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

News Briefs for May 5, 2016

May 5, 2016

•Drinks delivery platform Drizly is launching a new “Connect” service that provides users with a wider selection of beverage alcohol available for next-day delivery. Launching first in Boston and Washington, D.C.—which combine for 2 million Drizly users—Connect allows consumers to order beer, wine and spirits products beyond what is available at their local retailer. Through the service, retailers will be able to use Drizly Connect software to obtain specially-requested products from wholesalers and deliver to consumers by the next day.

•Crimson Wine Group is introducing a new brand, Malene Wines, beginning with a Central Coast rosé. Billed as a Provence-style rosé, the new entry is a blend of Grenache, Mourvedre and Vermentino and was sourced from Santa Barbara and Paso Robles. Retailing at $22 a bottle, Malene Rosé is debuting in 13 U.S. markets. In addition to Malene, Crimson’s portfolio includes California’s Pine Ridge Vineyards, Seghesio Family Vineyards and Chamisal Vineyards; Oregon’s Archery Summit; and Washington’s Double Canyon and Seven Hills Winery.

•Sixteen months after someone pried open the door of one of the world’s most famous restaurants, the French Laundry, and stole more than $300,000 worth of rare wines, the case has grown into a federal investigation involving three burglaries and money laundering across state lines. Federal prosecutors unsealed an indictment on April 28 in San Francisco against two California men, accusing them of money laundering and transportation of stolen goods. Both men were arrested April 27 and have pleaded not guilty. Wine Spectator has the full story.

•MGP Ingredients, which supplies the whiskey for a number of brands from some of the leading U.S. spirits marketers, experienced a 4.4% net sales decline to $76.8 million for the first quarter of 2016. However, the Atchinson, Kansas-based MGP’s sharpened focus on premium products is clearly paying off, as a healthy increase for higher-margin products led to a sharp profit rise for the three-month period ending March 31. MGP’s gross profit grew by 27.3% to $17 million, while its operating income jumped by 55.3% to $10.7 million. MGP is projecting mid-single-digit net sales growth for the full year, while it expects operating income to increase by 10%-15% annually over the next three years.

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