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

News Briefs for November 10, 2016

November 10, 2016

•Some of the drinks industry’s top companies have addressed their expectations for business conditions in the wake of the tumultuous U.S. presidential election. Constellation Brands, which held an institutional investor meeting in New York yesterday, saw its stock slip 8% after the victory of President-elect Donald Trump, due to concerns over U.S. prospects for its Mexican brews like Corona and Modelo Especial. Constellation CEO Rob Sands, however, said he doesn’t expect any short-term impact on the business, and added that the company would continue to engage with government representatives at all levels and in both parties as the new administration’s policies develop. Meanwhile, Reuters reported that Pernod Ricard will not alter its investment plans in the U.S.—where it derives 17% of company sales—due to the outcome of the election. Pernod’s Havana Club rum has stood to benefit from a thaw in relations between the U.S. and Cuba during the Obama administration, but Trump has at times taken a harder line on Cuban-American affairs than his predecessor.

•Crimson Wine Group has posted a 10% rise in sales to $47 million for the first nine months of its fiscal year, through September 30, as the Napa-based company’s three-tier sales increased 7% and direct-to-consumer sales grew 6%. Crimson also saw a large rise in sales of bulk wine and grapes. Income, however, fell by 45% compared with the same period last year, totaling $2.7 million, as higher costs and “a temporary shift in product mix to lower margin products” cut into earnings. Crimson, whose brands include California’s Seghesio, Pine Ridge and Chamisal as well as Oregon’s Archery Summit and Washington’s Double Canyon and Seven Hills, said price hikes and an improved mix should boost margins in the fourth quarter.

•Independent whisk(e)y bottler The Jewish Whisky Co. is moving from a membership-based model to selling its portfolio at retail. Starting in January, the five-year-old American company will offer its Single Cask Nation line of whiskies in California through JVS Imports; Illinois through B.C. Merchants; Massachusetts through M.S. Walker; and New York and New Jersey through Skurnik Wines & Spirits. It will continue to sell members-only bottlings on its website, with membership free to anyone. The move is being accompanied by a new packaging rollout, and the company aims to expand retail distribution to additional markets.

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