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

News Briefs for November 8, 2011

November 8, 2011

•Advertising Age has named Coca-Cola—led by chief marketing and commercial officer Joe Tripodi—as its “Marketer of the Year.” Tripodi, who joined Coca-Cola in 2007, was chief marketing officer of The Seagram Spirits & Wine Group from 1999 to 2002. Advertising Age recognized Tripodi and company for a 2011 series of campaigns that saw Diet Coke overtake Pepsi as the number-two soda brand in the U.S. and has propelled Coca-Cola to 3% worldwide volume growth year-to-date. Tripodi, along with other top drinks industry executives, will be presenting his insights as a speaker at the 36th Annual Impact Marketing Seminar, to be held March 22, 2012, at New York City’s Pierre Hotel. The full list of Seminar speakers will be revealed at a later date.

•Minneapolis-based restaurant operator Granite City Food & Brewery Ltd. has acquired the assets of seven Cadillac Ranch All American Bar & Grill units for a reported $9 million. The units are located in Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Florida and Maryland. Granite City Food & Brewery plans to incorporate some of Cadillac Ranch’s food and beer selections into its 26-unit flagship chain, confirmed Dean Oakey, the company’s chief concept officer.

•Celebrity chef and Sonoma-based hotelier Charlie Palmer is opening his first San Francisco hotel and restaurant. The new, “chef-driven” boutique hotel will take over the current location of the 100-year-old Crescent Hotel, which Palmer will begin renovating next year. Palmer recently told Inside Scoop SF that he plans to retain the historic nature of the hotel’s cocktail lounge, the Burritt Room, and build his new restaurant in the dining room space behind the bar. The Crescent will remain open for business throughout the renovation before transitioning into the new hotel concept.

•New York City’s Parks Department is seeking bidders to run a small, casual restaurant at the former Central Park location of fine-dining landmark Tavern on the Green, which closed in 2009 after going bankrupt. Department spokeswoman Vicki Karp told the New York Times that bids will be solicited by year-end and that the city will restore the building to its original design. The new casual restaurant concept will feature a takeout counter and will incorporate the visitor center that opened in the building after Tavern on the Green shuttered. The plan is expected to become operational by summer 2013.

•Ireland’s C&C Group has acquired the Hornsby’s cider brand from E&J Gallo for €16.4 million ($22.5m). That price could rise to €20 million ($27.5m) depending on the brand’s performance through April 2012. The deal puts C&C, which already owns Magners cider, into second place in the U.S. cider category behind Vermont Hard Cider Co., which owns Woodchuck and markets Strongbow. C&C projects the U.S. cider category will expand by 20% annually in the coming years. The category is estimated by Impact Databank at 4.6 million (2.25-gallon) cases. Launched in 1994 as a premium craft cider, Hornsby’s features two variants—Amber Draft and Crisp Apple—and is strongest in the West Coast off-premise market. It will complement Magners, which historically has focused on the East Coast and the on-premise. In the year ended December 31, Hornsby’s volumes totaled 716,000 (2.25-gallon) cases and net revenue was $11.7 million.


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