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News Briefs for December 10, 2012

December 10, 2012

•Camus Cognac has introduced its Ile de Ré series into national distribution. The Ile de Ré line includes three Cognacs produced on the island of the same name, which is located off the coast of western France and is part of the Cognac designation. Ile de Ré includes Fine Island ($49 a 750-ml.), Double Matured ($69) and Cliffside Cellar ($99) variants. Camus says that while the three Cognacs span a wide taste profile, they each feature salty, maritime notes that may appeal to Scotch, as well as Cognac, drinkers. Company president Cyril Camus says Camus’ U.S. business is doubling year-on-year from a small base of around 10,000 cases.

•Burgundy prices are expected to rise, following three consecutive years of reduced grape harvests, reports Bloomberg. In 2010 and 2011, the region reported a grape loss of 40% and 15%, respectively. This year, due to poor weather conditions across Europe, Burgundy’s harvest was down 40% again, though grape quality is said to be high. Sales, meanwhile, are up across many of the region’s top export markets, including the U.S. (+10% for 2011) and Japan (+35%), which is projected to soon surpass the U.K. as Burgundy’s second-largest market. According to the Bureau Interprofessionnel des Vins de Bourgogne (BIVB) trade group, Burgundy price hikes are expected to begin this year, though a larger-than-normal harvest in 2013 could help ease supply.

•Diageo says Captain Morgan rum has crested the 10-million-case mark in global sales for the first time in the 12 months through November, becoming only the sixth premium spirit brand to do so. While Captain Morgan sells 90% of its volume across the U.S., Canada and Western Europe (in particular Germany, which now accounts for 400,000 cases), Diageo says the brand is also making significant headway in areas like Russia, Eastern Europe and Latin America. In other company news, Diageo has opened its second Johnnie Walker House in China—this one in Beijing, following the May 2011 opening of a similar “brand embassy” in Shanghai. Diageo Asia Pacific president Gilbert Ghostine recently told Shanken News Daily the Shanghai location has been “extremely effective in growing the super-premium status of Johnnie Walker” in the key Chinese market. Also in the Asia Pacific region, Diageo has launched a $10 million effort entitled Plan W to empower women through training and skills development, noting that two-thirds of the global workforce in the hospitality industry is made up of women.

•Panache Beverage has inked a deal to make Domaine Select Wine Estates (DSWE) the exclusive national distributor of its recently launched Alibi American whiskey brand. The contract is expected to generate about $10 million in revenue over 2 years, according to Panache. Alibi ($23.99 a 750-ml.) was launched in New York, New Jersey and Florida before Thanksgiving; DSWE will begin working with its distribution partners for additional launches in early 2013, including Massachusetts, Georgia, Texas, Illinois, Washington state, Connecticut, Arizona and Nevada.


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