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

News Briefs for April 16, 2012

April 16, 2012

Anheuser-Busch InBev (ABI) will pay $1.24 billion to acquire majority control of the Dominican Republic’s Cervecería Nacional Dominicana S.A. (CND), makers of the Presidente beer brand, creating what it says will be the leading drinks company in the Caribbean. Through its Brazilian subsidiary, AmBev, ABI will pay $1 billion to CND majority owner E. León Jimenes to combine AmBev Dominicana with CND and take a 41.76% stake in the new company, Tenedora CND S.A., which will have net revenues of around $570 million. AmBev will pay another $237 million to Heineken for that brewer’s 9.3% stake in CND, bringing the total ABI interest in the company to 51%. The new Tenedora CND business will include beer, malt and soft drinks operations in the Dominican Republic, Antigua, St. Vincent and Dominica, as well as exports to 16 other countries. The Presidente brand, imported by CND’s own Presidente USA, sells around 1.5 million (2.25-gallon) cases annually in the U.S., according to Impact Databank.

•Stolichnaya vodka is being backed by a new global campaign under the tagline “The Most Original Moments, Deserve The Most Original Vodka.” Launched this month, the campaign features three online films created by Swedish director Jonas Åkerlund, which chronicle a spontaneous night out with friends set to a soundtrack of original song remixes. In addition to the video content, the campaign also features print, out-of-home, event, sponsorship and partnership components. The push has been tailored to support April’s rollout of Stoli Hot and Stoli Sticki, the brand’s new jalapeño- and honey-flavored extensions. The new positioning, created by Berlin Cameron United, replaces Stoli’s former “Would You Have a Drink With You?” campaign, which was the work of WPP’s Ogilvy. Last year, Stolichnaya’s U.S. volume slipped 1.4% to 1.8 million cases in 2011, according to Impact Databank.

•Food Network parent company Scripps Networks Interactive has launched CityEats, a new reservation service website. The site competes against OpenTable, the leading online reservation provider in the U.S., with more than 25,000 restaurant members worldwide and annual revenues of around $140 million. CityEats claims to offer lower fees for restaurant operators than OpenTable. Already operating in Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia, the site has reportedly signed around 130 restaurants and plans to enter additional markets by the end of the year.

•Convenience store chain 7-Eleven is expected to open 114 locations in New York City over the next five years, reports the New York Daily News. The chain, which already has 18 Manhattan outposts, plans to add at least 14 more to the borough this year, with an additional 20 coming in 2013-2017, in addition to others across the city. 7-Eleven operates, franchises and licenses 6,680 stores in the U.S.

•Wolfgang Puck has launched his first app for iPhone and iPod Touch users, created by app developer Gourmet Pixel. The Wolfgang Puck app features never-before-published recipes, personalized food and restaurant recommendations, cooking demonstration videos, event planning tools, social media integration and direct access to OpenTable to make restaurant reservations. The app is available for free through the Apple App Store.

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