Blog: Andy MortonComplex Cognac sales made simple with reindeer

Andy Morton | 8 November 2013

There are not many things that will stop an interview quicker than asking the head of a Cognac house what his - or her - stock situation is. That's what I've learned, anyway, after talking to two of them recently.

Stocks are the Cognac industry's most closely-guarded secret, with executives more likely to divulge their online banking passwords than confess to how much eau de vie they hold. As Hine head François Le Grelle told me in Cannes last month: “If you have the (stock) profile then you can read the future of the company.”

All of which makes the purchase of a Cognac house an interesting prospect, as the buyer, initially, can only guess at what he's stumping up for. Once exclusivity agreements are reached, inventory information can be disclosed and, as Le Grelle says, there has to be some level of trust between the two parties, which means there is no nasty surprises when the warehouse doors are finally unlocked.

But still, it's a complex process.

The CEO of Altia Corp, which bought Larsen Cognac in September, tried to simplify the situation for me this week with a bit of home-spun wisdom from his native Finland. “In Lapland,” Antti Pankakoski said, “if you ask someone how many reindeer they have, they will reply, how much money do you have in the bank?”

So, bear that in mind when you're next at the bargaining point in western France.

Sectors: Spirits

BLOG

Did Alibaba's 9.9 Global Wine and Spirits Festival flop?

Major wine players flocked to China ready for online giant Alibaba's 9.9 Global Wine and Spirits Festival, which took place on 9 September....

BLOG

Is Vietnam about to curb late-night drinking?

In May, Heineken's CEO, Jean-François van Boxmeer, called Vietnam the "poster child" for international beer thanks to strong demographics and growing demand....

BLOG

Heineken brings commercial know-how to new recruitment drive

Heineken is known for its flashy adverts. Now the brewer has given the star treatment to a new recruitment drive with a glamorous and highly-persuasive ad that, quite frankly, had the staff here at...

BLOG

Queues are forming for latest (Jim Beam) Apple product

Move over iPhone 7 headphones-gate, there is a new Apple product causing a stir. Or a shake. Or just a shot....

just-drinks homepage



Forgot your password?