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Cognac seeks salvation from US growth

With exports of Cognac to the US rising in value by over 30% in just one year, producers are hailing the country as the saviour of the category following its far-eastern folly.

The US market has taken a shine to Cognac (Photo: Wiki)

The period of growth between the year to 31 July 2015 was the third highest since records began, according to Cognac trade body BNIC. It claims that performance in the US is to thank for this achievement.

Globally, Cognac increased its export volumes by 5.9% to 164.7 million bottles, and its value by 9.4%, equating a turnover of €2.4 billion (£1.76bn).

In the ALENA area, of which America is the largest part, with volumes increasing 15.5%. The amount spent on Cognac in the US grew by 31.6%.

These figures contrast markedly with those reported from Asia, where exports dropped by a further 0.3% and value down by 5.8% in the period.

The BNIC is pinning the blame for flatlining European sales – with volumes up 2.2% and value up by just 0.5% – on “the difficult economic and geopolitical climate” resulting from the frosting of relations between Russia and the EU and the economic instability caused by the Greek debt crisis.

In its most recent financial report, Cognac producer Rémy Cointreau – the company behind leading Cognac brand Rémy Martin – said that a shift in focus to premiumising the US market will soon begin paying off, despite the slow uptake from consumers unused to the higher price brackets.

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