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News Briefs for May 8, 2012

May 8, 2012

•At last night’s 2012 James Beard Foundation Awards at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall in New York City, famed Manhattan speakeasy PDT received the first-ever “Outstanding Bar Program Award.” The award, presented by Campari, recognizes excellence in cocktail, spirits and/or beer service. PDT, which stands for Please Don’t Tell, debuted in the East Village in 2007 and has since received massive critical acclaim and various awards, including the 2009 Spirit Award for “World’s Best Cocktail Bar” at Tales of the Cocktail, as well as the “American Bartender of the Year” 2009 Spirit Award for owner and mixologist Jim Meehan.

•Moët Hennessy’s Belvedere vodka brand has launched its latest flavor extension, Lemon Tea. Distilled with black and green teas, ginger, chamomile, lemongrass, honey and lemon, the new super-premium offering is priced at $29.99 a 750-ml. Lemon Tea joins Belvedere’s core label, as well as a flavor portfolio that features Citrus, Orange, Black Raspberry, Pink Grapefruit and Bloody Mary expressions. Last year, Belvedere’s U.S. volume was up 10% to 435,000 cases, according to Impact Databank.

•Double-digit growth across craft-import division Tenth and Blake helped MillerCoors to a 3.6% sales rise to $1.76 billion in the three months through March. Tenth and Blake brands Blue Moon, Peroni and Leinenkugel’s all performed strongly, with the latter benefiting from rolling out its summer seasonal Lemon Shandy a month early this year. MillerCoors CEO Tom Long said “strong mix, positive pricing and unseasonably warm weather, particularly around St. Patrick’s Day,” helped boost the brewer’s results. Long said late last year that he was targeting 60% growth for Tenth and Blake over the next three years. Among MillerCoors’ larger mainstream brands, Coors Light rose low single-digits by volume during the quarter, while Miller Lite and Miller64 continued to decline.

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