AFRICA – Hennessy, a French cognac owned by Moët Hennessy (in turn owned by LVMH), is the favorite Cognac brand across Africa, according to a recent consumer study by market research firm Sagaci Research.

Hennessy recorded a 77% preference rate which was more than enough to top the list which includes other notable brands such as Remy Martin, Viceroy, 501, and Martell.

The brand seems to enjoy more popularity in Nigeria and South Africa which are Africa’s two largest alcoholic drink markets. In Nigeria, Hennessy recorded a preference of 78% while in South Africa the preference shot to 81%.

“Generally, research shows that Hennessy consumers tend to be ambitious professionals who enjoy challenges and being on the go,” Sagaci said in the report on Brandy and Cognac consumption across the African continent.

These results based on data collection from more than 100,000 consumers over the last 12 months via the SagaPoll mobile app further indicate that across the African continent, Brandy and Cognac are currently consumed by only 4% of the population (compared to 16% for Whisky and 13% for Vodka).

Francophone Africa lags behind

Another interesting observation was that although cognac originates in France, French-speaking African countries consumed the least Brandy & Cognac in Africa.

For example, less than 3% of the adult population in Côte d’Ivoire, Cameroon, Burkina Faso and Benin have consumed the spirit in the last 12 months. 

 Kenya leads in market penetration

Consumption on the continent is driven by anglophone markets such as Kenya (coming first at 11% penetration), South Africa (10%), Zambia and Nigeria both at 7%, according to Sagaci.

Among these, South Africa is considered by the Cognac industry as an emerging market with significant weight outside of its historical markets. It even represents its 5th market globally.

“South Africa’s consumption could in part be influenced by its strong wine and spirit culture, brandy having been introduced in the country as early as the 17th century,” Sagaci said.

A drink for the wealthy

The findings show that South African men are much more likely to have consumed Cognac than women in the past year.

“We also see that older and wealthier populations are a lot more likely to consume the spirit,” Sagaci said. “It is also a spirit that is most often enjoyed at home (58%) hanging out with friends or relaxing.”

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