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

News Briefs for May 26, 2011

May 26, 2011

• Pernod Ricard USA is rolling out a 13th flavor to its Absolut vodka brand, Orient Apple. Available across the U.S. this month, the new offering is a mix of apple and ginger flavors and retails in line with the core brand at around $20 a bottle. Pernod has ramped up its innovation activity on Absolut over the last 18 months, introducing four new flavors in the U.S. over that period: Berri Acaí (January 2010), Absolut Brooklyn (June 2010), Wild Tea (January 2011) and now Orient Apple.

• Beam Global Spirits & Wine’s Jim Beam brand has introduced Devil’s Cut, a premium Bourbon whiskey made with liquid that has been trapped within barrel wood, to the U.S. To create the new 90-proof expression, Beam uses a proprietary method to extract the whiskey that is traditionally absorbed by the barrel during the aging process, and combines it with extra-aged Jim Beam Bourbon. Featuring heavier notes of wood, oak and vanilla, Devil’s Cut is available in select markets this month and will roll out nationwide this summer, priced at $23.99 per 750ml.

• Global Burgundy exports have increased by both volume and value for the three months to the end of March, according to the Bureau Interprofessionnel des Vins du Bourgogne (BIVB). Bolstered by strong growth in the U.S. market, total volumes rose to 18 million bottles (1.5m cases)—an 11.1% increase on the same period last year—while value was up 8.2% to €122.2 million ($173.4m). In 2010, global Burgundy exports for the full year rose 13.5% by volume to nearly 90 million bottles (7.5m cases), and 16% by value to €576 million ($816.2m).

• Chicago-based Gemini Spirits & Wine—a wholly owned subsidiary of the Sazerac Co—has launched its Margaritaville Skinny Margarita premix cocktail in the U.S. Priced at $14.99 per 1.75L, the RTD offering claims to have 95 calories and 7.9 carbohydrates per 4-fluid-ounce serving. Skinny Margarita joins Gemini’s existing portfolio of premix Margaritaville Margaritas, including Classic Lime, Passion Fruit, Last Mango, Lemonade and Cranberry, each of which have 133 calories and 16.53 carbohydrates per serving. In March, Beam Global acquired fast-rising Skinnygirl, another low-calorie premix Margarita cocktail, from its creator, reality TV star Bethenny Frankel, and her partner, David Kanbar, for an undisclosed sum.

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