News Briefs for January 9, 2013January 9, 2013
•Lucas Bols is bringing its name liqueurs brand in-house in the U.S. market. The Dutch spirits marketer and William Grant & Sons USA have agreed to terminate their partnership for distribution of Bols liqueurs in the U.S., effective June 30, 2013, so that the brand can join the Lucas Bols USA portfolio. For years, Bols ($10-$15 a 750-ml.) has been one of William Grant & Sons USA’s biggest brands. But the liqueur brand’s sales have been lackluster in recent years, selling around 350,000 cases in 2011—nearly 100,000 less than a decade before. The Bols liqueurs range will join the current Lucas Bols USA lineup of Bols Genever, Damrak Gin, Galliano L’Autentico and Ristretto and Vaccari Sambuca.
•The Wemyss family, owner of Wemyss Malts, has invested £3 million ($4.8m) in a new single malt Scotch whisky distillery and visitor center in Fife. The Kingsbarns Distillery will produce a new Lowland single malt Scotch whisky called Kingsbarns, and is expected to have a production capacity of about 150,000 liters per year, according to a company spokesperson. Part of the investment in the project came in the form of a £670,000 ($1.07m) grant from the Scottish government. Development of the distillery is expected to begin early this year, with hopes of beginning production and opening to the public in summer 2014.
•Tequila Partida has promoted Steve Lauth to the newly-created position of vice president, operations, effective immediately. He will also maintain his duties as Partida’s director of finance. Lauth joined Tequila Partida in 2009, coming from Scottish & Newcastle Importers, where he held various senior roles in finance and operations.
•Darden Restaurants Inc. has announced three management changes, effective January 14. Dave George has been appointed as president of Olive Garden, replacing John Caron, who is leaving the company. George most recently served as president of LongHorn Steakhouse since 2003, before which he was vice president of operations for LongHorn since 1998. Valerie Insignares will be taking over George’s position as president of LongHorn Steakhouse, a promotion from her previous role as Darden’s chief restaurant operations officer. Insignares has been with Darden since 1997, holding numerous leadership roles, including executive vice president of operations for Olive Garden for seven years. In addition, Will Setliff has been named senior vice president and chief marketing officer for Darden, after joining the company last year as executive vice president of marketing for Darden’s Specialty Restaurant Group, which consists of Seasons 52, Bahama Breeze, The Capital Grille and Yard House.
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