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Impact Databank: Cognac To Crest 4 Million Cases In The U.S. This Year For First Time

October 26, 2015

In recent years, the Cognac category has seen a gradual rebound from the economic downturn of 2008-2009, but lately its progress has accelerated markedly. Last year, Cognac volumes in the U.S. grew 7.7% to just under 4 million nine-liter case depletions. Shipments from France to the U.S., Cognac’s leading global market with 36% volume share, also reached an all-time high in 2014, hitting 4.5 million cases on a 13.4% advance. Impact Databank projects that Cognac depletions in the U.S. will increase 9% in 2015 to more than 4.3 million cases, marking the first time the category will be over 4 million cases.

Five of the top seven Cognac brands in the U.S. exhibited significant depletions growth last year. Category leader Hennessy, with a 64% share, shot ahead 9% to more than 2.5 million cases. Meanwhile, fifth-ranked Martell advanced by double-digits in the U.S., and Bacardi USA’s newer Cognac brand, d’Ussé, was also a standout performer. d’Usse more than tripled in volume last year, following its debut of an XO expression ($230), which joined its original VSOP entry ($45) introduced in mid-2012.

Second-ranked Rémy Martin and third-ranked Courvoisier also showed positive growth for the year, while Salignac—a lower-priced entry-level offering—declined following years of upward progress.

Cognac’s pace appears to have picked up so far in 2015. In the 52 weeks through August the category was up 18.5% in volume in Nielsen channels. Growth was even more impressive in control states, as NABCA reported a 71% rise for Cognac over the same period, with Hennessy VS driving the surge.

U.S. – Top Six Cognac Brands
(thousands of nine-liter cases)
Brand Importer 2011 2012 2013 2014 Percent
Hennessy Moet-Hennessy USA (LVMH) 2,155 2,230 2,330 2,540 9.0%
Remy Martin Remy-Cointreau USA 595 670 621 648 4.4%
Courvoisier Beam Suntory Inc 420 415 410 420 2.4%
Salignac Beam Suntory Inc 87 90 104 98 -5.7%
Martell Pernod Ricard USA 75 67 65 77 18.5%
d’Usse Bacardi USA, Inc. 3 18 55 +
Total U.S. 3,491 3,629 3,682 3,965 7.7%
* based on unrounded dataSource: IMPACT DATABANK


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