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

News Briefs for December 12, 2011

December 12, 2011

•The Wine Institute says U.S. wine exports will likely hit a new record this year by both dollar value and volume. U.S. wineries’ export revenues year-to-date through September 2011 reached $1.023 billion, up 26% compared to the year-earlier period, the trade group said. Volume in the first nine months of 2011 was up 7%. U.S. wine exports were worth $1.145 billion in calendar 2010. With the fourth quarter traditionally the strongest selling period, 2011’s full-year tally is on pace to surpass that total.

•William Grant & Sons is considering Ireland’s County Offaly as the potential site for a new Tullamore Dew distillery. According to local media reports, the company has met with county council officials to discuss the project, which would mark the Irish whiskey’s return to production in its hometown of Tullamore, Co. Offaly. A final decision is expected in the coming months. Tullamore Dew’s production is currently contracted out to Pernod Ricard’s Irish Distillers, with bottling handled by William Grant’s Clonmel-based facility. William Grant, which acquired Tullamore Dew from C&C Group in 2010 and has since gained ownership of the brand’s Tullamore-based heritage center, first announced tentative plans for a new distillery in January.

•U.S. restaurant same-store sales are predicted to average 2%-3% growth in 2012, says global agency Fitch Ratings. The modest sales increase will likely be impacted by a 5% or higher rise in food and beverage costs, with the most dramatic price rises coming from proteins like beef and chicken, which are forecast to increase by 9% and 5%, respectively. According to Fitch, even larger U.S. chains are expected to lower sales growth expectations to the mid-single-digits, due primarily to weak consumer confidence and the stagnant economy.

•Anheuser-Busch InBev will launch a Budweiser reality TV show, Bud United Presents: The Big Time, on ABC starting January 21, 2012. Cast members were selected globally through the brand’s social media sites and will be featured fulfilling their professional goals. The show will make its debut in the U.S. with seven episodes, each one featuring three cast members. Budweiser has partnered with @radical.media and executive producer Evan Weinstein to produce the show and is working with international entertainment distribution company FremantleMedia Enterprises on a global launch.

•E&J Gallo’s Familia Camarena Tequila has signed on for another year as sponsor of the Orlando Magic. The renewal marks the second season of the marketing sponsorship, which includes brand exposure in the Amway Center arena as well as on English and Spanish in-game radio broadcasts. Camarena currently has deals in place with six Major League Baseball clubs, four National Football League franchises and two National Basketball Association teams.


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