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

News Briefs for June 3, 2015

June 3, 2015

•At an investor conference in Paris yesterday, Pernod Ricard chairman and CEO Alexandre Ricard said he expects the company’s organic sales and profit growth to return to around 5% over the medium term, compared with flat sales growth in its last fiscal year (ended June 2014). Pernod executives said a tougher pricing environment continued to weigh on margins, and that patience would be needed to meet its medium term objective of 4%-5% sales growth. The most recent period has marked a slowdown for Pernod, which has averaged 5% sales growth over the past 15 years.

•Total Wine & More is unveiling a new store in Long Beach, California this week. The 24,200-square-foot location will have a tasting bar and education center, and will offer over 8,000 wines, 3,000 spirits and 2,500 beers. The Long Beach store is Total Wine’s 13th location in California. The retailer, which recently opened new venues in Sunset Valley, Texas and Manchester, Connecticut, now has around 115 locations in 16 states.

•Beam Suntory is adding to Pinnacle vodka’s flavor range with Ruby Red Grapefruit ($12.99 a 750-ml.) The Pinnacle lineup includes more than 40 flavors. Pinnacle was down 2.1% to 2.7 million cases in the U.S. last year, according to Impact Databank.

•Burn Stewart Distillers (Distell Group) is releasing two new whiskies under its Ledaig label. The Ledaig 18-year-old, a small batch, Hebridean-style Scotch, will retail at $160 a 750-ml. The Ledaig Dùsgadh 42-year-old is priced at $5,000 a 750-ml. Some 500 cases of the 18-year-old and 100 bottles of the 42-year-old will be available in the U.S.

•Rochester, New York-based importer Fishbowl Spirits is adding to its Blue Chair Bay Rum franchise with the nationwide introduction of two new flavors, Vanilla Rum (26.5% abv) and Banana Rum Cream (15% abv). The company also is debuting a 50-ml. bottle format this month, joining its existing 750-ml. and 1.75-liter sizes. Fishbowl Spirits was founded by county singer-songwriter Kenny Chesney.

•Republic National Distributing Company (RNDC) has promoted Steve Rochow to executive vice president of RNDC Michigan. Rochow was previously director of spirits for South Texas at RNDC, which he joined in 1993. Prior to that he held sales roles with E.&J. Gallo and Premier Beverage. In his new post, Rochow will report to RNDC region president Joe Gigliotti.


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