that come and buy, maybe it's a novelty the first time. But what will bring them back is if it actually tastes good. So how much repeat business do you see?

JEAN-JEAN PELLETIER: Yeah. Funny as it is, Metallica has an amazing whiskey. Steven Soderbergh, we're very close to Mr. Soderbergh and his partner. He's one of the best director of the story of Hollywood. He's got a drink from Bolivia that is booming, called Singani.

You have also Michael Jordan, who just launched his own tequila. And so and so. We've been very lucky. We launched our company with the king of country music, George Strait. We're talking with Bruno Mars, we're talking with Adam Levine, and Jon Bon Jovi, and many other stars.

So it's going to be an exciting year for us. And recently, this is something that we are very, very proud, we made a deal with A360 Media. They control all the magazine of celebrities. So when you open the first page this week, it's us with our new division haute couture.

So the fact that we're partnered with the largest magazine of stars, it allow us to have a reach and help promote these brands of celebrities. So stars like us, and we-- I think we're doing a great job. We believe that our company could become the darling in 2022, and maybe a potential company could acquire us.

But right now, we work hard like Rocky Balboa.

- OK, we will have to leave it there. Thank you so much. A lot of star power there. Jean-Jean Pelletier, I love the name. GrapeStars' co-founder, GrapeStars Entertainment CEO and President. Thank you for your time, bonjour!