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

News Briefs for March 18, 2014

March 18, 2014

•Gruppo Campari is extending its Glen Grant single malt Scotch brand with a rare 50-year-old edition, with just 150 bottles released globally. Glen Grant 50-year-old is presented in a hand-blown, hand-numbered crystal decanter, designed to be an exact replica of Glen Grant’s tall, slender pot stills. The decanter is housed in a copper-lined Scottish oak box. The Glen Grant 50-year-old is rolling out this month to Asia’s travel retail market, with more travel retail and domestic markets to come online in June. Campari is rumored to be eyeing expansion in Scotch whisky, with reports linking it to a bid for United Spirits Ltd.’s Whyte & Mackay, which is currently on the block.

•Charleston, South Carolina-based Island Club Brands is adding a new flavor, Cherry Bounce, to its Chicken Cock American whiskey label. The 70-proof entry is Chicken Cock’s fourth flavor, joining Cinnamon, Southern Spiced and Root Beer, and is targeted to the cold-shot occasion. Chicken Cock sold about 12,000 cases last year, according to the company. Island Club’s other spirits brands include Cabana cachaça and General Beauregard Dixie vodka.

•MillerCoors’ Miller Lite brand has extended availability of its Original Lite Can retro package through September, in response to soaring consumer demand. First unveiled in December, the limited edition can—which mimics the brand’s original,1970s packaging and features the tagline “A fine Pilsner beer”—was set to end its run by mid-March. However, the can has bolstered Miller Lite’s recent performance, following the brand’s high-single-digit decline in 2013. According to Nielsen data, Miller Lite can sales were up 4.7% this year through March 1, helping to slow Miller Lite’s overall sales drop to the low-single-digits. MillerCoors is reportedly planning to add retro-style Miller Lite bottles to its stable in the coming weeks. Miller Lite currently sells roughly 14.7 million barrels in the U.S., according to Impact Databank.

•V2 Wine Group has appointed Marco Esposito as its regional manager in charge of Florida and the Caribbean. Esposito, who will report to V2 vice president, national sales manager Scott Ericson, has previously held key sales positions with E.&J. Gallo, Terlato Wines, and, most recently, Groth Vineyards & Winery.

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