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

News Briefs for March 1, 2022

March 1, 2022

•Total Wine & More has joined the growing number of retailers pulling Russian products from store shelves following the nation’s invasion of Ukraine.

“In support of the Ukrainian people, we have removed all Russian-made products from our shelves,” the retail giant said in a Twitter post yesterday. The move comes following announcements over the weekend from a number of control states that they also are no longer selling Russian-made brands. Total Wine has more than 200 stores across the U.S., with total revenue reaching approximately $5.3 billion last year.

•Austin, Texas-based BeatBox Beverages has added a new flavor, Juicy Mango, to its lineup of wine-based RTDs. The new addition, the brand’s eighth flavor, will be available in both BeatBox’s flagship 11.1% abv line and its 6% abv zero sugar line. Juicy Mango will be rolling out across BeatBox’s distribution footprint this month in 500-ml. Tetra Paks. BeatBox reached 480,000 cases last year, according to Impact Databank, more than double its 2020 volume.

•New Jersey-based importer and marketer Royal Wine Corp will donate 100% of the proceeds from sales of two of their leading vodka brands to Emergency Ukraine from February 24 through March 10. The two brands are Xdar, a Ukrainian vodka, and Lvov, a Polish brand named for the Ukrainian city of Lviv. The donation will be a minimum of $30,000.

•Los Angeles, California-based Winc has hired Darren Plewes as the company’s new vice president of wholesale. Plewes joins Winc with substantial industry experience, including over a decade at Constellation Brands, as well as experience at Wineshipping.com and Aquilini Beverage Group. In his new role, Plewes will report to Winc’s COO and work with the executive team to drive growth for the company’s brands like Summer Water and Lost Poet.

•Last year, Pernod Ricard’s Rabbit Hole whiskey brand grew to nearly 38,000 cases in the U.S., up 81%. Following that strong performance, Pernod Ricard has decided it’s time to push into international markets, launching the Kentucky distillery’s Bourbon and rye whiskies in the U.K. Two releases—Heigold rye and Boxergrail Bourbon—will soon be available through retailers like the Whisky Exchange, House of Malt, Masters of Malt, and Gordon and Macphail, among others, as well as on-premise. In the on-premise, the distillery’s whiskies will be handled by Speciality Drinks, Venus, and Enotria.

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