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

News Briefs for April 10, 2015

April 10, 2015

•New Jersey-based Opici Wines is entering the beer business with the launch of the Brùton Italian craft beer line, which will now become part of Opici’s Market Street Spirits division. Brùton’s unfiltered, bottle-fermented craft beers are inspired by Belgian and German brewing styles, with malted barley, hops, yeast and spices sourced from growers in those regions. In recent years, Brùton beers have been available in the U.S. through small importers in select markets, with average annual volume of around 25,000 750-ml. bottles. Opici, which plans to expand availability nationwide over the coming months, will be handling a selection from the Brùton portfolio including Lilith, StoneR, Bianca and Brùton, all available in 330-ml. bottles for about $10 and 750-ml. bottles for $20.

•Palm Bay International is rolling out the latest addition to its Roscato Italian frizzante wine range, Roscato Rosé Dolce. A gently sparkling rosé wine made from a blend of Pinot Noir and native Italian grape varieties Croatina and Teroldego, it joins Roscato Rosso Dolce and Roscato Bianco Dolce in the line. Roscato Rosé Dolce (8% abv) is currently available nationwide at a suggested retail price of $11.99 a 750-ml. A 2014 Impact “Hot Brand,” Roscato grew 23.5% last year to 315,000 cases in the U.S.

•Walgreens Boots Alliance is expected to close around 200 U.S. stores as part of a plan to cut costs by $1.5 billion by 2017. The company, formed by Walgreens’ $22-billion acquisition of British pharmacy Alliance Boots in a two-tranched deal over the past three years, added that it would also “reorganize corporate and field operations” while streamlining functions such as information technology as part of the post-acquisition restructuring. Meanwhile, Walgreens Boots Alliance has posted a 22% net sales increase to $46 billion for its fiscal first half (representing the six months through February), with adjusted net earnings up 23% to $2 billion. The company operates more than 8,200 stores throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

•Ty Ku sake has launched a new female-targeted campaign in the U.S. Titled “Après Yoga,” the initiative targets the post-yoga class drinking occasion and runs under the tagline “Happy Hour for the Chakras.” The campaign includes print ads in publications such as Yoga Journal and Origin Magazine, as well as additional yoga-related components. The company notes that the yoga audience, which is 80% female, numbers more than 20 million consumers and is rapidly expanding. Ty Ku, which sells over 100,000 cases in the U.S., is marketed stateside by Davos Brands.

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