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News Briefs for July 29, 2015

July 29, 2015

•Sales of Tito’s Handmade Vodka haven’t been hurt by last fall’s lawsuits over its “handmade” claim. In fact, the brand’s growth has been accelerating from an increasingly large base. In the first six months of 2015, Tito’s sales in control states jumped by 68%, according to NABCA, and its sales in IRI channels were up 77% for the 52 weeks ending July 12. A brand’s growth rate usually slows as its volume expands, and Tito’s appeared to be following that path when its U.S. growth rate fell from 59% in 2011 (when it sold 580,000 cases) to 47% in 2012 (when it sold 850,000 cases), according to Impact Databank. But Tito’s has since picked up the pace. Its growth rate accelerated to 50% in 2013 and hit 55% in 2014, when it finished just below 2 million cases. A similarly robust growth rate appears likely for full-year 2015.

•Petaluma, California-based Offbeat Brands is debuting a new California North Coast red blend under the label Tie-Dye. Taking design and winemaking cues from the “counterculture era of the 1960s,” Tie-Dye combines Syrah, Barbera, Merlot, Tempranillo, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Syrah and is aged for 18 months in French oak barrels. The inaugural 2013 vintage is available nationwide for $18.99 a 750-ml. Offbeat Brands was created in March 2012 by industry veteran Mike Kenton to target Millennial and Generation X consumers. Its other brands include Jellybean Wines, Slices Sangria and Zin-Phomaniac.

•Bacardi Ltd. has named Fabio di Giammarco as the top marketer for its flagship rum brand. As global vice president for Bacardi rum, di Giammarco will report to Mauricio Vergara, Bacardi’s CMO for North America and global lead for the Bacardi rum and Grey Goose vodka brands, and will be based in Bermuda. Di Giammarco most recently served as vice president, marketing and commercial for Bacardi Latin America and Caribbean. He joined the company in 2012 as managing director of Brazil. Prior to that, he held marketing roles with SABMiller and Royal Philips Electronics.


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