Hold the front page… There’s a quiet revolution going on. Around the world, the millennial generation and their quest for authentic experiences are requiring companies to have a massive rethink, not only on their advertising techniques, but the very products being created. And in the case of Cognac, this means a rather remarkable real shift as to what’s being brought to market. The current state and future of millennial drinking trends are curious indeed.

WILD eau-de-vie-de-vin organic Brandy used crowdfunding to fund their project – a technique loved by millennials.

Don’t believe us? Take a look at the following 8 reasons why millennials, or Gen Y, have caused even the biggest of Cognac houses to reshape their whole attitude in order to tempt a generation with very different values from their predecessors.

1. Millennials value experiences over, well, over pretty much everything.

And why wouldn’t you, if your adult years are blighted by the highest costs of living ever, stagnant wage growth, and a virtually zero chance of ever owning your own property. Of course, you’re going to get your kicks where you can. And the Cognac experience is pretty damn special, whatever way you look at it.

Where you drink, what you drink, and how you drink all add to the value of the Cognac experience for the common millennial.

But don’t go thinking that it’s all about tradition. For this generation, nothing could be further from the truth. This leads us to the fact that…

2. Millennials don’t care how it’s ‘always been done’

Forget the double-chinned, pompous old gits guffawing at sexist jokes while swirling a glass of Cognac (that’s SO last century). Ignore the ‘wisdom’ that says old Cognacs can only be enjoyed neat. Because millennials like to mix their Cognac—and the more adventurous the mix, the bigger the appeal. For this generation, when it comes to cocktails, the older the eau-de-vie, the better.

The most expensive cocktail in the world contains Croizet Cognac

As for that old guy looking down his nose at their Cognac and Coke? Well, he can go take a hike… It’s their drink, their way, and they’ll stick two fingers up at anyone who tries to tell them differently. (In the politest possible way, of course. Millennials don’t do offensive).

3. Millennials aren’t taken in by brash, obnoxious, OTT advertising

For Gen Y, it’s not about showing off. In fact, that’s a complete turn off. The kind of adverts that would’ve appealed to the Baby Boomer Generation and Generation X simply won’t cut the mustard for these guys.

A stunning example of targeted millennial advertising that firmly brings a classic from 1870, The Hennessy XO, to the attention of today’s largest market

4. Millennial spending habits: they buy consciously

If they’re spending good money, then this generation wants to be sure they’re not funding child labor, or arms dealers, or anything equally horrific. Cognac brands with ethics have a big draw, such as sustainable farming, organic methods, or anything that benefits the planet. That’ll get their attention.

Cognac creators such as Jean Luc Pasquet and Guy Pinard & Fils lead the way in sustainable organic production methods

5. Millennials value authenticity: they love a story behind a brand

Millennials adore products with personality, and will engage with brands that engage and draw them in. Think Camus and their Caribbean Expedition Cognac, or the ongoing range of Hennessy and Rémy Martin Cognacs that collaborate with the best young artistic talent.

Remy Martin Matt W. Moore VSOP Limited Edition Cognac

6. Millennials love discovering new things

They love nothing better than finding a new brand or product to share with their friends. And the more innovative the better. 

Cognacs such as Courvoisier’s Sherry Cask Finish and Martell Blue Swift (OK, that’s not officially a Cognac, but you get the idea), highly appeal to this adventurous generation.

Martell Blue Swift: An innovative eau-de-vie-de-vin

7. Millennials have got some great role ambassadors in the world of Cognac

People like Fanny Fougeret, Elodie Abecassis (ABK6 Cognac), and Elodie Bouyer of Birius Cognac. 

Budding millennial Cognac producer, Elodie Bouyer of Birius Cognac

And the appointment of Baptiste Loiseau to the plum position at Rémy Martin was a stroke of sheer genius by the Cognac giant. We love the guy’s comment about how best to enjoy a Cognac. “Mixed with ginger ale, in a garden, with my friends at a barbeque”. A great quote, and perfectly targeted. Millennials love irreverence.

One of the youngest cellar masters ever to head a large Cognac house, Baptiste Loiseau of Remy Martin

8. Millennial drinking trend: They love cool bars

And cool bars serve cool Cognac cocktails. Where else can you enjoy a drink that contains a shot of a Cognac that costs hundreds, or even thousands of bucks a bottle? Now that’s an experience that really does appeal to the millennial way of thinking.

Cognac cocktails can be found in amazing bars the world over

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Jacki has been with Cognac Expert from virtually the beginning. She's the senior editor of the blog, and has spent much of her life living in rural France. Today she's based back in the UK, where she splits her working life between writing for Cognac Expert and working as a Paramedic at a large regional hospital.

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