News Briefs for June 14, 2011June 14, 2011
• This month Constellation Wines U.S. is introducing Simply Naked, a range of unoaked wines. Aged in stainless steel to achieve “fruit driven, easy-drinking” flavor, Simply Naked currently features 2010 vintages of California-sourced Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, all priced at $9.99 a 750-ml. Nicole Glenn, director of marketing for Simply Naked Wines, said the launch was sparked by increased consumer demand for simplicity and products that complement lighter consumption styles.
• Schmitt Söhne has expanded its Fünf Wines lineup with Fünf Moscato. Retailing for $8.99 per 750-ml., the new product features the same sleek, white-painted bottle as portfoliomates Fünf Riesling and Fünf Sweet Red, as well as the brand’s trademark silver “5” on the front label (fünf means “five” in German). The screwcap-topped Fünf line sold roughly 110,000 cases in 2010. With around 1.2 million cases in annual sales, Schmitt Söhne, Inc. is the U.S. market’s biggest German wine importer.
• Drinks Americas Holdings Ltd. has signed a letter of intent with Worldwide Beverage LLC, authorizing Worldwide to acquire up to a 49% interest in the group. Under the agreement, Worldwide will acquire approximately 125 million shares of Drinks Americas’ common stock—in exchange for Drinks Americas gaining sales, importing and distribution rights to Worldwide’s portfolio. Drinks Americas also is expected to receive a capital contribution of no less than $1.5 million from Worldwide. The transaction is expected to close between June 30 and July 15. Worldwide has already begun assigning licensing and distribution rights for 39 products within its portfolio to Drinks Americas. Worldwide’s stable includes spirits produced by Fabrica de Tequilas Finos (Kah Tequila, Agave 99 Tequila and Ed Hardy Tequila) and beer produced by Cervecería Mexicana (Mexicali Beer, Rio Bravo Beer, Chili Beer and Red Pig Ale). Drinks Americas brands include Willie Nelson’s Old Whiskey River Bourbon, Olifant vodka and Rheingold beer.
• Restaurant brand Red Lobster, owned by Darden Restaurants Inc., has unveiled 14 remodeled or newly constructed Tampa Bay-area locations as part of a three-year redesign effort that began late last year. The transformed restaurants feature both exterior and interior components designed to evoke the seaside town of Bar Harbor, Maine. The remodeling plan will cover nearly all of Red Lobster’s 700 U.S. and Canadian restaurants by 2014.Subscribe to Shanken News Daily’s Email Newsletter, delivered to your inbox each morning.