Exclusive news and research on the wine, spirits and beer business

News Briefs for December 12, 2012

December 12, 2012

Beam Inc. has introduced the first extra añejo extension to its Casa Sauza Tequila range—Casa Sauza XA, Edición Limitada. Casa Sauza XA (40% abv) is produced from Weber blue agave and has been aged for more than three years in American oak barrels. It will be sold in retail shops across the U.S. ($150 a 750-ml.) and Mexico, as well as global duty free. Only 12,000 bottles of Casa Sauza XA have been produced, 1,800 of which will be imported to the U.S. market. The Tequila is packaged in a glass decanter with a distressed leather strap and metal buckle in a signature box. Casa Sauza’s line also includes Hornitos, 100 Años, Tres Generaciones and Sauza.

•Oregon’s wine sales topped 2 million cases for the first time in 2011, according to a new report by Southern Oregon University’s Southern Oregon Research Center. Including bulk wines, Oregon sold 2.2 million total cases of wine last year worth $2.7 billion, with both volume and value up 9% from 2010. The number of wineries in the state also jumped in 2011, rising 11% to 463.

Constellation Brands has launched a new mobile marketing initiative using Hello Vino, a free mobile app that provides personalized wine recommendations. As part of the program, Constellation will activate notification and sponsorship features via the Hello Vino platform, as well as provide educational content to consumers at the point of purchase. Currently running throughout the northeastern U.S., the marketing push is intended to help Constellation better reach Millennial consumers. According to a recent SymphonyIRI survey, smartphone apps are the leading digital influence on brand selection for U.S. Millennial shoppers.

•Facebook’s new gifting feature, which offers wines for sale, launches nationwide today. Initially test-marketed in September, Facebook Gifts allows users to send friends real gifts, such as toys, gourmet food, wine, gift cards and other items. The site’s wine collection includes red, white and sparkling offerings from Robert Mondavi (priced at $25-$28 a bottle), Bonterra Vineyards ($14-$17), Recuerdo Wines ($15-$22) and Chandon ($22-$100), among others. All shipments are sold directly from the winery. The service could potentially generate significant revenue for Facebook, which takes a percentage of each gift sale and currently boasts roughly 170 million users in the U.S.

•Bud Light will be taking over a 200-room hotel in downtown New Orleans and transforming it into the Bud Light Hotel for next year’s Super Bowl XLVII, from January 31 to February 3. The hotel will host parties and events throughout the weekend, including the EA Sports Madden Bowl, a video game competition among NFL players and celebrities. The adjacent parking lot will be converted into a 34,000-square-foot tented concert area and all hotel amenities will be Bud Light-branded. Leading up to the pop-up hotel’s opening, Bud Light is giving fans a chance to win a trip to stay at the Bud Light Hotel through the brand’s Facebook page and QR codes at select retailers. In addition, Bud Light is accepting video auditions from fans on its Facebook page to become the official Bud Light Hotel Facebook Correspondent, responsible for appearing in videos and commentating at the Bud Light Hotel during the Super Bowl weekend events. The winning fan will receive a salary for the videos, which will appear on the brand’s Facebook and YouTube pages.

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