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

News Briefs for March 22, 2017

March 22, 2017

•Champagne exports to the U.S. market saw solid growth in 2016, rising 5% to €540 million ($584m) and 6% by volume to nearly 22 million bottles, according to the Comité Interprofessionnel du Vin de Champagne (CIVC). That strong performance capped a run in which the value of Champagne shipments to the U.S. has expanded by more than two-thirds since 2010. Overall, Champagne’s global volume fell 2% to 306 million bottles last year, while value was roughly flat at €4.7 billion ($5.1b), owing to sluggish conditions in the key markets of France and the U.K.

•Diageo has unveiled a new online learning tool under its DrinkIQ platform that aims to educate consumers on how to measure alcohol intake while understanding its effects on the body. The mobile-friendly DrinkIQ tool uses interactive learning and tests to educate imbibers on how alcohol content varies across different types of drinks; how to pour standard measures of beer, wine and spirits; and offers tips for tracking alcohol intake while tackling common myths about alcoholic drinks. The tool is available starting today on Diageo’s DrinkIQ website in the U.S., U.K. and Australia, with localized versions rolling out to other countries in the coming months.

•The Cooper Spirits Co. has extended its Hochstadter’s brand with the launch of Family Reserve Straight Rye Whiskey. The 123.8-proof whiskey is a cask strength straight rye aged for 16 years in charred American oak. Hochstadter’s Family Reserve Straight Rye, which marks the first ultra-premium launch from Hochstadter’s, is limited to 7,500 bottles ($200 each). Cooper Spirits revived heritage brand Hochstadter’s in 2013 with the rollout of Hochstadter’s Slow & Low Rock & Rye, a premixed rye whiskey Old Fashioned, and added a vatted Straight Rye Whiskey to the range in 2015.

•International wine and spirits trade fair ProWein reached new records in terms of visitors and exhibitors at its event in Düsseldorf, Germany, held March 19-21. ProWein hosted more than 6,500 exhibitors from 60 nations this week, as well as 58,500 trade visitors (up 5% from last year) from 130 countries. About 90 U.S. winemakers exhibited at this year’s ProWein, with U.S. visitors—at about 1,300—up 25% from last year. Along with upcoming events in Hong Kong in April and Shanghai in November, ProWein has set the dates for next year’s Düsseldorf fair, which will be held March 18-20, 2018.

•Vivify Beverages is introducing a new brand, Bravazzi Hard Italian Sodas. Currently testing in Louisville, Kentucky and Nashville, Tennessee, Bravazzi includes grapefruit, limonata and blood orange flavors. Produced without high fructose corn syrup or artificial flavors, Bravazzi is made with a proprietary alcohol base derived exclusively from cane sugar, and is expected to expand to more markets later this year. The sodas are 4.2%-abv and retail at around $9.99 a six-pack of 12-ounce cans.

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