MARKETING/DESIGN/CONSUMER TRENDS/INSPIRATIONS Cognac & Brandy News for Consumers & Industry Experts
For one company to survive it needs innovation. People often equate innovations to the creation of new products or the use of technology. Cognac is a traditional product but if it does not innovate it may disappear as there are many other spirits competing against cognac.
Cognac innovations are not only about creating new presentations. Here are a few basic ways cognac can innovate.
1) the introduction of a new (or modified) cognac;
2) the introduction of a new method of production of cognac;
3) the opening of a new cognac market;
4) the exploitation of a new source of supply;
and 5) the re-engineering/organization of improved business management processes.
I have rounded up the cognac innovations for the past 16 months in the cognac marketplace. Do not hesitate to contact us to suggest any other innovations you think should be presented here.
Most of these cognac innovations have focused on modified presentations and modified blends/ assemblages. The cognac is not offering a great deal of new products such as ABK6 Ice Cognac, and more specifically there are very few new sub-categories, such as Comandon creating the Single Barrel Cognac category within an XO selection. In the product business jargon this is called ‘a product line width extension’.
LIST OF RECENT INNOVATIONS IN THE COGNAC CATEGORY
The Martell XO Architect Edition by Christian de Portzamparc recently debuted in Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan airports. It will then be available in Kuala Lumpur airport from April to May 2013. The limited edition packaging includes a gift case that captures the light and to create a diffused glow transforming the case into a delicate architectural material that envelopes the bottle in subtle opacity. The Martell XO bottle has been reinterpreted to feature a gold bottle neck and cork closure and gold metallic label (2550 bottles in Asian Duty Free stores only).
Pernod Ricard also launched its travel retail exclusive Martell Millésime 1968 in key Asian airports following its success in the Martell Experience Boutiques and Singapore’s VIP Duty Free Store. Presented in a luxury leather and wooden gift box with a hand-written number denoting its status as a limited edition, Martell Millésime 1968 will be showcased in high profile promotion locations within duty free stores. The distinctive bottle shape was inspired by the ‘montre’ bottle used by generations of Cellar Masters when composing the final blend.
Comandon Single Barrel Cognac is the first cognac house to introduce a full line of single barrel cognacs while also producing the classic VS/VSOP/XO qualities. The Single Barrel collection consists of a three different bottles, with different growth area origins. A Comandon XO Single Barrel Cognac from the Borderies, Petite Champagne and Grande Champagne Appellations all available at cask strength. An original vintage look!
Martell launches Chanteloup Perspective in its travel retail outlets in Asia. The arch-shaped decanter features a silver motif echoing the wrought-iron gate which protects the cellar. A brushed-silver gift box embossed with a single ‘M’ further accentuates the new blend’s luxury credentials.
Cognac Camus launched one of its latest fine cognac – Ile de Ré Cliffside Cellar – from the vineyards of the Ile de Ré, the most westerly part of the Cognac AOC region. Drawn entirely from eaux-de-vie grown, distilled and aged on the island in a very humid cellar, it has a lively, dry palate with a fruity touch. Additional maturation in a cellar deep in the Fort de La Prée then adds a unique marine and mellow character. Built in 1626, the Fort de La Prée is located on a cliff overhanging the Atlantic, and its cellar is subjected to the full force of the oceanic climate.
To recapture the spirit of the quintessential cocktail days in the 1800s, Cognac Ferrand has launched Pierre Ferrand Cognac 1840 Original Formula – a revival of the classic three-star Cognac – in the US. This eminently mixable Cognac – created by Alexandre Gabriel, proprietor Cognac Ferrand and cellar-master Christian Guerin. The blend is closely modelled on a rare and well-preserved bottle of Pinet-Castillon Cognac from the year 1840, a generation and more before the phylloxera louse devastated the vineyards of Cognac. It has ben bottled at 45%ABV to enhance its use in cocktails. RRP $44.99 /75cl bottle.
Rémy Martin VSOP Urban Lights limited edition hits the streets this autumn in a dramatic black bottle decorated with the startling red neon lights of the city and lettering in scarlet and glittering gold. The 1 litre bottle will be available from selected travel retail outlets all over the world from September 2011 while stocks last at the same retail price as Rémy Martin VSOP Fine Champagne Cognac.
Originally punch was made with cognac it is said. As part of Courvoisier’s promotion campaign Courvoisier VS ‘punch pack is available in a special ‘ pack’ containing a free clear plastic ladle to encourage consumers to “upgrade their drinking experience and enjoy punch at home”. The 30,000 window carton packs feature Courvoisier’s signature serve punch recipe, which mixes Courvoisier VS with lemonade, a few dashes of Angostura aromatic bitters and a garnish of orange and lemon wheels. Neck hangers, that also feature the Courvoisier Punch recipe, plus a free music download, will be placed on a further 175,000 bottles in the offtrade.
Courvoisier is revolutionising the cognac category with the launch of a range of cognacs with an age declaration on the bottle. The Courvoisier Connoisseur Collection is launching with two qualities: Courvoisier 12 Year Old, using grapes from the Borderies; and Courvoisier 21 Year Old, made exclusively from grapes harvested in the Grande Champagne region. Their respective RRPs are £50 and £175.
Rémy Martin launched Centaure de Diamant in the Americas. This new presentation, created exclusively for travel retail is set to appear in key airports across the Americas including New York, Washington, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Vancouver, Puerto Rico and also on cruiselines. RSP US$1,000. The chiselled glass carafe is topped with a silver collar and cabochon stopper that bears the centaur emblem of Rémy Martin. The carafe comes in an elegant presentation coffret in metallic silver with bevelled edges, which open backwards to reveal the decanter and act as a display case on shelf.
Bacardi Global Travel Retail Division is launching Baron Otard’s Fortis et Fidelis. A rare cognac into select travel retail outlets worldwide (RRP US$4,500). The crystal carafe is handcrafted by Royale de Saint-Louis.
Rémy Martin’s Coeur de Cognac is being presented in is distilled very slowly for extra smoothness and vibrant fruitiness and is designed to offer non-Cognac drinkers an accessible premium quality product.
ABK6 Ice Cognac: The Abécassis family, known for its single estate cognacs, launched Ice Cognac, a contemporary cognac that has been specifically blended by the cellar master to be savoured on ice. Its flavours develop progressively, highlighting a range of distinct aromas from fruit to lemon sorbet and mint through contact with the ice and water. This product is kind of reminiscent of Remy Ice Boxx and following this concept for colder cognac users.