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Hennessy’s Upswing Accelerates As Brand Crosses 2.5 Million Cases In U.S.

October 20, 2015

Moët Hennessy’s flagship Hennessy Cognac brand continues to see dynamic progress on top of an already large base in the U.S. market. In 2014, the upscale franchise doubled its depletion growth rate from the previous year with a 9% advance to 2.54 million nine-liter cases, according to Impact Databank. With a 64% share of the U.S. Cognac market, Hennessy’s accelerated pace helped drive the category’s total U.S. depletions to just under 4 million cases on a 7.7% increase last year.

Rodney Williams, executive vice president, spirits brands, Moët Hennessy USA, tells SND that efforts to widen Cognac’s audience—as well as its consumption occasions—have been integral to forwarding Hennessy’s momentum. “Consumers, especially Millennials, are continuing to discover Cognac and are enjoying it in mixed drinks and an expanded set of day and night occasions. The breadth of the Hennessy portfolio makes the brand highly inclusive,” he says, noting the luxury label’s premium but accessible VS ($32), Black ($40) and VSOP Privilège ($50-$60) tiers. Up the pricing ladder, the range also includes Hennessy XO ($160), Paradis ($250), Paradis Impérial ($3,000) and top expression Hennessy Richard ($4,800).

With Hennessy VS in particular drawing increased interest lately, Moët Hennessy has responded by putting renewed focus on the entry-level offering, including with limited edition Artist Series bottlings. The brand’s “Never Stop. Never Settle” campaign has also helped Hennessy connect with new consumers, particularly younger LDA Millennials starting to explore the category, Williams adds.

To keep up with growing global demand, Moët Hennessy recently broke ground on a new 26,000-square-meter (280,000-square-foot) shipping and bottling facility in Cognac. The Pont Neuf facility will have a production capacity of about 10 million cases a year when it becomes operational, expected by 2017.

 

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