consumption habits

The US and Europe share a Western culture in their alcohol drinking habits, in opposition to Asia (especially China) : from a casual individualistic consumption in the West to a collective and on-trade drinking in Asia. Europeans are far more traditional than Americans: except for gin, they don’t usually mix their drinks.

In the US

The American consumption is more driven by hedonism and self-expression. The clients of Rémy Cointreau enjoy their spirits neat or on the rocks – this is a growing trend for cocktails even for cognac : the most popular mixer being cola – more people are drinking it, casually at home, and less to celebrate a special occasion.

Millennials are currently shifting their alcohol consumption habits away from beer and wine to spirits. On a typical night out, a young millennial is more likely to order a Scotch whisky than fancy wine or cheap beer.

Figures in volume

  • VS 69%
  • VSOP 28%
  • XO 3%

That explains the larger appeal of VS qualities as shown in the chart below for Rémy Martin Cognac consumption.

In Europe

The “neat” consumption is also a trend in Europe. Millennials spend less time in club or pubs, and enjoying less, but higher-quality spirits.
The Western culture distinguishes three categories of consumption related to certain alcohols :

  • pre-meal drink (aperitif) : long drinks including spirits
  • during-meal drink : wines mostly
  • after-meal drink (digestive) : mainly cognac and spirits “on the rock” – in France, Cognac is cold-served as an after-dinner digestive.

Gin is an exception: all over the world, much of it is long served. Even though the most popular mixer is by far tonic water, people are feeling more adventurous towards gin and try mixes they wouldn’t dare with whiskey or cognac.

In Asia

Whereas the US, Asia is the largest market in volume for cognac – China is the largest in value. This chart below illustrates Asian’ affinity with higher quality spirits.

Figures in volume

  • VS 2%
  • VSOP 76%
  • XO 22%

Cognac in China is a social drink mostly consumed « on-trade » or as a gift : serving expensive bottles is a way, for the middle class, of displaying their relative wealth. This is why Chinese clients of the Group drink exclusively VSOP et XO qualites.

Traditions are evolving – Asian millennials, are more and more to buy white rum and gin for themselves, not as a high-end quality bottle to give.
Also, due to their western origins, cognac, rum and gin (not whiskey) all share an exotic flavour for Asian clients of the Group.