Red Bull in France


A few years ago, I met a cruise art auctioneer who was a few years older than I, but we got along well discussing art and investing while on a cruise. My dad and I became friendly with the guy and connected a few times after over email.
Long story short, while on the cruise, he told us that he and the company he founded owned the distribution rights to Red Bull in France, even though it was illegal to sell there, simply because cruise ships that had ports in France were allowed to load up on Red Bull at the port. At the time, I thought this was genius since competition for selling Red Bull in France was probably light, and he was still able to do well because of the ships that were able to add Red Bull to their stock.
Incidentally, I just read in the NY Post this morning that the EU turned over a law prohibiting Red Bull from being offered in France. This guy must be really happy today!


  1. I remember when I was bringing back to France loads of Red Bull bottles from Austria when I used to work there back in 2002 (btw, Red Bull is an Austrian company so the local business was just booming at this time)
    My French friends really enjoyed that drinks and I’m pretty sure I could have sold some bottles if I had wished to 🙂
    The second thing we have to learn from your story is that in France, pretty everything is prohibited without particular ground and to market that, the government likes to say these things are just “dangerous”. Funny thing, the more they say that, the more black markets there and so the more success the product has at the end… vive la France 🙂

  2. He is going to be one very man, I hope he has got the infrastructure in place to make it work!
    Otherwise he will just sell the rights to someone else – either way $$$$$$$$

Leave a Reply