The US has re-emerged as Cognac’s champion following China’s withdrawal as front-runner over the last couple of years. Last year, exports of Cognac to the US were up 13.5%, thereby reaching an historically high level of over 5.4 million cases (65.3 million bottles), according to figures from the Bureau National Interprofessionnel du Cognac.
But while the BNIC can be justifiably proud of its North American achievement, sales in second-placed Singapore are also significant and rising by 5.7% to over two million cases while the sales figures emerging out of China indicate that it may be about to stage a comeback into consumer contention.
The BNIC believes that the Cognac industry is re-establishing its presence in China, although in a somewhat different format, with China showing 23.8% growth – not of the top-end expressions but at the entry and medium levels. For the Cognac being consumed in the new growth in China is at the entry and medium levels – that’s VS and VSOP.
The younger Chinese consumer is responsible for this growth and what’s more encouraging, they‘re spending their own income on it, not taking it out on expenses.
Globally, Cognac continues to grow despite the clampdown on high-end Cognac purchasing by the Chinese authorities. Continuing into this year, Cognac seems to be heading for a continuation of global volume growth with the BNIC stating that following an already favourable 2015 Cognac shipments continued to rise in the year to October 2016, evincing volume growth of 4.6% to 14.6 million cases which brought in nearly €2.7 billion.
With it now being sold in around 160 countries around the world, Cognac is considered a major player on the French export market.
Globally, shipments of Cognac have never been higher, proof if proof were needed that Cognac is in recovery mode.
Europe saw a 0.6% volume increase in shipments and a strong growth in value, up by 15.9%.
Cognac market in Ireland
Ireland is no slouch when it comes to Cognac consumption, with a current global consumption ranking of 16 in the year to the end of October 2016.
This means that, at 105,250 cases (as calculated by the IWSR), we import 0.83% of the world market in terms of volume and 0.51% by value.
It’s very much a market for young Cognac as VS Cognac is responsible for 98.31% of exports according to BNIC figures.
Nielsen figures indicate that the on-trade was responsible for 31,780 cases of ‘brandy’ (mostly Cognac) MAT to October 2016 worth an estimated €36.1 million. These figures were down on the 2015 MAT October figures by 5.9% in volume and 5.3% in value.
Off-trade Cognac sales were also down by about 2.2% to 71,580 cases worth €34.6 million, down 2.8% in value.
However, Cognac is developing a whole new market in the younger consumer here in Ireland through couching the offer in a different, not-so-traditional manner.
Celebrate the Festive Season with Hennessy
To celebrate Christmas 2016, Hennessy has created a custom gifting line for Hennessy Very Special, Hennessy XO and Fine de Cognac inspired by the iconic shape of its bottle.
The 2016 Hennessy Very Special edition unveils a range of offers including the Hennessy Very Special gift box, a gift enclosing a bottle of Hennessy Very Special with two glasses or with a VSOP Privilège 5 cl miniature. The design of the custom gifting line evokes Hennessy Very Special cosmopolitan flair, as the emblematic bottle shines in the heart of the city and reflects its silhouette in the buildings.
Hennessy VSOP presents a beautiful gift box complete with two glasses while Hennessy XO offers Hennessy XO and Ice – a luxurious coffret with two new glasses designed by T Bastide and a frozen unique metallization with festive labels on the decanter.
Fine de Cognac stands out for its capacity to reconcile great lightness with a certain structure, expressing the complex subtlety of balance. This Christmas, Fine de Cognac offers a unique and exciting Christmas edition that blends the principles of precision, fluidity and structure, showcased on the gift box packaging.
Demanding in its creation, Hennessy Very Special brings together an intense and fruity character with pleasantly oaky notes, maintaining its inimitable style across time. Savour Hennessy neat, on ice or with a mixer to reveal the liveliness of its character and to create a unique moment this festive season.
Hennessy’s Christmas gift range ensures that everyone can find the perfect gift.
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Godet Cognac arrives in Ireland
The supreme Godet Cognac has arrived in Ireland. The Godet family has been producing spirits since the 16th Century and now 15 generations later that family is still transforming wine into one of the most refined spirits in the world. Set in the same original venue on a cliff overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, their modern cellars hold some great barrels able to tell the story of Europe in a few sips. It also holds some of the most innovative blends, dedicated to a new generation of cognac drinkers.
It is a perfect example of a Cognac house that deeply believes in the tradition of this spirit and its origins. Distributed in Ireland by Dalcassian Wines & Spirits Godet has entered the market with a small but remarkable portfolio including:
Cognac No 1, specially blended to create cocktails
Gastronome Fine Champagne,
Folle-Blanche Epicure, a 20 year-old Cognac produced with the rarest grape varietal still in production in Cognac, the Folle Blanche.