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

News Briefs for September 20, 2019

September 20, 2019

•High Noon hard seltzer, part of the E.&J. Gallo portfolio, is targeting the NFL audience with its “Things just got real” campaign. High Noon will air spots from now through mid-November during NFL games on CBS, doubling down on its football exposure, which already includes ads during college games on CBS Sports throughout the season. Retailing at $10 a four-pack, High Noon (4.5% abv) includes four flavors and is made with vodka and real fruit juice.

•Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits has promoted Kelly Soendker to executive vice president, sales. A 10-year veteran of the company, Soendker was previously executive vice president of strategic accounts and international. In her new role, she will lead the company’s entire 125-member salesforce. Soendker will continue to report to Deutsch Family president Tom Steffanci. Meanwhile, Deutsch has promoted Lewis Wright to senior vice president, strategic accounts, reporting to Soendker. Wright was previously vice president of strategic accounts for the East region. Deutsch Family’s revenue neared $800 million in its fiscal year through March, following a five-year period in which the company averaged 10% growth annually. Steffanci recently discussed Deutsch’s upcoming initiatives in an interview with SND.

•Heavensake, the collaboration between French cellar master Régis Camus and several Japanese sake breweries, has formed a new distribution agreement with Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits. Beginning next month, Southern Glazer’s will distribute Heavensake in Nevada and its fine wine division Lauber Imports will distribute it in New York. The Heavensake line features three expressions, all created for western tastes: Heavensake Junmai Daiginjo (16% abv, $95), produced in collaboration with Dassai Brewery; Junmai Ginjo (15% abv, $45), produced with Urakasumi Brewery; and Junmai 12 (12% abv, $28), produced with Konishi Brewery.

•Breakthru Beverage Group has appointed both Adam Pizer and John Sladek to the role of vice president, supplier business development, focusing on wine. They will report to executive vice president, supplier relations Kevin Roberts. Pizer joins from Young’s Market Co., where he spent 21 years and last served as senior vice president client services, leading an expansion of the Estates Fine Wine Division into the Pacific Northwest. John Sladek is an internal promotion from his position as a sales director where he oversaw more than 100 associates working with three wine suppliers. Prior to that he was managing director for Gallo’s Midwest division.

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