Stoli Group has signed an exclusive global travel retail distribution agreement with Cognac Prunier, effective immediately.

Cognac Prunier expressions will be highlighted by Stoli at the forthcoming TFWA World Exhibition (Beach Village, 2).

Stoli Group CEO Hugues Pietrini said: “This is a very exciting time for Stoli Group as we continue to build our super-premium brand portfolio. Alongside our core vodka business, we already have a footprint in the premium tequila and agave spirits, rum and gin markets, so Cognac is a natural and sensible addition to this.

“It’s an important and growing category, now lying fifth in the global travel retail spirits sector with volume sales of 1.6 million 9-litre cases in 2017 and accounting for more than 6% of total spirits sales.”

Pietrini described Cognac Prunier as a natural partner for Stoli. “We share the same values of offering high-quality, crafted spirits that combine tradition with innovation. Importantly, both companies have a passion for this business which we now can build and develop together.”

La Vieille Maison: The Home of Cognac Prunier dates back to the 1490s.

A 10th and 11th generation partnership: Stéphane and Alice Brunez draw a sample from Prunier’s array of old Cognacs.

Cognac Prunier was established in 1769 and is the oldest independent Cognac house in France. Its President and Master Blender Stéphane Burnez, with daughter Alice Burnez, mark the 10th and 11th generation involved in the family business.

“A key demand from travelling consumers is innovation and travel retail exclusivity. Cognac Prunier provides both these with its Age Statement Collection, one of the most creative collections for travel retail that I have seen in recent times.”

Cognac Prunier is available in 50 international markets and is “ready to take on the global travel retail market”, Stoli said. It has been available in travel retail through a listing with DFS at Singapore Changi Airport. It has also featured in the DFS Masters of Wines and Spirits.

Both Stoli and Cognac Prunier believe that the brand’s potential has increased as the appetite for Cognac and the demand for super-premium brands drive growth in the global travel retail spirits category.

Click to read the full article on Prunier from the May 2016 issue of The Moodie Davitt Print Edition.

Stoli Group Global Travel Retail Director Jean-Philippe Aucher commented: “A key demand from travelling consumers is innovation and travel retail exclusivity. Cognac Prunier provides both these with its Age Statement Collection, one of the most creative collections for travel retail that I have seen in recent times.”

“We are a very small company and perhaps make our cognac in old-fashioned ways, but we have a lot of experience in age statements and vintages and believe in being different.”

Cognac Prunier expressions will be under the Stoli spotlight at TFWA World Exhibition.

The Age Statement Collection, which will be highlighted in Cannes, comprises eight guaranteed-age Cognac expressions, from 10yo to 80yo, each presented in a French oak case. The collection is exclusive to travel shopping and prices range from €129.90 for the youngest expression to €6,999 for the oldest.

Stéphane Burnez said: “Our commitment is to offer the most natural Cognacs with no artificial colouring, no sugar and no added wood extract.”

Presentation cases have been crafted by a local artisan, Fabrice Cousseau. Drawers and secret compartments were added for accessories such as polished glass beads, which can be added to the bottles after opening to prevent oxidation. The case also feature two reproductions of watercolour paintings by artist Géo Mareste, a personal friend of the Burnez family.

Stoli noted that DFS at Singapore Changi Airport has proven the interest in collections such as the Age Statement, with a Chinese connoisseur purchasing the complete collection for S$48,000 (€30,000). “The Age Statement Collection is a most compelling offer for global travel retail,” Stoli added.

“We are a very small company and perhaps make our Cognac in old-fashioned ways, but we have a lot of experience in age statements and vintages and believe in being different,” Burnez said.

“In a most concentrated category within travel retail, Cognac Prunier has a fresh and wonderfully innovative approach. We are delighted to be working with this family company and to introduce them to our retail partners in Cannes this October,” Aucher concluded.