Jean-Pierre Cointreau : "The world of cognac is in great shape"
Jean-Pierre Cointreau, an independent player in the world of spirits and champagne, analyses the sector's success.
Jean-Pierre Cointreau runs the Renaud Cointreau company, a SME with a turnover of 50 million, which produces Frapin cognac, Gosset champagne, but also liqueurs prized by mixologists, as well as syrups. It evokes the success of Charente brandy.
THE FIGARO. - Your company produces Frapin cognac, Gosset champagne, but also liqueurs and syrups. Are the indicators in good shape for all three sectors?
Jean-Pierre COINTREAU. To varying degrees. The world of cognac is indeed in great shape, as it has never been for the last fifty years. Volumes of cognac sold have increased by a third over the last decade. This year, the authorized yield of pure alcohol per hectare (14.64 hl AP/ha) has never been so high.
What is the cause of the increase in demand ?
The main reason is the fashion for mixology, cocktails that were brought back into fashion by the Americans some twenty years ago. Two thirds of cognac is consumed in cocktails. Even if it sometimes involves cutting the brandy with sparkling water.
How does Frapin respond to this trend ?
This year, we developed and launched 1270, a product that is somewhere between our VS and our VSOP (eau-de-vie of at least 2 and 4 years old, editor's note). We intend to market it in all our markets.
What are the markets for Frapin cognac ?
In the United States, we sell more entry-level cognacs. In Asia, we sell more value-added products. Africa remains complicated. And Europe remains a good base for consumption. Moreover, we must not neglect France, which remains in the top 10 consumer countries.
Demand is very strong. Are there any risks of stock shortages?
Managing shortages can sometimes be a solution for creating value. But Frapin does not ask itself this question, because here we have no external supplies. We work with the one and only resources of our cognac vineyard (240 ha in Grande Champagne, editor's note), which we own. Our model does not correspond to the classic Cognac model. But I admit that we benefit from the spotlight that is being put on the world of cognac.
Do you think we will have to extend the appellation area to be able to meet the growing demand?
Everyone seems to agree that a planting approach is essential. But it must be done with caution.
Does cognac know how to reinvent itself ?
At Frapin, we are opposed to finishing, which consists of adding aromas. We consider that cognac has intrinsic qualities that naturally make it a luxurious product.
Source : icognac.fr