Tiffon CEO Jan Braastad is hoping the company can grow its presence in Asia

Tiffon CEO Jan Braastad is hoping the company can grow its presence in Asia

Cognac producer Tiffon is looking to boost its presence in Asia, beyond its core Nordic markets, by recruiting an export manager. 

The part family-owned company, the sixth biggest Cognac producer by volume, is expecting to have filled the newly-created role by the end of next month. At present, the Nordic countries account for around 70% of the group's total annual sales of EUR14m (US$17.4m), with Norway accounting for the majority of revenue.

The new recruit, who will report to Tiffon's board, will be charged with representing the brand globally, finding new distributors and helping develop the group's export strategy.

Speaking to just-drinks yesterday at the company's headquarters in Jarnac, France, Tiffon's CEO Jan Braastad said: “We want to focus on a few important markets where we have the possibility to succeed. But we are not looking at volumes, we are looking at brand building.” 

The group currently sells around 140,000 nine-litre cases annually. 

The 139-year-old company, which also sells it Cognac under the family name of Braastad, has been badly affected in China, like the major Cognac producers. However, its CEO said there are “possibilities”  for the group beyond China, including Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and Japan. “We already have some sales here, but not enough presence in the market,” he added.

The firm is also present in Russia, as well as the UK - where the portfolio is handled by The Great Whisky Company. 

Tiffon is 66% owned by the Braastad family, while Norwegian drinks wholesaler Arcus holds the remaining 34%.

The Cognac house has historic links to Norway as the grand-daughter of its founder married Norwegian born, Sverre Braastad, in 1913.