News Briefs for September 10, 2012September 10, 2012
•Diageo is launching a global ad campaign for its Johnnie Walker blended Scotch whisky this week, entitled “Where Flavor Is King.” The campaign, which will feature images focusing on the various flavors found in each blend of Johnnie Walker, will include outdoor, radio and social media components. Created by U.K.-based ad agency Love, the campaign will launch first in Africa, followed by Australia, Brazil, Global Travel Retail, Russia and Hong Kong later this year. It will extend to European markets beginning in July 2013. A Diageo spokesman told Shanken News Daily there are “no plans as yet” to expand the campaign to the U.S. Johnnie Walker’s global volume was up 6.5% to 18 million cases last year, according to Impact Databank.
•Texas retail chain Spec’s Wines, Spirits & Finer Foods is planning a new Dallas headquarters and distribution hub to facilitate its ongoing expansion in North Texas, reports the Dallas Business Journal. The site will be a 31,502-square foot warehouse building on Olympic Drive near Interstate 35 and Northwest Highway in Dallas. Houston-based Spec’s has more than 140 stores across Texas—double the number it had just two years ago—but only recently entered the Dallas market with a 45,000-square foot superstore on which it cut the ribbon last December. Several more North Texas locations, including in Dallas, Plano, Hebron and Lowry Crossing, are either already open or in the works.
•William Grant & Sons USA is extending its Glenfiddich single malt Scotch whisky brand with a new limited release, Glenfiddich Malt Master’s Edition. William Grant says Malt Master’s is the first Glenfiddich expression to use a double maturation process, spending time in both Sherry and refill Bourbon casks. The new entry, which is 43% abv and retails at $79.99 a bottle, hits the U.S. in a limited quantity of 18,000 bottles beginning this month. The Glenfiddich range also includes its core 12-year-old ($45.99), a 15-year-old ($54.99), an 18-year-old ($84.99) and a 21-year-old ($154.99). The brand rose 12% to 120,000 cases in the U.S. last year, according to Impact Databank.
•San Francisco-based Hello Vino Inc.—maker of the consumer-focused Hello Vino wine recommendation app—has launched a new mobile marketing platform for wine producers, importers and marketers. Using location-based services, the Hello Vino platform allows clients to target specific markets, as well as specific customers according to their proximity to retail locations. Additionally, the marketing program offers automated customer relationship management, which includes a follow-up with consumers via smartphone notification. Participating companies can also receive post-purchase feedback collected from the Hello Vino consumer app. According to the company, inaugural clients include Constellation Brands, E.&J. Gallo Winery and Pernod Ricard USA, among others.
•Heaven Hill Distilleries is set to release the sixth annual edition of its Parker’s Heritage Collection of American whiskies. Appearing this month, the newest addition to the collection is a blend of select barrels of 11-year-old rye-based Heaven Hill Bourbons used in brands like Elijah Craig and Evan Williams, as well as select barrels of 11-year-old wheated Bourbons used for the Old Fitzgerald brand. The 2012 Parker’s Heritage offering is bottled at cask strength, with the first of the three dumps of the whiskey carrying a proof of 131.6 (the two ensuing dumps will each have different proofs). It will sell for $80 a 750-ml. bottle, with about 7,500 bottles produced. The Parker’s Heritage Collection is a limited annual series of rare aged American whiskies paying tribute to sixth-generation master distiller Parker Beam.
•Scotch whisky producer Burn Stewart is gearing up for an export push on its single malt brands, which include Bunnahabhain (Islay), Deanston (Highlands), Tobermory (Isle of Mull) and Ledaig (Isle of Mull). The company told The Scotsman newspaper over the weekend that it had invested $800,000 in a new bottling line and will target the U.S., Eastern Europe, Taiwan, South Africa and other strategic export markets in its bid to continue diversifying its business, which in the past has been built around private label Scotch production for U.K. supermarkets. A subsidiary of Trinidad’s CL Financial, Burn Stewart’s brands—which also include the Scottish Leader and Black Bottle blends—are handled in the U.S. by International Beverage Company.
•Denver, Colorado-based fast-casual chain Smashburger has partnered with Fort Collins, Colorado-based New Belgium Brewing Co. to create a burger-and-beer pairing menu at the chain’s Denver and Fort Collins locations, with plans to expand the concept nationally and possibly internationally. The menu features seven hamburgers and two chicken sandwiches paired with five different New Belgium beers, including Fat Tire Amber Ale, 1554 Black Ale, Ranger IPA, Sunshine Wheat and Shift Pale Lager. In the future, Smashburger will partner with local breweries in other states to create pairing menus unique to each market. Founded in 2007, Smashburger currently operates around 170 restaurants in 27 states, as well as two units in Canada and one in Kuwait. Smashburger founder Tom Ryan has also announced plans to open a 24-hour restaurant and bar serving modern comfort food called Tom’s Urban 24 in Denver this October.
•Food Network chef Guy Fieri’s first New York City restaurant, Guy’s American Kitchen and Bar, debuts today in Times Square. The 500-seat, three-story venue is a partnership with Heartland Brewery owner Jon Bloostein and serves American comfort food, specialty cocktails, international wines, domestic bottled beers and a selection of draft beers specifically created and brewed by Heartland Brewery for the new restaurant.
Tagged : Glenfiddich, Heaven Hill, Johnnie Walker, New Belgium Brewing, restaurants, retail