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

Diet Coke decline leaves Pepsi sitting pretty

Last year was tough for The Coca-Cola Co. So staff in Atlanta won't be pleased to read that Pepsi has overtaken Diet Coke as the no. 2 soda brand in the US. ...

ANALYSIS

International Scientific Forum on Alcohol Research Critique 161: The Effects of Alcohol Consumption on the Risk of Hip Fracture

Among elderly people, falls leading to hip fracture are a major health problem, leading to severe morbidity and mortality. Underlying factors that increase the risk of hip and other fractures include ...

BLOG

Net-buster kicks-off Budweiser 'Dream Goal' campaign - video

A bit of football fun for a Friday. Anheuser-Busch InBev has released the ad that will accompany its new Budweiser 'Dream Goal' campaign, that seeks to find the UK's best amateur goal. ...

BLOG

Are New York's craft beer fans any the (Bud)weiser?

No sooner had Anheuser-Busch InBev taken a gentle pop at the craft beer segment during February's Super Bowl, than the world's largest brewer has challenged the sub-category's target market in New Yor...

NEWS

Dufry buys World Duty Free, more consolidation predicted

The international head of Fifth Generation, owner of Tito's Handmade Vodka, has said that more consolidation in the global Travel Retail sector is "inevitable" after Dufry agreed a stake purchase deal...

BLOG

The secret to a long life? Three cans of Dr Pepper a day - video

A few wry grins will have been raised in the offices of Dr Pepper Snapple Group today. ...

just-drinks homepage



Forgot your password?