In 2014-2015, the United States took the lead on China, as the Group’s largest market for Rémy Martin: this is a fine illustration of the international strength of our brands and of the Group’s geographical balance. Across all latitudes, the refined education of consumers’ taste enables the successful implementation of our strategy to move upmarket.
Americas: moving upmarket on a continental scale
This year the United States ranks as the Group’s leading market, for both cognac and liquors & spirits, which strongly reflects the overall strategy to focus efforts in the luxury spirits segment. This exceptional performance is due to consumers’ growing interest for brands that are deeply rooted in history, authenticity and craftsmanship.
Rémy Martin continues to benefit from our Heart of Cognac educational and experiential program, currently in its fourth year, which has converted more than 35,000 consumers and key trade advocates into Cognac connoisseurs. This year also marks an important milestone for the Rémy Martin brand as we exit the entry-level VS category in the U.S. Meanwhile, we continue to affirm the brand’s leadership position in higher price cognacs by boasting strong double-digit performances on both the brand flagship Rémy Martin VSOP and 1738 Accord Royal expressions.
Asia: reorientation in progress
It’s time for decorum, and flashy dinners are no longer appropriate. It’s a fact! But the desire for luxury, the fascination of the Chinese for expensive cognac and the tradition of present giving reside. The intent is still to show that one is a connoisseur and that one recognises the value of a prestigious name. Rémy Martin therefore primarily devotes its investments to educating the final consumer, and to recruiting them, notably with tasting dinners, which have already welcomed several thousands of participants this year. Once again this year, the cognacs designed exclusively for the Chinese market were met with enthusiasm: notably Rémy Martin Club packaged in a six-litre format and a golden covering, as well as XO Excellence and 1898 in Swarovski crystal decorated decanters.
Another cause for satisfaction in the region, is the way in which the Japanese receive all of our brands, with Louis XIII in the lead. For the third year in a row, the Group has posted two-figure growth there, despite the recession.
Europe, Middle East and Africa: new growth drivers
Thousands of kilometres separate the trendy districts of London and those of Cape Town, the bars of Moscow and those of Lagos; and yet, despite different environments, common changes in consumption trends show the relevance of our strategy, focused on flagship cities and the most luxury venues. In Western Europe, where cocktails are the trend as soon as night falls, Cointreau Fizz Garden, which experienced huge success in Brussels, has been adjusted to the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. In London, our subsidiary, created in April 2014, staged its launch with the creation of a pop-up House of Remy Martin, which created a stir. Central European countries continue to open up to imported spirits, which still only represent, on average, 15% of the market. The future looks bright for them, as proven with the performances of Metaxa and the spread of its Home Parties. It is unquestionable that the weakening rouble is affecting Russian morale, but the Group has managed to maintain its market share in this strategic country, whose economy remains very uncertain. Several African countries, identified as growth drivers, are confirming their potential. From Johannesburg, we are continuing a successful installation strategy in South Africa and Nigeria, our main African markets, as well as in Angola and Ghana: wherever new classes of society show a desire to display their status.
Global Travel Retail: The success of exclusive products
The Group’s third market after the United States and China has no frontiers. But it grows in line with the spending moods of different nationalities. Despite these fluctuations, Travel Retail teams have achieved some great success stories. The collection of Fine Champagne cognacs, available only in Duty Free, was particularly sought after: Prime Cellar No. 16 with intense vanilla notes and Reserve Cellar Selection No. 28 with the rich aromas of candied fruits, from very specific barrels, have thus inaugurated the “Cellar Master’s selection”: these perfect gifts cannot be found anywhere else. Another exclusivity is a special series of 15,000 decanters of Rémy Martin XO presented in a copper and gold box, designed to celebrate the Chinese New Year. In addition, several top names, still on the starting block, have made a remarkable start: Bruichladdich was the star of the Scandinavian Whisky Festival; Cointreau Noir and The Botanist stand out with an infectious redemption rate. Our brands understood a long time ago how to meet this demand from travellers looking to buy something exceptional: “Surprise me !”