MARKETING/DESIGN/CONSUMER TRENDS/INSPIRATIONS Cognac & Brandy News for Consumers & Industry Experts
“Cognac accounts for over 30 percent of all brandy consumed by Americans, and continues to be led by the “Big Four” brands of Hennessy, Remy Martin, Courvoisier and Martell, which combine for well over 90 percent share of the U.S. Cognac market..”
“…Americans consumed less Cognac for the second-straight year in 2009, as sales fell by 6 percent down to 3.4 million 9-liter cases. The stagnant global economy adversely affected all major markets for Cognac last year…”
(From a WineSpectator.com article) Until 2008, Cognac had enjoyed 14 consecutive years of annual sales growth in the U.S. Long appreciated by older consumers as a digestif, the French brandy from the Cognac region had also recently begun to attract a younger demographic. But the economic malaise has compelled some consumers to “trade down” to less expensive alternatives, and not just within the brandy sector. Sustained high unemployment rates have put pressure on disposable incomes, and holiday retail sales were impacted severely for the second straight year. The lingering recession affected imported goods such as Cognac particularly hard, especially in restaurants and bars, where luxury-priced imports have a much higher presence.
Domestic brands, which account for nearly two-thirds of American brandy consumption, eked out a slight gain last year. E & J brandy continues to outpace the sector, and has been the country’s best-selling brandy since 1983, according to the 689-page report. E & J is distilled by E. & J. Gallo Winery, the world’s second-largest wine company by volume. America’s next best-selling brandy is Paul Masson, which is produced by the largest wine company, Constellation Brands.