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

News Briefs for August 8, 2011

August 8, 2011

•Treasury Wine Estates Americas chief marketing officer Francesca Schuler has departed to become chief marketing officer for West Coast wine, spirits and beer retailer BevMo, effective August 1. Schuler, who has held executive roles in the E&J Gallo, Gap Inc. and Method Products organizations, had led marketing at Treasury Americas for roughly two years. In addition to online retail operations, BevMo currently operates 51 retail stores in Northern California, 51 in Southern California and 10 in Arizona. Treasury has yet to name a replacement.

•The New Hampshire Liquor Commission (NHLC) recently said it achieved record net sales of $534 million, up 4.5%, for the 12 months through June 30. NHLC chairman Joseph Mollica credited out-of-state marketing efforts, in-store programs—such as a new discount wine initiative, Outlet Power Buys, that offers wines at up to 70% off—and NHLC retail outlet modernizations as contributing to the sales increase. According to NABCA, Captain Morgan, at nearly 93,000 total cases (up 5.1% in calendar 2010), is far and away the largest-selling spirit brand in New Hampshire. Other top 10 brands respectively include Smirnoff (-1.6% in 2010), Bacardi (-2%), Zhenka vodka (-6.8%), Absolut (+9.8%), Jack Daniel’s (-6%), Gordon’s (-4%), Jim Beam (+3.6%), Kahlua (+0.1%) and Grey Goose (-6.9%).

•Southern Wine & Spirits of Florida has named Richard Booth to the newly created role of vice president-strategic accounts, effective August 1. Booth was previously vice president-general manager of SWS-South Florida (a replacement in that role hasn’t yet been named). In his new position, Booth will oversee Southern’s business with key on- and off-premise accounts throughout Florida, reporting directly to SWS-Florida vice president-general manager Steve Power.

•The Yard House restaurant chain is expanding its beverage alcohol menu with three new additions, including a line of Fresh & Skinny Cocktails, a range of sakes and half-pints of beer called Shortys. The Fresh & Skinny Cocktails range from 115 to 176 calories and are priced at $8.95-$10.25, featuring drinks like the Lite Lemon Drop featuring Ketel One Citroen Vodka and fresh lemon, or the Pure Cosmo made with Skyy Infusions Citrus Vodka and a splash of cranberry juice. The new Shortys program allows consumers to build their own three-variety beer flight, priced at $2.75-$4.75 per half-pint. The chain has also introduced a host of sake selections to its offering priced at $4.25 a glass or $20-$32 a bottle. California-based Yard House owns and operates 32 locations across the country.

•Treasury Wine Estates has launched Eight, a 2009 proprietary red wine blend under its Cellar No. 8 brand. The new offering features eight different varietals: Petite Sirah, Grenache, Merlot, Mourvèdre, Syrah, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon and Sangiovese. Sourced from California vineyards and produced at the company’s Sonoma-based winery, Eight is rolling out nationwide this month, priced at $10 a 750-ml. It joins Cellar No. 8’s existing line-up, which includes a California Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Zinfandel, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Grigio, all priced at $10. Cellar No. 8 achieved Impact “Hot Brand” status in 2010, rising 14% to 210,000 cases.

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