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

News Briefs for January 24, 2014

January 24, 2014

Vermont Hard Cider’s Woodchuck brand is releasing its flagship Amber entry in 16-ounce cans. The new package, which is targeted primarily toward the convenience channel, will be available individually and in four-packs. Rolling out into stores over the next few weeks, the 16-ounce Amber can joins the label’s existing bottle, draft and 12-ounce can formats. An Impact “Hot Brand,” Woodchuck sells around 2.5 million (2.25-gallon) cases in the U.S., with Amber accounting for the majority of volume. Woodchuck parent company Vermont Hard Cider was acquired in 2013 by Ireland’s C&C for $305 million.

•Mongolian vodka brand Soyombo is making its first expansion outside its home country including a debut in five U.S. markets. The 40%-abv vodka is launching in California, New Hampshire, New Jersey, upstate New York and Ohio—in addition to Canada, the U.K., Russia, Korea, Macao and travel retail—at a suggested retail price of $29.99 a 750-ml. Produced by the APU Company, Soyombo’s launch is being backed by advertising, social media, experiential marketing and public relations. In the U.S., Soyombo is being managed by a team of spirits industry veterans led by Arthur Shapiro, formerly of Seagram, as managing director, Americas.

•New York-based wine importer Cape Classics has appointed Sara Ryan as director of national accounts, effective immediately. Ryan joined Cape Classics in 2009, formerly serving as northeast sales manager, and will now manage the company’s national accounts and program growth strategies for the 22 South African and French estates it represents. Ryan previously held sales positions at Artisan Wines in Connecticut and Southern Wine & Spirits in New York City. Established in 1992, Cape Classics’ specialty is South African wines.

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