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News Briefs for February 24, 2012

February 24, 2012

•Oregon’s wine industry is expecting sales growth of between 7%-11% in 2012, according to research commissioned by the Oregon Wine Board. Driven by Pinot Noir, which is expanding at around 10% annually, as well as Pinot Gris, Chardonnay and Riesling, sales of Oregon wine have risen by 12% annually over the past five years, hitting $252 million in 2011. Just over one-third of Oregon wine shipments stay in the Pacific Northwest region, while direct-to-consumer sales account for roughly 20% of the state’s wine business.

Grupo Modelo said its Crown Imports joint venture with Constellation saw net sales hit $2.47 billion in calendar 2011, up 6% from $2.34 billion in calendar year 2010. Operating profit was flat at $435 million. According to Impact Databank, growth drivers for Crown last year included Modelo Especial (up 14% to 36 million cases) and Victoria, which grew roughly six-fold to nearly 3 million cases. Meanwhile, Corona Extra (+5%) and Corona Light (+1%) both returned to growth in the U.S. in 2011, as St. Pauli Girl and Tsingtao slowed.

•Beam Inc. has announced a partnership between C by Courvoisier Cognac and former NBA star Shaquille O’Neal’s entertainment and new media company, Shaq Entertainment. The Cognac will become the sponsor of the Shaq All-Star Comedy Jam’s tour across the U.S. in 2012. Throughout the year, C by Courvoisier will have a branded on-stage presence during the shows, host after-parties and provide fans with videos of the tour on the Courvoisier YouTube channel and Facebook page. The All-Star Comedy Jam tour will travel to more than 20 cities throughout 2012, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Miami. Introduced to the U.S. market in recent weeks, the small-batch C by Courvoisier retails at $34.99 a 750-ml.

•Cava exports rose 2.1% last year to reach a record high of 12.68 million nine-liter cases, according to Cava Regulatory Council chairman Gustavo García Guillamet. In the U.S., the fourth-largest Cava export market, sales fell 0.8% to 1.4 million cases, under pressure from the fast-rising Prosecco segment. But Cava performed well throughout the E.U.—particularly Belgium and France—where overall sales were up 2.3% to 9.4 million cases. Despite the rise in exports, total Cava sales worldwide fell 2.14% to 19.9 million cases, due primarily to a weak performance in Cava’s home market of Spain, where sales slipped nearly 9%.

•Tampa, Florida-based sports pub chain Beef ‘O’ Brady’s has opened its first Arizona location in the city of Surprise. The chain has recently been expanding within the U.S., opening more than 10 new units in 2011 and inking deals to launch an additional 25 locations this year. Beef ‘O’ Brady’s currently operates more than 210 units in more than 20 states.

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