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News Briefs for June 10, 2015

June 10, 2015

•Diageo’s Tanqueray gin has unveiled a new juniper-forward limited edition, Tanqueray Bloomsbury. The new expression is based on Charles Waugh Tanqueray’s recipe from about 1880 and features prominent notes of Tuscan juniper and botanicals such as coriander, angelica, winter savoury and cassia bark, the company says. It follows recent upscale launches from the brand, including 2014 limited edition Tanqueray Old Tom and citrus-infused Tanqueray Malacca in 2013. About 100,000 bottles of Tanqueray Bloomsbury will be available beginning next month, retailing at $32.99 a 750-ml.

•New York-based alcohol delivery service Minibar has entered three new markets—San Diego, Denver and Minneapolis. To support the expansion, Minibar is collaborating with Pernod Ricard’s Absolut vodka to unveil Oak by Absolut, which blends original Absolut vodka with barrel-rested and oak-rested vodkas. Oak by Absolut will initially be available exclusively throughout San Diego, Denver and Minneapolis this summer, with consumers in those markets able to order the new expression for delivery via Minibar. The three markets bring Minibar’s reach to more than a dozen cities, joining New York, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Chicago, San Francisco, Miami, Dallas and Houston, among others.

•After confirming last week that it would close its bottling operations in Relay, Maryland, Diageo has announced the $10 million acquisition of 37 acres adjacent to its Plainfield, Illinois, plant to facilitate expansion. The newly acquired Plainfield plot currently houses a 246,000-square foot warehouse, which Diageo will use to store finished case goods from the Plainfield manufacturing facility—its largest in the U.S.—and other bottling hubs. Diageo’s Plainfield operation, which employs 800 people, is the primary production site for Smirnoff, and has seen $120 million in upgrades in recent years. The Maryland bottling plant, which is expected to cease production this summer, was previously the main production site for Jose Cuervo, which left the Diageo North America portfolio in 2013.

•Moscato-based cocktail brand Myx Fusions is rolling out three new single-serve Sangria flavors: Classico, Tropical and Redberries. The company is supporting the launch with a fully integrated marketing campaign that will include print, radio, social media and broadcast efforts. Launched in partnership with hip-hop artist Nicki Minaj in mid-2013, Myx Fusions is in 47 states and also includes Original, Mango, Coconut and Peach expressions (5.5% abv, around $10 a four-pack of 187-ml. bottles).

•ShipCompliant, a shipment-tracking and compliance service for wineries, has partnered with Doorman—a delivery-by-appointment provider—on a new wine-delivery service. Customer-funded winery NakedWines.com is the first ShipCompliant partner to utilize the service and now promises a two-hour delivery window to its online customers in San Francisco. The Doorman model is expected to be offered to all ShipCompliant clients by next month, and plans are in the works to expand it beyond San Francisco to Chicago and New York.

•California-based importer and marketer the San Francisco Wine Exchange (SFWE) has bolstered its sales and marketing team with a pair of new leadership appointments. The company has named Mike Zuppa to the role of vice president and national sales manager. Zuppa joins SFWE from Eurovin U.S.A, and prior to that, spent a decade with Constellation Brands. Concurrently, SFWE has promoted Olivier Portet, previously the group’s director of portfolio management and marketing, to the role of vice president of marketing. The appointments follow SFWE’s recent change in ownership, with the company taken over by Grupo Alubar owner Jose Maria Barae and wine industry veteran Diego Lo Prete in February.

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