Brands Report 2023: Cognac

05 January, 2023

It’s a familiar-looking line-up at the top of the cognac charts, although there’s been some shift at the lower level.

It’s no surprise that the brand responsible for about half of cognac production is also the bestseller behind the bar. And consistently so – every year we’ve polled on cognac, Hennessy comes back the answer. This year LVMH’s cognac was the top choice in almost a third of bars, while it’s among the top two in more than half. It’s a top-three cognac in almost two-thirds of our sample. Its position as the top trending brand suggests its size and ubiquity does not cramp its cool credentials.

While Hennessy has the gamut of styles from a competitive entry level up to luxury bottlings, Rémy Martin, is perhaps best known for its higher-end styles, with grapes used only from Grande Champagne and Petite Champagne crus. In terms of visibility, the Rémy Cointreau house isn’t far off its rival – 60% of our sample said it was among the top three cognacs – but it lost out on the house pour. Still very credible, 25% of our bars reach for Rémy Martin before any other.

Ferrand Cognac has been a real success story, infiltrating as it has the traditional top four, but it looks to have dipped in popularity a little over recent years – from 2015- 2019 it was this list’s runner up, but now is more regularly in third. That said, it’s a common house pour – 10% of bars attested to it being their first choice and more than half have it on the regular roster.

Martell should be mixing it with the big boys with Pernod’s might behind it, and this year climbs back to fourth, with a very similar, but inferior record to Ferrand. Meanwhile, Courvosier had a good share of the house pours – it was the bestseller in 9% – but was slightly less likely to be part of the supporting cast. If the top five tend to dominate in the on-trade, Camus (13% made it a top-three cognac) and Hine (8%) are the two brands that are consistently visible, without accounting for much of the volume.

Hardy, Delamain and Merlet headed up a group of smaller brands with occasional presence in top bars.

How we did it

The Annual Brands Report results are the culmination of a survey of 100 bars from 33 countries around the world which have been nominated or won international awards. The report offers a picture of the buying habits of the world’s best bars – not only which brands sell best, but also what’s trending to indicate the brands that are hot right now.

To view the page-turner edition of the Brands Report click here.

The Brands Report will be serialised on throughout January.

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