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

News Briefs for July 27, 2018

July 27, 2018

•Tequila Bribón, imported by Palm Bay International, has launched new Reposado and Añejo expressions in the U.S. Bribón Reposado is aged for six to nine months in American oak, bottled at 40% abv, and is rolling out now across the U.S. in both 750-ml. ($28) and 1-liter ($34) bottles. The brand’s Añejo expression, also 40% abv, will be available for $33 a 750-ml. The Tequila Bribón brand was developed by Palm Bay International with Casa Don Roberto and is produced at La Purisima distillery.

•Glenfiddich has released Fire & Cane, the fourth expression in the brand’s Experimental Series. The 43%-abv non-age-statement Scotch is a blend of peated and non-peated single malt whiskies aged in ex-Bourbon casks before maturing an additional three months in rum casks from Latin America. The certified kosher whisky follows India Pale Ale Cask Finish, Project XX, and Winter Storm in the Experimental series. Glenfiddich Fire & Cane is now available nationally for a suggested price of $50.

•Champagne Pommery has debuted a new Blanc de Blancs. The cuvée is made with 100% Chardonnay, all of which is sourced from Champagne’s Montagne de Reims sub-region. Champagne Pommery Blanc de Blancs ($67 a 750-ml.) is currently rolling out nationwide. The company’s brand stable also includes the Vranken, Heidsieck & Co Monopole, and Charles Lafitte Champagne labels.

•Anheuser-Busch InBev posted U.S. revenues down 2.8% for the first half of 2018, as accelerated growth by the company’s above-premium portfolio failed to offset the ongoing struggles of the mainstream segment. “Premium and premium light brands remain under pressure, as consumers trade-up to higher price tiers,” the company noted, adding that Bud Light and Budweiser continued lose share in the second quarter. On the other hand, Michelob Ultra, an Impact “Hot Brand” up 16% to 82 million (2.25-gallon) cases in 2017, has continued to rise this year, and was recently extended with a Pure Gold offering made with organic grains. Overall, Anheuser-Busch InBev’s North America revenues were down 2.6% to $7.6 billion in the first half.

•Boston Beer Co. reported an 11% increase in depletions in the first half of 2018, driven by the Truly Spiked & Sparkling, Twisted Tea, and Angry Orchard brands. Shipment volume, also up 11%, reached 2 million barrels, but operating income slipped 18% to $40 million, partially due to higher costs and planned advertising investments. Net revenue rose 13% to $464 million. While Boston Beer’s hard seltzer, RTD, and cider businesses are enjoying strong growth, the group’s flagship Samuel Adams brand continued to slide in the first half, despite the early success of recent launches Sam ’76 and New England IPA. President and CEO Dave Burwick said the company “remains committed to returning the Samuel Adams brand to growth through continued innovation, promotion and brand communication initiatives.” After the strong sales performance in the January-June period, Boston Beer is now forecasting depletions growth of between 7% and 12% for its full fiscal year.

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