After embittered battles this year over Roquefort, beef, and Coca-Cola, France has decided it needs to show the rest of the world some love. Concerned that outsiders perceive two of France's top exports, wine and cheese, to be unapproachable, the French government, with the help of local producers, has agreed to spend $2.1 million to sponsor cocktail parties in 19 different countries. While many events around the globe will take place in large convention centers, the program in the US will be different. In an effort to capitalize on the American trend of entertaining at home to save money, the stateside program will be a series of parties subsidized in private homes. On June 4, 1,000 Americans will hold wine and cheese parties, complements of the French Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries.
The American effort is being organized by House Party, a marketing company that arranges sponsored parties. Hopeful hosts simply apply online; if selected, they'll receive 15 percent discounts on select French wines, a free gift when they order online at specialized cheese websites, and a box of French-themed party gear. In return, hosts are required to throw a party, photograph and blog the event, and answer a survey about the products they tasted.
Considering many parties already revolve around wine and cheese, this seems like a solid idea. Do you think this effort will have an impact on French wine and cheese sales in the US? Are you planning to apply?