News Briefs for December 3, 2013December 3, 2013
•Phillips Distilling’s UV vodka brand has unveiled its latest flavored entry, UV Sriracha. Inspired by Thailand’s sriracha hot sauce, the new expression is infused with a blend of chilis, garlic and vegetables and, according to Phillips director of research and development Jim Aune, is ideal for usage in Bloody Marys and other savory cocktails. UV Sriracha, which marks the brand’s 20th flavor, is currently available in 50-ml., 750-ml. and 1-liter formats, priced at around $11.99 a 750-ml. An Impact “Hot Brand,” UV depleted more than 1.5 million cases in the U.S. in 2012.
•The National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Performance Index (RPI)—a monthly composite index that tracks the health of and outlook for the U.S. restaurant industry—rose to a four-month high of 100.9 in October on stronger same-store sales and traffic and a more optimistic outlook among restaurant operators. Some 54% of restaurant operators reported a same-store sales gain in the 12 months through October, up from 41% who reported higher sales in September. In comparison, 30% of operators reported a decline in same-store sales in October, down from 40% in September. Meanwhile, 43% of restaurant operators reported higher customer traffic levels between October 2012 and October 2013, up from 33% a month prior. RPI index values above 100 generally indicate a period of expansion in the restaurant industry.Subscribe to Shanken News Daily’s Email Newsletter, delivered to your inbox each morning.