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In A Category Dominated By Hennessy, Newcomer D’Ussé Cognac Is Rising Fast

December 11, 2015

The resurgent U.S. market’s Cognac sales were propelled by category leader Hennessy’s 9% gain last year, but smaller brands have been making significant advances—including a newcomer from Bacardi, a company not known for its presence in Cognac.

Bacardi USA’s D’Ussé Cognac was a standout performer in the category last year, with a 205% advance to 55,000 cases. First introduced in mid-2012, D’Ussé showed strong growth in 2013 off the success of its sole VSOP offering ($45).

Last year, D’Ussé gained a second expression with the limited launch of XO ($230) to select high-end accounts. The brand ranks number-six in the U.S. Cognac market, and is endorsed by rapper Jay-Z, who appears in its marketing.

Bacardi’s concept on D’Ussé is to redefine Cognac for a younger set of U.S. spirits consumers. In doing so it hopes to challenge a category long dominated by its “big four” of Hennessy, Rémy Martin, Courvoisier and Martell.

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