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

News Briefs for January 26, 2021

January 26, 2021

•In case you missed yesterday’s news alert, MGP Ingredients has agreed to acquire St. Louis-based spirits producer and marketer Luxco for $475 million, split evenly between cash and stock. Luxco had sales of $202 million on volume of 4.8 million 9-liter cases in the 12 months through October. Here’s the full story.

•A group of 72 U.S. and E.U. trade organizations from a range of industries is urging the removal tariffs on sectors unrelated to the ongoing Trans-Atlantic trade disputes. Wine and spirits have been among the product categories tariffed on both sides of the Atlantic as the U.S. and E.U. have tussled over aircraft subsidies in recent years. Noting that their sectors represent millions of jobs in both the U.S. and E.U., the trade associations stated, “We believe the immediate suspension of these tariffs is a necessary and fundamental action, which will provide an economic stimulus at a time when it is needed most.”

•Brown-Forman has announced Woodford Reserve’s 2021 Winter Distillery Series release, set to debut tomorrow. This year’s release marks the return of Woodford Reserve Double Double Oaked, which as the name suggests, is Woodford’s Double Oaked Bourbon finished for an additional year in a heavily toasted, lightly charred new oak barrel. The whiskey comes in at 45.2% abv and will launch Wednesday at the Woodford distillery. It will also be available at select retailers in Kentucky for a suggested price of $50 a 375-ml.

•The beverage alcohol market in New York state declined an aggregate 4.6% in 2020 to 404.4 million gallons, according to recently-released revenue statements from the state’s Department of Taxation & Finance. Beer shipments in New York state fell 6.1% last year, including an 18% decrease in New York City, while wine volumes declined 5.3%. Spirits were the bright spot in 2020, as shipments in New York state advanced 8.9% to 14.6 million 9-liter cases, while the tiny cider category surged 24.5%. New York is the fourth-largest market by volume nationwide for both spirits and beer, and the third-largest for wine, according to Impact Databank.

•New Jersey retailer Gary’s Wine & Marketplace has introduced a new membership program offering unlimited free nationwide shipping and local delivery, as well as exclusive member discounts. The Gary’s Plus program offers unlimited free shipping for an annual fee of $49, or free local delivery for $20. “On average, an online customer will purchase from the Gary’s Wine website or mobile app three times per year,” notes Mike Fisch, Gary’s director of innovation. “An increase in the frequency of purchases by just a few percentage points would lead to a substantial increase in our overall revenue.” In 2020, 35% of Gary’s total sales were placed online, up from 12% a year earlier.

•Centerbook, Connecticut-based Angelini Wine Imports has debuted its Angelini Collection Prosecco Rosé in the U.S. A blend of 85% Glera and 15% Pinot Noir, the new rosé bubbly is retail priced at $12 a 750-ml. The Prosecco Rosé joins Prosecco DOC, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Noir IGT, Moscato d’Asti DOC, and Brachetto d’Acqui DOC in the Angelini Collection lineup.

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