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

News Briefs for March 24, 2020

March 24, 2020

•Pernod Ricard has issued new guidance for its 2020 fiscal year ending June 30, and is forecasting a 20% decline in organic profit from recurring operations due to the impact of COVID-19. The company cited “very limited business” in China during February-March, though it’s expecting a slow recovery in April, and Travel Retail sales are forecast to show an 80% decline for February-June. In all other global markets, Pernod is forecasting a 10% decline in the off-trade, which represents about 75% of sales, from March-June. The on-trade, meanwhile, is projected to have no sales from March-June, as outlets are either shuttered or not reordering.

•Bacardi Ltd has announced a new #RaiseYourSpirits initiative and committed $3 million to supporting bar and restaurant operators hurt by the COVID-19 crisis. The initiative will see Bacardi funnel funds to organizations like Another Round, Another Rally; CORE; the James Beard Foundation; Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation; and Tales of the Cocktail Foundation. The new $3 million pledge comes in addition to the $1 million that Bacardi’s Patrón brand donated to support restaurants and bars last week.

•E-commerce providers Saucey and Bottlecapps say sales are surging as much of the drinks business moves online. Saucey says it saw a 300% increase in Los Angeles-area sales last Thursday compared with a typical Thursday, after mayor Eric Garcetti’s stay-at-home order. The company said it’s seeing similar spikes elsewhere in its territory, which also includes San Francisco, Chicago, San Diego, Chicago, New York, Dallas, Silicon Valley, Orange County, and San Jose. Bottlecapps, a mobile app and web developer that serves over 600 off-premise retailers across 40 states, said its seen an 800% increase in daily and month-to-date alcohol sales, driven by delivery and curbside pickup orders.

•The hotel industry continues to sound the alarm that it desperately needs federal assistance to weather the conditions brought on by coronavirus. According to the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA), 4 million industry jobs have already been eliminated or will be lost in the next few weeks. The AHLA says the outbreak could cost up to 44% of all hotel jobs in every state in the coming weeks. Major hotel operators and the AHLA are continuing to pressure the government to include aid for the industry as part of their coronavirus response efforts.

•Calistoga, California-based Larkmead Vineyards has named Jay James vice president and general manager, effective immediately. James comes to Larkmead from Chappellet Winery, where he served as director of sales for seven years. In his new role, James will oversee Larkmead’s wholesale management, trade and consumer marketing, and staff development, among other initiatives. The Larkmead portfolio is focused on high-end expressions of estate-grown Cabernet Sauvignon.

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