It seems that we’ve been reporting rise upon rise in cognac shipments to China and various other Asian countries over the past 18 months, but now it appears that there’s a shift afoot. Because whilst exports to North America have increased some 10 per cent to the 12 months to July 2013, sales to Asia are down 3.7 per cent for the same period.

Take a look at the cognac shipments 2012-2013: We see that USA and Singapore hold, while all other Top 10 markets seem to go down. Given that China and HK are pure “old quality” markets – this is rather bad news.

cognac-exports

This has undoubtedly been caused by the decline in sales to China, thanks to a multitude of reasons, including the government clampdown on luxury goods being given as gifts in the line of business.

Massive Drop in September 2013

Preliminary figures released by the BNIC show a massive 30.6 per cent drop in September 2013 to the Far East, with XO and older falling by 18.7 per cent, and VSOP by 17.8 per cent.

What this means in real terms is the the North American market once again stakes its claim as the most important market in regards to cognac exports. Let’s take a look at Hennessy, Remy Martin and Courvoisier:

Hennessy

The largest house sold 2.2 million cases to the US last year, and this robust sales increase has continued into 2013. Rodney Williams, Senior Vice President of Hennessy USA, says this is in part thanks to their ‘Wild Rabbit’ campaign that’s really engaged with the younger consumer.

Rémy Martin

Remy saw it’s sales increasing by 6.7 per cent in 2012, and a good increase in Their debut into the TV advertising medium in the US has been to great effect, and their white spirit, Remy Martin V, has also proved popular with consumers.

Courvoisier

With a n 11 per cent increase in sales in 2011, Courvoisier saw a drop of 1.2 per cent in 2012. However, Marketing Director, Michale Cockram, said. “We’ve been focusing on growing Courvoisier by bringing the brand to new consumers and new occasions with our innovations.”

These include the launch of Courvoisier Rose and Courvoiser Gold last year – both at the lower end of the price range ($24.99 – $24.99 per bottle), as well as C by Courvoisier, all of which have proved a hit with their target market.

C by Courvoisier Cognac

But it’s not only the big boys making waves Stateside…

Cognac Business: Massive Drop in September & Slowdown in Asian Sales

Because consumers over the pond are showing an increasingly voracious appetite for some of the smaller brands. Bacardi has now launched D’Usse cognac into Chicago, Las Vegas, Miami, Los Angeles, Houston, New Jersey, Connecticut and New Orleans.

Hine (who were recently bought by France’s EDV – read more about this here…) is showing strong increases in the US market, as well other artisan brands such as Cognac Ferrand.

Sources: shankennewsdaily.com charentelibre.fr

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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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