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

News Briefs for September 13, 2016

September 13, 2016

•Delicato Family Wines is looking to boost its offering at the fast-rising above-$20 tier. Speaking at the North Bay Business Journal’s CFO awards recently, DFV chief executive Chris Indelicato said the winemaker is looking to acquire either an agency company or brick-and-mortar operation, with a preference toward brands with strong direct-to-consumer sales. In a recent interview with SND, Indelicato noted that the super-premium segment continues to grow rapidly. “Consumers are driving demand for sophisticated, classic varietals such as Cabernet, Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc at premium price points as they become more knowledgeable and confident in their wine selections,” he said.

•Heineken USA is set to launch Five Points Trading Company, a new division that will import and market a range of global beer brands in the U.S. The new venture will assume U.S. importer of record rights for Red Stripe, Tiger, Birra Moretti, Affligem, Murphy’s Stout, Prestige, Sagres and Mort Subite, which are all currently imported and marketed by other companies with contracts set to expire at the end of the year. Based in lower Manhattan, Five Points will be led by general manager Charles Littlefield, formerly director, commercial planning and activation for Bacardi. Heineken says the move will allow it to continue focusing on core brands like Heineken, Dos Equis, Tecate and Strongbow while also developing new acquisitions such as Red Stripe, which it acquired from Diageo last year.

•Beam Suntory and brand partner 50 Cent have extended Effen Vodka with three new flavors. Effen Blood Orange, Green Apple and Raspberry are joining the fold of the rising brand, which Beam says doubled in size last year, backed by 50 Cent’s collaborative efforts on social media, retail programming and sponsored events. The new Effen flavors ($27 a 750-ml.) are available at select accounts nationwide and join existing flavors Cucumber and Black Cherry.

•New York-based importer and distributor VOS Selections has added the portfolios of three Spanish wineries to its U.S. stable. The newcomers include Ribera del Duero-based Pago de los Capellanes, whose small production lineup ranges from $22-$200 a 750-ml., as well as Perez Barquero from Montilla-Moriles, which specializes in 100% Pedro Ximenez wines ranging from $18 a 375-ml. to $600 a 750-ml. Also joining VOS Selections is Sherry producer Bodegas Hidalgo – La Gitana, with offerings retailing from $16 to $45 a 500-ml. VOS Selections—which includes wine and spirits from France, Italy, Japan, Spain, Argentina, Chile, New Zealand and the U.S.—says more additions are slated for this fall.

•Campari America has expanded Skyy vodka’s Infusions lineup with a new Bartlett Pear entry. Campari says the launch dovetails with growing interest in pear ciders and pear-based liqueurs. Skyy’s Bartlett Pear vodka is 70 proof and retails at around $14 a bottle. In the first half of the year, Skyy’s sales grew 0.5% as the core unflavored vodka offset weakness in the market’s flavored vodka segment.

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