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Meghan Markle’s new lifestyle brand, American Riviera Orchard, is on the way. Although it hasn’t officially launched, it already looks to be missing two key components of success, an expert says. Ahead, what the Duchess of Sussex’s new business venture is lacking. Plus, what another expert says Meghan needs to make it a “huge success.”  

Meghan unveiled American Riviera Orchard on March 14

On March 14, 2024, Meghan revealed her next project: a lifestyle brand. She announced American Riviera Orchard, believed to be a nod to living in Montecito, California, which has been called the American Riviera.

The brand’s Instagram went live with a photo grid of the brand’s name written in Meghan’s signature calligraphy. If royal watchers weren’t sure it belonged to Meghan, they got confirmation with one look at the bio: “by Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex.” 

A link to the website, also listed in the bio, brings visitors to the homepage. There, they can sign up for a waitlist. As for the 16-second clip, it showed Meghan arranging flowers, cooking, and wearing a gown as Nancy Wilson’s “I Wish You Love” played. 

American Riviera Orchard won’t ‘resonate’ without consistency and authenticity 

Lynn Carrat of Press Box PR examined the soft launch of American Riviera Orchard. Speaking to The Mirror she shared that Meghan’s brand and accompanying video “isn’t going to resonate” with the general public.

“Who has a luxury kitchen like that in their home?” she asked, referencing a shot of Meghan cooking in her and Prince Harry’s Montecito home. “And you also have to ask how much the products are going to cost as it’s unlikely they’ll be affordable.” 

The problem, Carrat explained, is the brand doesn’t necessarily fit in with Meghan’s charity work. 

“You can’t one minute be championing the underprivileged and then the next minute standing in your luxury kitchen wearing designer togs [clothes] and selling luxury homemade products.”  

The two things Meghan “needs” are, in her opinion, “consistency and authenticity.” 

“There needs to be some consistency and authenticity running across Meghan’s brand,” she said. “Meghan is always going to be criticised [sic] for whatever she does. But she also needs to help herself in fostering the right PR strategy.” (Previously, a willingness from Meghan to open up more about her private life has been called essential.) 

American Riviera Orchard is selling an assortment of products, per the brand’s trademark filing. They range from silverware and dishes to yoga mats and dog food.

‘Beautiful and high quality’ products will help make Meghan’s lifestyle brand a success

According to another PR expert, Jane Owen, focusing on the American Riviera Orchard could pay off big for Meghan. 

“If Meghan puts effort behind her new brand, to make sure it’s beautiful and high quality and also uses her extensive contacts and her obvious sway with the media, I believe the brand will be a huge success,” Owen said. 

“It’s a really smart move. Meghan is beautiful, has good taste. And her fans now can buy into a piece of that,” she continued, citing Victoria Beckham as a “good example to emulate.” 

Beckham’s “clothing and makeup brand has done exceptionally well because it’s excellent quality. And she works hard at promoting it,” the expert explained. Meghan “could easily surpass” the company’s value, estimated at $60 million in 2022, and reach $100 million.