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News Briefs for December 5, 2013

December 5, 2013

•Scotch whisky producer Ian Macleod Distillers Ltd. is reportedly planning a major expansion of its facilities after receiving what it called a “substantial” bank loan from the Bank of Scotland. According to news reports, the facility updates will include six new warehouses at Ian Macleod’s Speyside headquarters, slated to be operational by 2015. The new expansion is expected to help achieve the company’s goal of increasing export sales, particularly in markets such as Russia. Established in 1933, Ian Macleod produces the Macleod’s, Isle of Skye, Glengoyne and Tamdhu Scotch brands, among other offerings.

Treasury Wine Estates has relaunched its Matua brand, which has enjoyed solid growth of late in the U.S. market. The relaunch, which was done in conjunction with the Moon Communications Group, is intended to strengthen the tie between Matua and its New Zealand origin. It includes new packaging for the brand, as well as a new marketing campaign centered around the tagline, “Made by the Real New Zealand.” Like the larger New Zealand wine category, Matua is thriving in the U.S. market. New Zealand’s shipments to the U.S. were up 13% to NZ$283.7 million ($220m) during the 12 months through June 2013, according to the New Zealand Winegrowers trade group. Matua, which was up by 28% to 137,000 cases in the U.S. in 2012, according to Impact Databank, has been one of the category’s growth drivers.

•While Brown-Forman has seen very strong results for its first flavored whiskey, Tennessee Honey, company CEO Paul Varga told analysts yesterday that the group will be conservative in rolling out new whiskey flavors moving forward. Citing talk of flavor fatigue in the vodka market, which has seen a deluge of new flavor propositions in recent years, Varga said Brown-Forman would be careful not to extend the venerable Jack Daniel’s trademark with too many flavored offshoots and risk cannibalizing the core label. Cannibalization hasn’t been an issue on Tennessee Honey, he noted, as the flavor is largely bringing new consumers into the Jack Daniel’s fold. Tennessee Honey’s sales rose 30% in Brown-Forman’s fiscal first half, ended in October. Brown-Forman also introduced a flavored winter seasonal, Winter Jack, in recent weeks.

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