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

News Briefs for May 7, 2015

May 7, 2015

•Italian wine brand Ecco Domani has partnered with fashion designer Zac Posen to create a new limited-edition summer package for its 2014 Pinot Grigio. Rolling out nationwide this month, the updated look features a graphic flower print, intended to emphasize the wine’s floral character. In addition to its Pinot Grigio, which retails at around $14 a 750-ml., Ecco Domani’s portfolio includes Moscato, Merlot and Prosecco entries. The brand, marketed by E.&J. Gallo, was down 3% to 650,000 cases in 2014, according to Impact Databank.

•Gatlinburg, Tennessee-based Ole Smoky Tennessee Moonshine is introducing Big Orange Moonshine nationally for a limited time beginning June 1. Until now, the 70-proof offering packaged in 750-ml. mason jars has been available exclusively at the distillery. Big Orange Moonshine is slightly tangy and can be served with a light beer as a “moonshine shandy,” the company says. Ole Smoky has a lineup of 12 flavors of moonshine, including White Lightnin’, Moonshine Cherries, Sweet Tea Moonshine and Apple Pie Moonshine, among others. The brand rose 12.5% to 270,000 cases last year, earning Impact “Hot Brand” honors.

•Alcohol delivery provider Drizly has expanded service to the Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota markets through a partnership with Minneapolis retailer Haskell’s Wine & Spirits. LDA consumers in those markets can use Drizly’s website or mobile app to access Haskell’s inventory and receive orders in less than an hour. Areas of service include Minneapolis, St. Paul, Bloomington, Minnetonka, Edina, St. Louis Park, Wayzata, Richfield and Mendota Heights. Additional areas are expected to be added in the future. In addition to the Twin Cities, Drizly currently operates in Austin, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, New York City, Providence, Seattle, St. Louis and Washington D.C.

•Beam Suntory’s Sauza 901 Tequila has unveiled a new U.S. campaign titled “No Limes Needed.” Starring brand founder and co-owner Justin Timberlake, the No Limes Needed push includes a series of TV spots and digital videos emphasizing Sauza 901’s drinkability. Beam Suntory and Timberlake jointly launched Sauza 901 last year, after Timberlake ended a previous 901-branded Tequila venture with Palm Bay International. Priced at $29.99 a 750-ml., the 40%-abv, 100%-agave brand is distributed nationwide.

•The Cooper’s Hawk restaurant chain, notable for producing its own wines from its headquarters in suburban Chicago, is planning expansion over the next year. On May 18 the company, which currently operates in seven states, will open its 20th restaurant in Oak Lawn, Illinois, a suburb south of Chicago. That will be followed by two restaurants in Florida (in Jacksonville and Naples) later this year. Early in 2016 Cooper’s Hawk plans to be open in two Virginia locations, in Reston and Ashburn. The company, which employs 2,500 people, had revenues of $121 million in 2014.

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