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

News Briefs for September 2, 2016

September 2, 2016

•Following yesterday’s announcement that retailers Total Wine & More and BevMax will reverse course and stop marketing spirits prices below the state-mandated minimum in Connecticut, Total Wine noted in a statement that its compromise arrangement with the state’s Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) “made no admission of wrongdoing or liability, and DCP didn’t find there to be any wrongdoing or liability on Total Wine & More’s part.” The retail giant said that, contrary to an earlier DCP statement, the settlement did not constitute a “fine,” but was rather a compromise in the amount of $9,375 for each of Total’s Connecticut stores that Total offered and DCP accepted. Total Wine added that it will continue to pursue its federal lawsuit challenging Connecticut’s minimum pricing regime.

•William Grant & Sons’ Glenfiddich single malt Scotch brand has released the first two entries in a new Experimental Series. Slated to launch in the U.S. later this fall, Glenfiddich IPA Experiment (43% abv) is created in partnership with Speyside Craft Brewery and finished in IPA beer casks, while Project XX (47% abv) marks a collaboration between 20 brand ambassadors from around the world, and features liquid from various Glenfiddich casks.

•Brown-Forman today releases its 2016 Old Forester Birthday Bourbon. The vintage-dated whiskey comes from 93 barrels distilled on a single day—June 4, 2004—at the Brown-Forman distillery in Shively, Kentucky. The 2016 Birthday Bourbon is priced at $79.99, and only 1,200 nine-liter cases are available. Marketwatchmag has the full story.

•The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) saw retail sales rise 4% to $2.43 billion for its fiscal year ended in June. Net income totaled $104 million, up 24% from a year earlier. The PLCB’s spirits sales rose 4.3% for the year, while wine sales grew 3.8%. Earlier this year, PLCB executive director John Metzger told Impact that “higher-end products, and consistent trading up in Bourbon, single malts and wine” have been among the key recent contributors to retail sales growth for the agency.

•Constellation’s Kim Crawford brand is rolling out a new limited-edition holiday bottle for its core Sauvignon Blanc offering this October. The special holiday packaging includes gold metallic detailing and will retail at $17.99 a 750-ml. Kim Crawford continues to be among the key growth drivers behind New Zealand wine’s U.S. surge, and is poised to cross the million-case mark in annual sales this year.

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