Hennessy On The Rise In The U.S., Despite Cognac’s Global Slowdown

Although Cognac has lost a little steam in the U.S. lately—decelerating from 2.8% volume growth in 2012 to a 1.9% advance last year, according to Impact Databank—category leader Hennessy has managed to stay ahead of the curve. In 2012, Hennessy was up 3.5% in the U.S., and last year the brand tacked on a 4.5% gain, reaching more than 2.3 million cases. Hennessy’s progress has extended into 2014, with Moët Hennessy recently reporting that the flagship Cognac showed “excellent momentum in the United States” over the past nine months through September.

Hennessy’s ongoing success in the U.S. has been fueled in part by an aggressive marketing strategy, including its comprehensive “Never Stop. Never Settle” campaign, launched last year. This year’s iteration of the campaign, which is targeted toward young LDA consumers, featured a partnership with hip-hop artist Nas, as well as a nationwide mobile tour showcasing the achievements of English motorist Sir Malcolm Campbell, among other initiatives. The brand has also put significant emphasis on attracting Hispanic-American consumers, one of the U.S. market’s fastest-growing demographics.

“Mexico is among the biggest markets for Hennessy, and Cognac actually has a long history in the market, dating back to the Mexican Revolution,” says Moët Hennessy USA senior director of multicultural Manny Gonzalez, adding that Hennessy, in particular, has become a gift-giving staple for Hispanic drinkers. “In the U.S., we’re reaching out to bicultural Hispanic consumers.”

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