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

News Briefs for July 31, 2020

July 31, 2020

•Moët Hennessy has thrown its weight behind an initiative to support the on-premise as the founding national partner of DineOut NYC, a program aimed at helping restaurants expand outdoor dining capabilities in line with New York’s current phase of reopening, which allows outdoor dining but precludes indoor dining in the city. The program was created earlier this summer and this week debuted street-side dining designs on Mott Street in Chinatown. The designs include tables with dividers to facilitate adequate distancing and art by Sammi Qu-Kwok and James Chan. Moët Hennessy worked in conjunction with the Rockwell Group and the NYC Hospitality Alliance on the program.

•Republic National Distributing Co. (RNDC) is expanding its partnership with Banfi Vintners, adding eight states to the alignment this fall. As of September 1, RNDC-Young’s will handle Banfi’s brands across Alaska, California, Florida, Hawaii, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, New Mexico, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Virginia, Washington, and Washington D.C. On October 1, Wyoming and Utah will join the partnership as well.

•Witnessing the meteoric growth of the hard seltzer category, soft drink giant Coca-Cola has decided to enter the fray. The company is launching a hard seltzer under its Topo Chico sparkling mineral water brand. Topo Chico Hard Seltzer will initially debut in Latin America, with a U.S. rollout slated for next year. While details on the upcoming entry are scant for now, Coca-Cola’s release teased a Tangy Lemon Lime expression packaged in slim cans.

•Proximo Spirits’ Kraken rum brand has signed on as the official rum brand of the new NHL franchise the Seattle Kraken, which will debut next year. The sponsorship will include digital activations, giveaways, cocktail samplings, and fan experiences, among other initiatives, which will take place in and around the Kraken’s new Climate Pledge Arena when it opens in 2021.

•A new multistate alliance of wine and spirits wholesalers is targeting expansion. Formed late last year, Independent Distributor Network (IDN) currently includes 19 local wholesalers in 18 states. The company plans to expand to another 10-15 states over the next two years. Each member company is family-owned, often multi-generational, and brings local-market expertise, according to the group. David Browne, director of the domestic wine portfolio, says “IDN combines buying power with partner suppliers to create cost savings and increased margin, with the possibility of shared purchasing and logistics,” adding that it can expand product choice for retailers and restaurateurs.

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