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Initial thoughts of older men sipping brandy while smoking a cigar in a dimly lit study is fast becoming an outdated image of the brandy consumer. Did you know, according to one industry report*, more women than men have purchased brandy in the last 6 months? And, of spirits purchased in the past six (6) months, 33% of millennials purchased brandy, and 31% purchasing cognac specifically?
To be sipped and savored over evening conversation…flaunted in a rap song...used to toast in celebration...showcased in a craft cocktail...displayed in an etched crystal bottle...or flambéed in a flamboyant show of skill...brandy, it turns out, appeals to a broader range of demographics than we give it credit for.
A Mintel Group, ltd. report* suggests that despite brandy being claimed by the good ‘ol boys club, women are (and probably have been) just as big of connoisseurs and consumers as men. Among dark spirit drinkers, 29% of females have purchased brandy (to 25% male), and 22% of women have purchased cognac (to 18% men) in the past 6 months. Millennials also stand out as a key engagement group, currently representing 24+% of the US population and rising; with more than 25% reporting increased consumption of dark spirits relative to the prior year and over 78% make cocktails at home (no doubt due to the pandemic), compared to 17%/9% respectively of baby boomers.
Another survey by Mintel Group, ltd. Spirit Flavor Interest, by Gender, September 2019, suggests that flavor profiles most similar to those found in brandy, such as citrus (53%), chocolate (29%), and other fruit (27%) were more popular among surveyed female users, compared to male counterparts (43%/20%/15%). It is interesting to see that the report also notes affinity among all spirit drinkers, towards flavor profiles of citrus (46%), apple (39%), and spice (32%), the classic descriptions used to describe many brandies.
So why focus on women and millennials when you consider where brandy fits in your menu or on your shelf?
Millennials are enthusiastic, engaged consumers who have high affinity towards intriguing, niche, premium spirit varieties; they embrace varying price tiers and seek new, wide-ranging flavors and innovations. Millennials are most likely to purchase an unknown spirit brand, and in general have the highest affinity towards a variety of flavors; they believe that spirits make good gifts, and certain brands are worth paying more for. Additionally, millennials (compared to ages 45+) tend to value flavor profile over price or brand when asked about important influencers in purchasing.
And it turns out that flavor is a strong driver in women's selection of spirits, too.
Why is brandy so enticing?
Brandy is smooth, delicate on the mouth, fruit forward and expressive with its aromatic complexities intensifying as the spirit ages. It's unique in its versatility, easily substituted in for vodka, gin, or whiskies. Distilled from fermented fruit, most commonly, fermented grape (cognac) or apple juice (calvados), the term itself is broadly classified, allowing for any fruit base to be used in the making of the spirit (other popular fruit brandies include peach, pear, cherry, or plum). French brandy appellations or AOC's (government approved regions and methods) include Armagnac, Calvados, and Cognac - brandies from their eponymous regions in France - and are labeled by their aging regimens (eau de vie, VS, VSOP, XO, millésime) with eau-de-vie, VS and VSOP most often used in craft cocktails. By TTB standards, brandy must not be bottled at less than 80 proof / 40% alcohol. This loose definition allows for a vast and diverse range of flavors, blends, ages, and profiles, making it the perfect choice across demographics and generations alike.
Find brandy inspirations here.
Pack your picnic with French Cider. Whether you’re on a city rooftop, lounging in the park, or watching the sunset from the water our products pair perfectly to elevate any picnic setting.
We currently distribute cider, poiré, Calvados, Armagnac and Cognac to fine restaurants, bars, clubs, wedding venues and specialty retailers in the states of WA, CA, NH and Maine through Beauchamp Imports, Inc. To request a tasting for your licensed establishment, or to inquire about distributing our products, please email us at email@example.com. We look forward to sharing our portfolio of fine products with you!