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News Briefs for September 26, 2016

September 26, 2016

•Both Diageo and Pernod Ricard are reportedly eyeing growth in the mezcal category, which has been drawing rising interest among consumers. Pernod is working on a new mezcal brand slated to launch in the first half of next year, Bloomberg reports. Pernod CEO Alex Ricard told the outlet Pernod Ricard Mexico is “working on building a small-village brand from scratch, and some of the value will be shared with the local community.” Meanwhile, Diageo reportedly linked earlier this year with Mexico City-based Mezcal Union on a distribution agreement, which will see the drinks giant expand the reach of the brand. According to Bloomberg, Mezcal Union exported about 30% of its total 72,000 bottles in sales last year to the U.S. Among other suppliers tapping the mezcal trend, Proximo Spirits recently launched the Creyente brand, and William Grant & Sons’ Montelobos, Anchor Distilling’s Mezcal Amarás, Riviera Imports’ Tres Papalote and Davos Brands’ Sombra and Viejo Indecente are also competing in the growing category.

•Champagne may see its smallest harvest in three decades this year owing to difficult weather conditions throughout the vintage. The region’s CIVC trade group says the 2016 harvest could fall as much as 30% compared with last year, Reuters reports, as frost, rain and severe heat took their toll at various points of the growing season. Still, Champagne’s production is expected to rise slightly this year, as producers tap reserve wines to make up for the smaller 2016 crop. The global Champagne market grew 1.8% to 26 million cases last year, according to Impact Databank, while the U.S. market advanced 5% to 1.4 million cases.

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