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

News Briefs for June 18, 2014

June 18, 2014

•Diageo Chateau & Estate (DC&E) has revamped its BV Coastal Estates wine tier ($11 a 750-ml.) with several quality upgrades and new packaging. BV Coastal Estates’ new look, which is hitting the market this month, is meant to convey a “more simple, clean design with strategic use of white space for a more modern feel.” Meanwhile, the brand’s winemaker, Jason Dodge, has led an effort over the past few years to improve quality, culminating with this year’s release of BV Coastal Estates’ 2012 vintage. Changes include more sourcing of red grapes from BV’s Central Coast estate vineyards, as well as the use of higher-quality American and French oak for aging.

•Domaine Select Wine Estates has inked a new deal with Panache Beverage Inc., agreeing to import Panache’s Wódka vodka and Alibi American whiskey brands in the U.S. Previously, Panache had self-imported both brands. Under the new agreement, Wódka and Alibi will join Domaine Select’s Classic & Vintage spirits division, alongside brands such as Armagnac Castarede, Cognac Grosperrin, Suprema Grappa, Rhum J.M., Diplomatico rum and G’Vine gin. The deal expands on an existing partnership between both companies, with Domaine Select currently serving as the New York distributor for Wódka since 2011 and Alibi since 2012.

•Phillips Distilling Co. has expanded its UV vodka lineup with the launch of UV Sugar Crush. Inspired by retro candies, Sugar Crush is a tropical fruit candy-flavored entry targeted toward Millennial consumers. The extension, which is priced at $11.99 a 750-ml., marks the 21st flavor in UV vodka’s stable, following the launch of UV Sriracha earlier this year. A limited edition Salted Caramel Apple flavor, meanwhile, is slated to join the range this fall. According to Phillips Distilling, the UV brand is projected to reach 2 million cases in the U.S. this year.

•Southern Wine & Spirits has named John Trainer as executive vice president, general manager of its American Liberty Wine & Spirits division, focused on Pernod Ricard brands, effective July 1. Trainer comes to Southern directly from Pernod Ricard USA, where he is currently vice president, general manager for the control markets division. Trainer will also take on the sales and marketing responsibilities of B.J. Vorderer, current Southern vice president, supplier executive for the Pernod Ricard USA portfolio. Vorderer is returning to Pernod USA as general manager, control markets division. Southern and Pernod Ricard USA are aligned in 33 states.

•Mike’s Hard Lemonade Co. has debuted new 8-ounce can packaging for its Mike’s Harder Lemonade, Mike’s Harder Black Cherry Lemonade and Mike’s Hard Smashed Apple Ale labels. Rolled out across grocery, liquor and convenience stores nationwide, the cans are currently available in both single servings and 12-packs. The launch comes on the heels of Mike’s Hard Lemonade’s recent overhaul in April, which included the introduction of Hard Smashed, a redesigned logo, new packaging and a refocused media push.

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