For the fourth straight year, exports of Cognac have continued a steady rise, with an increase of 8.2% in volume and 5.4% in value. This according to the Bureau National Interprofessionnel du Cognac (BNIC), which represents the Cognac appellation in France and abroad.
The category has surpassed previous record of bottles shipped, 200 million, with 205.9 million bottles shipped between August 2017 and July 2018. The U.S. remains the leading market, with 86.5 million bottles during that period.
“The brown spirits category is growing in the U.S. market. The historical presence of cognac and the constant investment by the Cognac houses in this market have reinforced the performance of cognac in the U.S.,” explains Patrick Raguenaud, president of BNIC.
Representing 50% of total volume, the V.S., V.S.O.P. and older categories — including Napoléon, X.O. and Hors d’Âge — continue to play a prominent role in Cognac’s strong performance, according to the BNIC. The success of V.S. (minimum two years aging) cognac continues to be driven by the North American market, growing in volume by 6% and in value by 4.1%.
Representing a little less than 40% of the production, V.S.O.P. (minimum four years aging) shipments increased by 10% in volume and 2.1% in value. Napoléon (minimum six years aging), X.O. and Hors d’Âge (minimum 10 years aging) are also experiencing significant growth, with a rise of 12.4% in volume and 10.3% in value, respectively.
French spirits exports in 2017 reached new records by breaking the €4-billion mark (about $4.5 billion) for a total of 437 million liters — an increase of 2.4%. Cognac accounted for 70% of the value of spirits exports, and now represents nearly a quarter of the total value of all French wine and spirits exports.
“Cognac growers and négociants are confident in their future prospects and continue to fully invest in the development of the appellation, the markets and the quality of their products,” says Christophe Forget, VP of the BNIC.