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

News Briefs for November 15, 2011

November 15, 2011

•Online restaurant savings and gift certificate business Restaurant.com has launched a new daily deal feature, Specials by Restaurant.com. Described as a natural extension to the site’s flagship business, the time-limited deals will initially feature Restaurant.com gift certificates bundled with movie, travel, wine, cooking, food and entertainment experiences. Restaurant.com currently offers more than 45,000 deals at more than 18,000 restaurants nationwide, including its core $25 gift certificate for $10 offer, which has been available to consumers since 2001.

•Anheuser-Busch InBev (ABI) will be moving production of its Beck’s beer brand to St. Louis in early 2012, reports AdAge. Subsequently, all Beck’s beer in the U.S. market will come from the city’s Anheuser-Busch brewery. Heretofore a premium import from Germany, Beck’s sells around 500,000 (2.25-gallon) cases annually in the U.S., according to Impact Databank. For the third quarter ended September 30, ABI’s revenue was up 3.6% to $10.2 billion, bolstered by a 17% rise in “high-end shipment volumes” of Beck’s, Stella Artois, Leffe, Hoegaarden, Landshark and Shock Top in the U.S.

•MillerCoors says it will withhold sponsorship payments to its National Basketball Association (NBA) partners until the league’s lockout is over, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. MillerCoors made the decision to withhold payments after NBA players rejected the league’s latest contract offer yesterday. Payments will be made in full once the dispute has ended. MillerCoors has sponsorship deals with many different NBA teams and spends heavily in sports advertising—according to SportsBusiness Journal, it spent three-fourths of its total television media spend, or about $214 million, on sports last year.

•VeeV Açaí Spirit fruit liqueur posted sales growth of 105% in the 52-week period through October. VeeV is predicted to deplete 48,000 cases and generate total sales of $4.5 million in calendar year 2011. Launched in 2007, VeeV now has a presence in all 50 states and established new relationships with Ruby Tuesday, Seasons 52 and Roy’s restaurants this past summer. In the next year, the brand is targeting continued growth in the casual dining segment.

Zagat announced today that its Android phone app, which provides access to Zagat’s full list of restaurant ratings and reviews, can now be downloaded for a free 30-day trial. After the trial, the Android user can either opt to continue to use a “lite version” of the app for free or subscribe to gain full access to both the Zagat app and the Zagat website for $24.95 a year.

 

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