News Briefs for September 29, 2011September 29, 2011
•Brown-Forman is launching a luxury-end Finlandia line extension, Finlandia Platinum, in global travel retail this month. The new bottle is a collaboration between Finnish designer Harry Koskinen and package designer Ken Hirst. Finlandia depleted 260,000 nine-liter cases in the U.S. last year, according to Impact Databank.
•Johnnie Walker has launched a new global, integrated marketing effort centered on the theme of international progress and innovative thinking. Entitled the “Keep Walking Project,” the social media-led campaign asks consumers from Bulgaria, Brazil, Greece, Lebanon, Spain, Thailand and Vietnam to discuss and galvanize online support for three groundbreaking initiatives in technology, business and the arts. Johnnie Walker will then identify the most popular initiatives in each participating market and implement them next spring. In addition to social media, the Keep Walking Project will feature 60- and 30-second television ads airing globally. Devised by BBH Global and marketing consultant Independents United, the Keep Walking Project was also developed in partnership with Edelman and digital marketing firm AKQA.
•Chinese brewer Tsingtao has renewed its U.S. import agreement with Crown Imports’ Chicago-based subsidiary Monarch Import Co. Monarch will remain exclusive importer of Tsingtao Beer, including Tsingtao Lager and Tsingtao Pure Draft, in the U.S., Bermuda and U.S. Virgin Islands. Monarch has been Tsingtao’s importer since 1978. Once a million-case player in the U.S., Tsingtao’s volume declined through the 1990s, and today totals less than 800,000 (2.25-gallon) cases annually, according to Impact Databank.
•Darden Restaurants Inc.’s earnings for the first quarter ended August 28 fell 5.8% to $106.8 million, as sales rose 7.5% to $1.94 billion. Same-store U.S. restaurant sales increased 2.8%, including a 10.7% rise at Red Lobster, a 4.8% increase at LongHorn Steakhouse and a 2.9% decrease at Olive Garden. The earnings decline was attributed to rising commodity costs, lower traffic at The Olive Garden chain and cost-conscious consumers. Darden said it will continue with its annual 2%-3% menu price increases. The restaurant operator will also put effort behind improvements at The Olive Garden, remodeling across the country and adding menu options for households with annual income under $60,000.
•U.S. restaurant traffic fell 0.6% in the second quarter of 2011, according to a recent report from market research firm NPD Group. High unemployment rates in the U.S. and elsewhere were partly to blame for the decline. Average U.S. check prices rose more than 2%; NPD primarily attributed that rise to menu price hikes.Subscribe to Shanken News Daily’s Email Newsletter, delivered to your inbox each morning.
Tagged : Brown-Forman, Crown Imports, Darden Restaurants, Johnnie Walker, restaurants, Tsingtao
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