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

News Briefs for April 16, 2013

April 16, 2013

Moët Hennessy enjoyed a reported sales increase of 6% to €979 million ($1.3b) in the first three months of 2013, its fiscal first quarter. On an organic basis, sales were up 7%, as “notably robust” Champagne demand in Asia offset softer conditions in Europe, and Hennessy Cognac continued its “excellent momentum,” in the company’s words, with the U.S. and China both among the markets driving growth. Among Moët Hennessy’s other brands, single malt Scotch whisky Glenmorangie and Belvedere vodka also got off to strong starts for the year, the company said.

•Glazer’s continues to bolster its portfolio in Indiana. After adding Aveníu Brands to its distribution lineup in the state in recent days, Glazer’s has announced an exclusive distribution partnership with C. Mondavi & Family. With this new alliance, the Napa Valley-based C. Mondavi is now aligned with the Dallas-based Glazer’s in nine states. C. Mondavi’s leading brands include Charles Krug, CK Mondavi and The Divining Rod, which was introduced in 2012. Additionally, Glazer’s has appointed Randy Myers as senior vice president-Missouri. In his new post, Myers, who came to Glazer’s in 2007 after nearly two decades in the Gallo sales organization, will report to Scott Westerman, Glazer’s regional president for Missouri, Kansas and Iowa. Glazer’s is Missouri’s second-leading spirits and wine distributor, behind Major Brands.

•Brown-Forman’s Tequila Herradura has unveiled the first offering in its new small-batch series, Coleccion de la Casa. Launching this month, Coleccion de la Casa’s debut expression is Reserva 2012, Port Cask Finish, described as a Reposado Tequila matured in American oak casks for 11 months and then Port casks for an additional two months. It’s available in a limited quantity of 2,000 cases, priced at $89.99 a bottle. In other Brown-Forman news, Southern Comfort liqueur is releasing a poker-inspired gift pack for its 100-Proof expression. The World Series of Poker gift pack includes a 750-ml. bottle of Southern Comfort 100-Proof, as well as a deck of playing cards and 10 poker chips. The limited edition offering is currently available in 13 U.S. markets. A presenting sponsor for the 2012-2013 season of the World Series of Poker Tour, Southern Comfort returned to net sales growth in the U.S. last year, following several consecutive years of decline.

Budweiser is set to release new bowtie-shaped cans beginning May 6. They will be offered in addition to the traditional cans and not as a replacement, and will be available in 8-packs of 11.3-ounce cans. The can shape is inspired by the traditional bowtie logo that frames the Budweiser brand name on the packaging, and is meant to attract younger LDA consumers. Anheuser-Busch has been working on the can’s design since 2010 and will support the release with a marketing initiative that includes new print, digital and TV ad spots, as well as point-of-sale materials. Additionally, A-B is working on other packaging changes, including plans to release later this summer new 25-ounce cans to replace existing 24-ounce cans across 10 states.

•Hawaii’s Kona Brewing Co. has unveiled new packaging across its line of beers. Set to roll out later this month, the new look features bottles that are embossed with a Hawaiian island chain and “Liquid Aloha” lettering, as well as new illustrated die-cut labels designed to accentuate Hawaii’s natural landscape. Kona has also changed the shape of its beer bottles, slimming down the 12-ounce packaging to reduce the weight by 11% and make shipping more efficient. The packaging will be available in stores across Kona’s 36-state distribution footprint. A subsidiary of Craft Brew Alliance (CBA), Kona’s total shipments were up 27.3% to 220,000 barrels in 2012, bolstered in part by an 18% increase in shipments to its home market.

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