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

News Briefs for September 29, 2014

September 29, 2014

•Anheuser-Busch InBev has made a number of moves across its global leadership team, including the appointment of a new president overseeing North America, effective next January 15. João Castro Neves, currently zone president Latin America North and CEO of Ambev, will transition to become zone president North America. He will replace Luiz Fernando Edmond, who will move to a global role, becoming AB InBev’s chief sales officer. Meanwhile, current chief sales officer Bernardo Pinto Paiva will succeed Neves as head of Latin America and CEO of Ambev.

•Full-service restaurant and bar traffic in the U.S. rose 0.3% in the four weeks through September 7, according to Guestmetrics, boosted in part by encouraging spirits trends. Spirits category volume within the channel grew 1% for the month, following a 1.9% volume gain the month prior, while dollar sales increased 3.2%. Brown spirits, in particular, have continued to steal share on-premise, with Bourbon and blended whiskies up 14% by volume and Irish whiskey up 10%. Additionally, craft spirits continued to surge, with share rising 1.9% during the four-week period, and the segment growing by nearly 50% in more recent weeks. Traffic gains were primarily driven by growth within the lodging and casual dining segments, while bar and club channels remain soft.

•New Brunswick-based Moosehead Breweries has appointed United States Beverage (USB) its exclusive importer in the U.S. market. Previously, Moosehead’s portfolio had been handled in-house by its Moosehead USA offshoot. Effective November 1, USB will take over all U.S. sales, marketing and distribution for the Canadian brewer, including its flagship Moosehead brand and Hop City craft range. Headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut, USB markets a variety of brands—including Ireland’s Murphy’s Stout and Red Ale, Singapore’s Tiger Beer and England’s John Smith’s Extra Smooth Ale, among others—in the U.S. market.

•Heineken USA is launching a new, multi-million-dollar initiative designed to boost holiday retail sales. Rolling out November 1, the brand’s “Share the Heineken. Spark Your Holidays” program will center on holiday-themed point-of-sale components, as well as a cross-merchandising tie-up with Korbel California Champagne. Additionally, the campaign will include television, digital and social media programming intended to keep Heineken “top of mind” throughout the season. The Heineken brand was down 2.8% to 4.69 million cases in the U.S. last year, according to Impact Databank.

 

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