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

News Briefs for September 26, 2011

September 26, 2011

•E&J Gallo continues to leverage the sports sponsorship promotional route for its Camarena Tequila brand, today announcing the renewal of a deal with the Dallas Cowboys to grant Camarena rights to game-day radio exposure and the Cowboys’ name and logos, as well as a new exclusive promotional space to be unveiled inside Cowboys Stadium. The Cowboys tie-up aims to tap Texas, the nation’s second-largest Tequila market, after California, at over 1 million cases. The deal with the Cowboys is Camarena’s fourth NFL partnership, the others being with the Minnesota Vikings, New York Jets and New Orleans Saints. The brand also has six Major League Baseball sponsorships (Chicago White Sox, Colorado Rockies, Los Angeles Angels, San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants and Atlanta Braves) and two National Basketball Association sponsorships (Phoenix Suns and Orlando Magic). Impact “Hot Prospect” Camarena depleted 150,000 cases in the U.S. in 2010, its first year on the market.

•Diageo is rolling out Smirnoff Gold Collection, a new line extension, in global travel retail this month. The Gold Collection will be available exclusively in that channel, following a successful trial at Mumbai Duty Free earlier this month. It’s a cinnamon-flavored vodka containing edible gold flakes and retailing at $36 a 1-liter bottle. Smirnoff is the number-one selling premium vodka brand worldwide at 24.8 million cases in 2010, according to Impact Databank.

•Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar has added a new wine preservation system to all its locations. The technology, Vinfinity Systems, uses FlashVacuum technology to extract 95% of the air out of a bottle in less than two seconds, thereby better preserving the wine and increasing its lifespan once it’s uncorked. Fleming’s has 64 locations nationwide with a by-the-glass program that features 100 wines.

•Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) and Pernod Ricard’s Australia-based Premium Wine Brands unit are pushing to reform Australia’s wine taxes in an effort to balance oversupply issues. Both companies have submitted statements for next month’s tax summit criticizing the country’s existing Wine Equalization Tax (WET)—a value-based levy totaling 29% of a wine’s value at final wholesale price—for contributing to an overabundance of wine and a proliferation of cheap, low-quality brands. TWE and Premium, as well as Australia’s Alcohol Education & Rehabilitation Foundation, are calling for a system that would tax according to alcohol level. TWE CEO David Dearie said a reformed system would help provide long-term stability for Australia’s wine industry. The Winemakers Federation of Australia argues that a tax change would do little to curb Australia’s wine glut and would likely harm smaller industry players.

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