The Cognac Board (BNIC), a trade association representing growers, producers, and merchants from Cognac, France announced that global Cognac shipments had a strong recovery from August 1st 2014 to July 31st 2015, a record both in terms of volume (3rd best year) and value (2nd best year). This increase in shipments comes mostly from continued growth in North America, especially the United States.
Cognac shipments are showing year over year growth of 5.9% in volume and 9.4% in value, for total shipments of 164.7 million bottles and sales of $2.75 billion. With 97% of production exported to more than 160 countries, Cognac reaffirms its position as a leader in French exports.
Continued growth in North America
For the sixth consecutive year, North America leads global sales with an increase of 15.5% in volume and 31.6% in value, which was driven by the United States. As Cognac’s first market for over 30 years, United States consumers once again confirm their appeal for the Cognac category, with 63 million bottles shipped over 2014-2015.
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After a strong decline in 2013-2014, results in the Far East are slightly improving with shipments to -0.3% in volume and -5.8% in value, for a total of more than 49 million bottles imported across the region.
Shipments in Europe have stabilized with -2.2% in volume and +0.5% in value for a total of over 40.1 million bottles shipped. This steadiness is directly related to the recovery in Western Europe, which acted to counterbalance the precarious economic and geopolitical environment in Eastern Europe.
Growth in New Markets
Cognac’s shipments have accelerated in new markets, including South Africa and Australia, with 16.4% in volume and 34.6% in value. Together, these new areas of opportunity now represent more than 6% of total volumes shipped with more than 10 million bottles.
Balanced demand between younger and superior categories
Powered by the American market, VS (Very Special) category continues to grow with an 8% increase in volume and 21.5% growth in value, accounting for nearly half of all Cognac shipments.
With over 40% of shipped volumes, the VSOP (Very Special Old Pale) category also enjoys significant 8.9% growth in volume and 13% in value.
The healthy state of VS and VSOP sales balances out the decline observed on superior categories: -11.5% in volume and -4.3% in value.
The Cognac Board trade association reports that growth in shipments during the 2014-2015 period achieved the forecasted objectives of Cognac professionals for the year, reinforcing Cognac’s market share in the alcohol beverage sector.