News Briefs for April 25, 2011April 25, 2011
• Fred Cooper, a longtime spirits and wine wholesaler in the Chicago area, passed away on April 23rd at the age of 74. Cooper spent more than 50 years in the beverage alcohol industry and was most recently vice chairman of Wirtz Beverage Illinois. Previously, Cooper was president of Continental Distributing Co for 17 years, which Wirtz Beverage Group acquired in 1996. Cooper was also extremely active in a number of charitable causes. “Some knew Fred for his fierce competitive style, others for his compassion and charitable efforts on behalf of those not so fortunate. We knew Fred for both,” said Rocky Wirtz, chairman of Wirtz Beverage Group. Cooper is survived by Bart O’Toole, his partner for the past 28 years.
• Brooklyn-based Mionetto USA is adding a Lambrusco to its line. The company’s new “IL” Lambrusco is slightly fizzy and packaged and priced in line with Mionetto’s other “IL” variants, Prosecco and Moscato, at $10 a bottle. Enore Ceola, managing director for Mionetto USA, says the addition is due to an “overwhelming number of requests to add Lambrusco to the ‘IL’ line.” Mionetto, which commands around one-third of U.S. Prosecco category, was an Impact Hot Brand for 2010, rising 20% to 265,000 cases. Mionetto is majority-owned by Germany’s Henkell & Co.
• In a multimillion dollar marketing investment, Brown-Forman’s Casa Herradura has agreed to become the official Tequila sponsor of Major League Soccer (MLS), U.S. Soccer and the U.S. Men’s and Women’s National Teams, and the Mexican National Team’s annual tour of the United States. The accord with Soccer United Marketing covers four years and grants Brown-Forman’s Tequilas, including Herradura and El Jimador, extensive marketing and promotional rights across the properties. El Jimador earned an Impact Hot Brand after advancing by 25% to 275,000 cases in 2010, while Herradura sells about 80,000 cases annually in the U.S.
• MillerCoors is launching MGD 64 Lemonade—a limited-edition, lemonade-flavored light beer—in the U.S. Available from May 1st through Labor Day, MGD 64 Lemonade will be sold in 6-pack and 12-pack bottles and cans, as well as on-premise, and will be backed by an integrated U.S. advertising campaign. The new extension has significantly fewer calories (64 calories and 2.4 grams of carbohydrates per 12-ounce serving) than most flavored alcoholic beverages. After a successful national launch in 2008, the core MGD 64 brand’s sales have slowed, and MillerCoors says it will debut new MGD 64 marketing campaign later this year.Subscribe to Shanken News Daily’s Email Newsletter, delivered to your inbox each morning.