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Cognac Shipments Decelerate In 2018, But Still Reach New Record

January 17, 2019

Global Cognac shipments reached record highs in both volume and value in 2018, according to the Bureau National Interprofessionnel du Cognac (BNIC). The Cognac category grew by 3% to 204.2 million bottles valued at €3.2 billion ($3.6b) last year, marking a 2% rise in value. While growth is ongoing, the category’s progress decelerated significantly from the prior year, when volume and value surged 12% and 13%, respectively.

Cognac exports to North America rose 5.2% to 90.6 million bottles last year, with 87.4 million bottles coming to the U.S. According to Impact Databank’s estimate, market leader Hennessy slowed to a 2.2% advance in the U.S. last year, as the brand continues to battle supply constraints, after adding 1 million cases in volume from 2015-2017.

Globally, nearly 90% of Cognac exports last year were either V.S. (50%) or V.S.O.P. (nearly 40%) qualities, with V.S.O.P. marques growing slightly faster than the V.S. segment (+3.5% vs. +2.6%). Representing 11.5% of total volume, X.O. and other higher-end Cognacs were up 7.5% in volume and 6.3% in value.—Shane English

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