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COGNAC AND THE SHANGHAI COGNOSCENTI – Global sales of the sophisticated spirit are soaring with Chinese drinkers leading the way

In the long-term, demand for Cognac in China is expected to continue to outpace supply

Ganbei, which literally means "dry cup," is a favourite Chinese toast. Recently, the country’s restaurateurs and bar owners have been raising their glasses to cognac.

According to The Bureau National Interprofessionnel du Cognac (BNIC), a total of 223.2 million bottles of Cognac were sold globally in 2021. An increase of 16%.

But, as The Drinks Business points out, “sales in China, the spirit’s second largest market, leapt by an extraordinary 56%...compared with a more modest growth of 8% in Europe.”

Cognac is seen as a high-level status symbol in big Chinese cities like Shanghai, usually drunk out of home, and gifted at Chinese New Year. It’s become a go-to spirit for the country’s urban cognoscenti.

Market analysts IWSR, report “in the long-term, demand for Cognac in China is expected to continue to outpace supply.” With volumes expected to increase annually by around 9% from 2020 to 2024.

Ganbei, then. Dry cups. Millions of them. Shanghai’s dynamic drinks sector continues to toast that.

Extract from Human Capital – Drayton’s business magazine

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