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News Briefs for October 16, 2020

October 16, 2020

•For its fiscal third quarter, Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton reported that organic revenue for its wine and spirits portfolio was down 3% to €1.36 billion ($1.6b), with the portfolio beginning to recover after a challenging first half. This marks the first single digit decline for the company’s wine and spirits portfolio this year, after reporting more substantial losses in its first two quarters (down 14% and 33% for Q1 and Q2, respectively). The company attributes the recovery to a worldwide rebound for Hennessy Cognac, specifically citing strong growth for its V.S. bottling in the U.S. Additionally, LVMH points to Château d’Esclans and Château du Galoupet as other strong performers in the U.S. Overall for the first three quarters, the company reported that revenue was down 21% on an organic basis to €30.3 billion ($35.6b), compared to the same period in 2019. Organic revenue for the company’s wine and spirits portfolio declined by 15% for the first nine months to €3.35 billion ($3.93b).

•Rémy Cointreau has completed its deal to acquire a majority stake in Champagne J. de Telmont, which was announced earlier this year. The purchase includes the brand, inventory, production facilities, and estate properties. Founded in 1912, J. de Telmont is located in Damery, near Epernay. Fourth generation family member Bertrand Lhopital will stay on, with J. de Telmont chaired and managed by Ludovic du Plessis, formerly executive director of Rémy’s Louis XIII Cognac. Rémy Cointreau said it plans to develop J. de Telmont’s presence outside France.

•Beam Suntory has launched Suntory World Whisky Ao, its first global blend of whiskies, to 16 travel retail markets. The 43% abv blend is assembled from Beam Suntory’s Scottish, Canadian, American, and Japanese distillers by fifth generation Suntory chief blender, Shinji Fukuyo. This marks the first international launch for Ao, which was previously released in April 2019 as an exclusive for the Japanese market. Suntory World Whisky Ao retails for around $71 a bottle.

•Proximo Spirits’ 1800 Tequila has partnered with the Los Angeles Rams to become the NFL team’s official Tequila, a first for the brand. The partnership focuses on at-home activations tying the team and brand together, including the 1800 La Rita, a new cocktail designed for the program; 1800 Play for Sweeps, an Instagram and Twitter contest running through the end of October; and 1800 Taco Tailgate, a social media based contest that will reward winners with a game day visit from LA’s Mariscos Jalisco food truck and 1800 Cocktails. In addition, 1800 will advertise within the LA Rams stadium. Last year, 1800 Tequila reached 1.17 million cases in the U.S., with a retail value of around $350 million, according to Impact Databank.

•Pallini Limoncello has joined the Lucas Bols USA portfolio. Family-owned Pallini’s range includes its namesake Limoncello as well as Limoncello Cream, Peachello, and Raspicello offerings. The national distribution agreement with Lucas Bols runs for five years. Meanwhile, Lucas Bols USA has launched a new, non-alcoholic version of its Damrak gin, called Damrak Virgin 0.0. The spirit alternative is made with citrus peels, lavender, and coriander seeds, among other botanicals, and aims to mimic the flavor of Bols’ alcoholic Damrak gin. It’s now available nationwide in retail channels as well as online via the brand’s website and Amazon.

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