Hennessy VSOP celebrates 200th anniversary, reconnects people
What began as a royal order in 1818 for Hennessy group to prepare a VSOP (Very Superior Old Pale) Cognac in faraway France has through the years become a norm, turning the drink to a global brand.
Celebrating this historic milestone of 200 years, Hennessy team in Nigeria hosted Hennessy Business Development Head, China, Roch Hennessy and Hennessy Global Brand Ambassador, Maurice Hennessy on a weeklong visit. The visit being the last leg of an African tour that has already taken the duo to Kenya and South Africa saw the team visit some notable outlets where the drinks keeping the legacy and heritage of Maison Hennessy are sold in Lagos.
Included in the tour were press conference, lunch with industry heavyweights within the wines, spirits and entertainment landscape and a dinner for 200 people who have contributed and are still contributing to the shaping of Nigeria’s legacy.
Speaking on what the brand means to him, Roch said: “It represents two things — pride and responsibility. Pride because we are proud of the heritage. Hennessy actually was founded 250 years ago, while the VSOP Cognac came as a royal order in 1818; so, there is a rich history there. Responsibility because we need to carry the legacy forward.
According to him, South Africa and Nigeria are top two markets in Africa for their products, which include other brands of alcoholic drinks, adding that Hennessy products have been very popular among the African-Americans in the United States of America for over 60 years or so.
He also disclosed that the French market only represents one per cent of the Hennessy cognac consumption, while 99 per cent is exported outside of France.On why the brand is so much associated with hip hop and rap music, Roch said: “Music found and embraced us; and we are also using it to reach out to different segments of the society, promoting arts and culture and enlivening the entertainment sector.”
According to Maurice many people expect the Hennessy Group to behave in a certain way, but we have to remain open and not being pretentious. For Hennessy Brand Manager, Wole Awoleke, the brand is keen at promoting arts and culture, entertainment and tourism in the country. According to him, no brand can be compared to Hennessy brands in terms of creating platform for upcoming acts to perform or hone their skills, aside giving them international exposure to showcase their musical skills and grow.The event attracted those that matter in the society, apart from creating avenue for loyalists to mingle and network.