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

News Briefs for May 3, 2019

May 3, 2019

•Diageo has expanded Smirnoff’s line of flavored vodkas with Smirnoff Zero Sugar Infusions. The 30% abv extension comes in three flavors—Cucumber & Lime, Watermelon & Mint, and Strawberry & Rose—each with 72 calories per 1.5-ounce serving. The release is supported by ads featuring Ted Danson and Cecily Strong, which are currently on YouTube and will air on national TV in June. Smirnoff Zero Sugar Infusions are now rolling out across the U.S. for a suggested price of $12 a 750-ml. Last year, Smirnoff slipped 1% to 9.1 million cases in the U.S., according to Impact Databank.

•E.&J. Gallo Winery has launched High Noon, a new hard seltzer brand made with vodka and fruit juice. The 4.5% abv seltzers are available in watermelon, black cherry, grapefruit, and pineapple flavors and all contain 100 calories per 12-ounce can. To support the brand, Gallo has invested in TV, out-of-home, and digital activations. The gluten-free drinks are currently distributed in 32 states across the U.S. for $2.50 for a single can and $10 for a 4-pack of 12-ounce cans.

•Frederick Wildman & Sons has introduced Vipra, a new wine brand. The first variant within the Vipra lineup is Rosso Dolce Sweet Red, a low-abv, frizzante offering that’s recommended for serving chilled. While the new wine is initially launching in a 750-ml. bottle ($15), 250-ml. canned packaging is set to roll out later this year. Vipra Rosso Dolce Sweet Red is available nationwide, joining Astica, Hecht & Bannier, and Pascal Jolivet, among many others, in Frederick Wildman’s wine portfolio.

•Svöl Aquavit will launch in the U.S. later this month. Made by New York Distilling Co. in Brooklyn, Svöl is part of Peter Nevenglosky’s Drifter Spirits portfolio, along with Avua Cachaça. The brand features Scandinavian styles of the caraway-flavored liquor with two variants, a citrusy Danish style (40% abv, $35 a 750-ml.) and a dill and fennel heavy Swedish style (40% abv, $39 a 750-ml.).

•Ahead of a planned expansion, Illinois-based Winesellers, Ltd. has named Valerie Lynch-Giroux, a 15-year company veteran, as vice president of East Coast sales. Jim Stover has been appointed Winesellers’ new vice president of national chains and Central region sales. He brings over 20 years of sales experience to the role. Finally, Lee Schlesinger has been appointed vice president of portfolio management and education after nearly 20 years at the company.

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