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

News Briefs for May 9, 2012

May 9, 2012

•Pop singer Fergie is expected to launch her own wine label later this year, according to several news reports. The brand—called Ferguson Crest—will be sourced from a Santa Barbara property recently purchased by the singer. In addition to Ferguson Crest, Fergie is also part-owner and spokesperson for Voli Spirits’ Voli Light Vodka brand, a range of low-calorie French vodkas priced at $19.99 a bottle. Launched in 2011, Voli is handled in the U.S. by Palm Bay International.

Pernod Ricard USA has announced plans to move its U.S. headquarters to 250 Park Ave. in Manhattan this October. The agreement with building owner AEW Capital Management includes a 10-year lease for floors 16, 17 and 18 as well as a portion of the 20th floor—82,300 square feet in total. The Pernod Ricard employees who are already based in New York City (at the current space located at 401 Park Ave. South) will all move to the new space, as well as a select number of employees from the company’s Purchase, New York office, which was previously the company’s U.S. headquarters and will continue to house some 150 employees.

•Verona, Pennsylvania-based American Beverage Corp. (ABC) is suing Diageo in Pennsylvania, charging that Diageo’s Parrot Bay single-serve frozen cocktail pouches could create consumer confusion because of their alleged similarities to ABC’s own Daily’s Cocktail pouches, which debuted in 2005. American Beverage filed a trademark lawsuit in federal court in Pittsburgh earlier this week, asking the court to intervene to “restrain and enjoin (Diageo’s) infringing conduct” before the key summer selling season. Diageo issued a statement saying it was “confident it would prevail in this matter,” while ABC didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

•Seven companies have submitted bids to run the observatory at Manhattan’s 1 World Trade Center, currently scheduled to open in late 2013. Three of the seven bidders are in the food service industry, including Danny Meyer of Union Square Hospitality, Legends Hospitality Management, which operates concessions at Yankee Stadium and the Dallas Cowboys Stadium, and Aramark, a Philadelphia-based food service company. The remaining two bidders are Montparnasse 56 USA, which operates an observatory at the Montparnasse Tower in Paris, and Anthony E. Malkin, operator of the Empire State Building. Details of the companies’ offers, which were submitted to 1 World Trade Center’s owners the Durst Organization and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, have not been disclosed. The observation deck, once completed, will be the highest and largest observatory in New York City.

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