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News Briefs for February 11, 2022

February 11, 2022

•Cutwater Spirits, one of the leading canned cocktail brands in the U.S., has announced its first Super Bowl ad. The push, called “Here’s to the Lazy Ones,” pays tribute to people working smarter, not harder while calling back to Apple’s “Here’s to the Crazy Ones” campaign from the late 1990s. The campaign was created by AKQA Agency and will continue through 2022, promoting the ease of grabbing a Cutwater can. “Cutwater’s Big Game spot will continue to accelerate awareness for this incredible brand as we focus on expanding Cutwater’s footprint across the nation,” said Fabricio Zonzini, president, Beyond Beer at brand owner Anheuser-Busch. After reaching 735,000 cases in 2020, Cutwater surged past the million-case mark last year.

•Martignetti Companies has created a new corporate fine wine division, focused on building the distributor’s fine wine portfolio across Massachusetts. The division is led by Dennis Gilligan, the company’s newly named fine wine director. Gilligan will be supported by a team of three corporate fine wine specialists. The new division, which the wholesaler says will offer a specialized approach and more consultative services for customers and suppliers, will report to Michael Martignetti, senior vice president, wine. Martignetti ranks as the sixth-largest wine and spirits wholesaler in the U.S. with estimated 2021 revenues of $1.35 billion, according to Shanken’s Impact Newsletter.

•Owensboro, Kentucky’s Green River Distilling has announced the launch of its flagship Green River Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey. Aged more than five years, the bottling is the first Green River whiskey to hit the market in more than a century, following the revival of the historic distillery in 2020. In addition to its home state of Kentucky, Green River’s flagship Bourbon will also be rolling out to select retailers in Tennessee, Missouri, Indiana, and Northwest Florida. It retails at $35 a 750-ml. and is bottled at 90 proof.

•Johnson Brothers and Rémy Cointreau have expanded their partnership beyond Wisconsin and Iowa to include Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Nebraska effective April 1. The enhanced alliance with Johnson Brothers follows similarly expanded agreements Rémy announced with RNDC and Breakthru in recent days. Johnson Brothers is the fourth-largest wine and spirits distributor nationally with estimated revenues of $2.7 billion in 2021.

•New Zealand wine exports to the U.S. increased 12% to NZ$699 million ($467m) in the 12 months to November. As the category continues to rise, the New Zealand Winegrowers trade group has launched a new educational tool, the New Zealand Wine Trade Hub. The hub provides info on wine regions as well as images, videos, upcoming event information, and a global New Zealand wine catalog listing where wines are currently distributed as well as brands that are currently seeking representation. “We’re seeing great growth not only with Sauvignon Blanc but also Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Rosé, and other varieties,” said Ranit Librach, New Zealand Winegrowers’ market manager for the U.S., adding that New Zealand now ranks third in value among all imported wine regions in the U.S.

•Santa Monica, California-based Starco Brands is extending its Whipshots label—created in partnership with rapper Cardi B—into national retail. The vodka-infused whipped cream debuted in December and beginning this month will receive national representation through Republic National Distributing Company (RNDC). At 10% abv, Whipshots will initially be stocked by BevMo, Liquor Barn, Total Wine, and e-commerce delivery service Gopuff in California, Colorado, Washington, and Florida, with additional regions to be added monthly. The product will be available in 50-ml ($6) and 200-ml ($15) options.

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