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

News Briefs for August 21, 2012

August 21, 2012

Pernod Ricard USA’s Kahlúa liqueur brand is getting a packaging makeover intended to promote a more modern, premium feel across its range. The new look includes a bottle with “more confident posture, a metallic twist-off cap and an optimized logotype,” as well as new shippers prominently displaying Kahlúa’s “Delicioso” tagline and “Rum & Coffee Liqueur” call-out. The facelift will occur across all Kahlúa variants and start appearing on shelves and back bars in September. Kahlúa has slipped from nearly 1.5 million cases in 2000 to 985,000 cases in 2011 in the U.S. market, but returned to growth in the early part of this year. In addition to periodic new flavor additions, Pernod has attempted to expand the brand’s appeal in recent months with the launch of new Kahlúa Iced Coffee cans, which are 5% abv and sell for $2.50 a 200-ml. can or $9.99 a four-pack.

Christie’s has reported results for its first online-only wine sale, held August 6-20. The 301-lot auction was 88% sold, bringing in a total of $819,715. Highlights included 12 bottles of Chateau Latour for $21,780 and 12 bottles of Chateau Mouton-Rothschild for $16,940, both of which surpassed their high estimates of $18,000 and $15,000, respectively. The sale’s top lot comprised six bottles of 2000 Chateau Petrus, which went for $26,620, compared to a high estimate of $20,000. Several highly anticipated lots, however, failed to sell, including a case of 2000 Chateau Lafite (estimated at $20,000-$30,000) and 1989 Chateau Haut-Brion (estimated at $12,000-$18,000). More than 400 registered bidders from 29 countries participated in the two-week event, which required all clients to browse and bid exclusively online. Last year, online bidders represented 29% of Christie’s total bidders for all global sales, according to the auction house.

•Swedish vodka Karlsson’s Gold will launch its second limited edition vintage batch potato vodka this fall. Karlsson’s Batch 2009 is made from Solist potatoes harvested in July of 2009 at the Mäsinge Lantbruk Farm in Cape Bjäre in southern Sweden. Just under 2,000 bottles of the vodka will be made available at restaurants and retailers in New York, Miami, San Francisco and Los Angeles beginning in November. Batch 2009 will be priced at $80 a 750-ml. Karlsson’s first vintage vodka, Batch 2008, was introduced in April. The vodka brand is imported by New York-based Private Brands, a subsidiary of Swedish brand owner Spirits of Gold.

•New Zealand wine exports rose by 8% to NZ$1.18 billion ($959.6m) in value in the 12 months ending in June, according to industry group New Zealand Winegrowers. New Zealand wine exports to China rose by 50% to NZ$25 million ($20m) during the period. Exports to Australia (+13% to $308m) and the U.S. (+8% to $204m), New Zealand’s first- and third-ranked importers respectively, also rose, but the value of shipments to the second-ranked U.K. continued to slide (-3% to $231m), as the U.K. imported more bulk wines.

•Dallas-based Bennigan’s Franchising Co., parent company of casual-dining chain Bennigan’s, has entered into an agreement with Brixmor Property Group, developer and owner of shopping centers nationwide, to open Bennigan’s restaurants in select Brixmor properties, targeting franchisees, with financing available. Thus far, Bennigan’s and Brixmor have approved 30 sites for the new restaurants including shopping centers in California, Colorado, Florida, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas. The Bennigan’s chain was acquired by Bennigan’s Franchising Co. in 2008 after the chain’s parent company at the time, S&A Restaurant Corp., went bankrupt. There are currently 34 domestic Bennigan’s units and an additional 46 international outposts. New York City-based Brixmor Property Group owns more than 620 properties in 39 states.

 

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