Cognac distillers in France and are starting to bet big on the U.S. market.
According to Reuters, “The big four producers — LVMH Moet Hennessy, Remy Cointreau, Pernod Ricard, and Beam Suntory, have turned more of their attention to the U.S. following a drop in sales in China after an anti-graft campaign.”
Cognac has been largely celebrated by black cultures around the world, from Africa to the United States. Rappers have regularly been heard rapping about their favorite brands of cognac.
Outside of black culture and drinkers in China, cognac has been largely ignored. In many cases middle and upper-class white drinkers turned away from cognac because of its constant mentions in rap songs.
Producers of the drink, made by distilling white wine and aging it in oak barrels for anywhere from two to dozens of years, now need to reach other groups as Chinese drinkers turn their taste to other options.
“We don’t want cognac just to be for one category of person,” Remy Martin Executive Director Augustin Depardon told Reuters.
Remy Martin has already started a new campaign featuring Hollywood actor Jeremy Renner, one of the stars of The Avengers movies.
Hennessy, Remy Martin, Martell and Courvoisier distill and distribute 85% of all cognac, and they are competing neck-to-neck for a piece of the quickly growing “brown spirits” market in the U.S., a market that is currently dominated by bourbon and rum.