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

News Briefs for February 4, 2013

February 4, 2013

•Campari America’s Skyy vodka has unveiled its latest flavored entry, Skyy Infusions Wild Strawberry. Rolling out in time for Valentine’s Day, Wild Strawberry features notes of ripe berries, tropical vanilla and white chocolate and will be offered in 50-ml., 750-ml., 1-liter and 1.75-liter formats, retailing for around $18.49 a 750-ml. The new addition is the 11th flavor in the Skyy Infusions portfolio.

•Virginia-based importer and wholesaler The Vintner Group has acquired the assets of North Carolina wholesaler Dionysus Distributors, based in Raleigh. The Vintner Group will absorb Dionysus’ portfolio and sales force into its own North Carolina unit, The Country Vintner of North Carolina. Focusing on small-production family wineries, Dionysus distributes a host of California, Oregon, Washington and North Carolina wines in the Tar Heel state, as well as imports from South America, New Zealand, Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Japan. The acquisition comes as part of a continuing expansion drive for The Vintner Group. Among other deals, the company entered Georgia in recent weeks, acquiring Atlanta’s Prestige Wine, and last year augmented its Florida wholesale operations with the purchase of Deerfield Beach-based Selected Brands.

•Minneapolis-based Phillips Distilling Co. has unveiled a new flavor for its UV vodka line—Candy Bar. The 30%-abv extension is infused with milk chocolate, caramel and peanut butter flavors. It will be priced in line with the rest of the range, at $12.99 a 750-ml. The launch of UV Candy Bar marks the 17th extension to the portfolio. The company says that sales of the brand’s line of dessert flavors, which includes Cake, Chocolate Cake and Whipped, have increased 81% over the last year. UV vodka saw its U.S. volume increase 34% to an estimated 1.61 million nine-liter cases last year, according to Impact Databank.

•Gruppo Campari has agreed to sell Punch Barbieri liqueur to Distillerie Moccia for €4.45 million ($6m). Punch Barbieri entered Campari’s portfolio in 2003, when it acquired Barbero 1981—a deal that also brought Campari the Aperol range, among other brands. Punch Barbieri does most of its business in Italy. Founded in 1946, Distillerie Moccia sells an array of local brands in the Italian market, but is best known for its Zabov liqueur line.


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