Whilst the cognac market in China remains buoyant, due to the slowdown of the country’s rich spending money on lavish purchases (thanks to a government crackdown), the cognac industry is looking at different ways to target this enormous potential market.

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According to industry experts, such as Frederic Beerens, Cognac Frapin’s Export Director for Asia Pacific, sales to the banqueting market have definitely reached a plateau.

So, savvy exporters are targeting the retail market.  This is thanks to the Chinese adopting more western habits of dinner parties and shopping, and it’s believed that cognac marketing could well be heading in this direction.

But in addition to this, the large houses are also expanding their sales on a geographical scale.  Currently the majority of sales are to the affluent south, but more and more brands are now expanding to the west and north, and targeting China’s second and third largest cities.

Remy Martin has already organized promotional events in the so far untapped area of the country, and Hennessy is expanding into cities such as Changsha and Wuhan.

Talking of new markets, Nigeria is proving to be a seemingly unlikely outlet for premium cognac brands.  With a huge wealth and people with money to burn, Hennessy has already launched a major campaign here.  And now it’s the turn of Martell to launch prestige products in the African country.

The cognac giant has launched a line of cognacs here, to include Chivas, VSOP Medallion, Cognac XO and L’Or Martell.  The cognacs are selling for between N60,000 to N1 million per bottle, and are selling well since their official launch in April 2013.

Sources: thespiritsbusiness.com, businessdayonline.com

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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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