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

News Briefs for April 3, 2014

April 3, 2014

•Crown Imports’ Modelo Especial has expanded retail availability of its Modelo Especial Chelada nationwide, following the expression’s strong debut in October. The 24-ounce ready-to-drink offering, which blends tomato, salt and lime flavors with Modelo Especial, aims to recreate the taste of a Mexican Chelada beer cocktail. Previously, Modelo Especial Chelada was only available across California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and Chicago. Modelo Especial, a fixture on the Impact “Hot Brands” list for the past two decades, rose 18% to 50.1 million (2.25-gallon) cases in the U.S. last year.

•Wine importer Cape Classics, which focuses on South African labels, has named M.S. Walker as its new distributor across the state of New York, effective April 1. Cape Classics, whose previous New York distributor was Lauber Imports (part of Southern Wine & Spirits), is also aligned with M.S. Walker in Massachusetts, where the two companies have been partnered since the early 1990s.

•Long Island, New York’s Lieb Cellars has launched a rebranding campaign and upgraded packaging for its Lieb Reserve range and Bridge Lane wines, which will be available in 750-ml. bottles ($15-$20), 3-liter boxes ($46) and 19.5-liter disposable kegs ($260). Lieb Reserve wines retail for $22-$40 a 750-ml. The marketing campaign will include print, online, out-of-home advertising and digital media among other components. Lieb Cellars wines are available in the metro New York area, Pennsylvania and online, with Bridge Lane expanding to New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts in May.

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