Saturday, December 31, 2011

Economic Buzz: Rum Distillery Heading to Jeff Davis Parish

(this article was written by Olivia Vidal with KPLC 7News which was posted on December 28, 2011- permission was granted to post this article)

A rum distillery is in the process of being built in Lacassine by a local company called Louisiana Spirits.

The company will use resources like sugar cane and other Louisiana product to make a Louisiana-made rum.

President of Louisiana Spirits Trey Litle said starting a distillery like this was a dream of his, along with his brother and friend.

"We really like the Lacassine area. We've been duck hunting for years there," Litle said. "And felt that being close to the sugar mill and being close to the sugar cane growing was a good thing."

Litle said he's been in the spirit business going on 10 years now.

"We'll be using Louisiana sugarcane and Louisiana product to make a true Louisiana rum," Litle said.

But putting his dream to reality wasn't easy.

Construction has begun on the facility, but the zoning for the commercial property right off the I-10 exit at Lacassine was zoned incorrectly.

It was zoned as an I-1, which means the commercial property can be used for light manufacturing. But the land needed to be an I-2 in order to have a distillery. An I-2allows the property to be used for more intense manufacturing, which would allow the rum distillery on the property.

The Jefferson Davis Parish Police Jury had to approve this change and they did so at their meeting the night of Wednesday, December 28.

Executive Director for Jeff Davis Parish Economic Development Marion Fox said now that the zoning change has been approved, the plans for the rum distillery can move forward.

"It's a go!" Fox said. She said this type of facility will help boost economic development as well as tourism.

"It's a Louisiana product and that means everybody wants to come to Louisiana to eat, and to listen to music and now to drink Louisiana rum," Fox said.

The rum distillery will provide up to 25 full time jobs at first. In January the Louisiana Spirit website will be up and running and the design plans will be released.

Click HERE for the complete story. Please visit us at The Rum Shop for all your rum-related needs, including purchasing rum on-line, rum recipes, rum tasting notes, rum event information and rum consulting services. "Got Rum?" Magazine is back in circulation, get your free copy HERE.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Interview: Wayne Chaplin of Southern Wine & Spirits

(by Shanken News Daily) Southern Wine & Spirits is the nation’s largest spirits and wine distributor, with estimated revenues of more than $9 billion for calendar year 2011. The company now has operations in 34 states and Washington, D.C., and also has a distribution license for the state of Texas, although it has yet to make a move in the Lone Star state. It’s always a busy time at Southern—even if 2011 has been relatively quiet on the deal-making front, the company is constantly on the move. Shanken News Daily recently spoke with Wayne Chaplin, Southern’s president and COO, about the company’s performance in 2011 and the strategic issues that lie ahead.

SND: How has your business progressed in 2011?

Chaplin: Despite the challenging economy, wine and spirits is still a great business. It continues to outperform many other consumer product categories. When you look at brands over $2 million in sales through the grocery channel in Nielsen data, volumes in wine and spirits both are in the top 10 among consumer goods categories. As for Southern Wine & Spirits, our volume year-on-year is up by more than 5% for both wines and spirits. In dollar terms, our spirits business is up 6% and wine is up by more than 7%. Overall, we’re in a great position to exceed our revenue projection for 2011.

SND: In our last report on the U.S. wholesalers, we reported that you were projecting total revenues of $9.14 billion for 2011. Are you on target with that?

Chaplin: That’s conservative.

SND: How big is your national footprint now? How many states are you in?

Chaplin: Currently we’re operating in 35 markets—including 17 open markets and 18 control states. We’re the only broker in all control markets. In the Pacific Northwest, Maryland, Washington, D.C. and Minnesota, we have joint ventures where we take the lead on sales and our partners leverage their distribution platform. In Texas and Nebraska, we’re licensed but don’t yet have an active operation in either market. We’re challenging the residency requirement in Missouri, and if successful we’ll seek the right opportunity to enter that market as well.

Click HERE for the complete story. Please visit us at The Rum Shop for all your rum-related needs, including purchasing rum on-line, rum recipes, rum tasting notes, rum event information and rum consulting services. "Got Rum?" Magazine is back in circulation, get your free copy HERE.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Railean Distillery Open House Event

Saturday, December 17 from 12-4
Eagle Point Distillery
341 5th Street, San Leon, Texas
(Just 4 blocks south of the intersection of FM 646 & FM 517)

Forget the shopping malls this holiday season, head on down to San Leon & the Railean Eagle Point Distillery. Come for the food, fun, and of course….samples of Railean Rum & Railean Blue Agave! Check out the new Railean merchandise (makes a great Holiday gift) and Railean herself (Master Distiller) will be available to sign bottles purchased from local liquor stores. or 713-545-2742

Friday, December 09, 2011

Texas Retailer Sigel’s Reveals Female-Friendly Strategy

(by Shanken News Daily) The buying power of women has soared, with most estimates showing that female shoppers account for more than 80% of all purchasing decisions. Beverage alcohol is very much in that mix, and many liquor retailers have responded by revamping their selling strategies. Tony Bandiera Jr., owner and CEO of the 13-unit Sigel’s Beverages L.P. in Dallas, Texas, has modeled all his stores with female shoppers in mind, and the effort has paid off. Last year, females accounted for 52% of Sigel’s customer base and a similar share of the retailer’s $120 million in annual sales. Shanken News Daily recently interviewed Bandiera, along with Sigel’s president of marketing John Rector, to discuss their strategies for appealing to female shoppers.

SND: Sigel’s is known for offering a vast product selection in every category. How does that tie in with appealing to the female shopper?

Bandiera: We do have a very large selection—one of the largest in the marketplace—because women like to see a lot of options and prefer to spend more time browsing than men. Women are more willing to sample new products and change brands, so many tasting events—except perhaps for whisk(e)y and a few other categories—skew heavily female. For instance, the shoppers at our liqueurs and cordials tasting festival are 75% female.

SND: What focus do you place on the shopping environment to garner female loyalty?

Bandiera: The presentation needs to be exceptional, and the stores need to be extremely neat. Men are going in with a purpose and don’t care what’s around them, but female shoppers are concerned about clutter. Our stores have a Neiman Marcus look: Our floor stacks don’t rise above five feet. Our interiors are aesthetically pleasing. It may seem counterintuitive to what you see in grocery stores, but we feel that women are anxious about tall sets of shelves that don’t allow a wide-open view of the store. They appreciate a clear view of what’s at the end of an aisle, from the beginning of that aisle. Wide aisles also are important. Shoppers should have spacious aisles so two people standing back-to-back won’t have to worry about bumping into each other. We also hire off-duty police to maintain a presence in stores and to direct traffic in parking lots during the high season. Our interiors are brightly lit and our parking lots are overlit. We’re not really worried about the safety of our customers per se, but there is a stigma attached to package stores, and we want to dispel that by making our customers feel comfortable shopping with us.

SND: How can employees provide women with customer service and education without smacking of condescension?

Bandiera: When a female shopper walks into a store, she wants to have equal treatment; she doesn’t want to be treated any more or less than the typical male shopper. But we do have employees on hand to help women to their cars with oversized packages. The main idea is not to patronize female shoppers—they know what’s going on around them. I think people know when you’re genuine and when you’re talking down to them. We strive to make them feel well-received and well-respected.

SND: Do you use specific merchandising strategies to capture female business?

Rector: In terms of product displays, color is an important aspect of our store and a definite influence in how we set our shelves. We try to capture the eye of female shoppers.

Bandiera: If you position two similar-looking products side-by-side on store shelves, they become completely washed out. So you need to contrast two very different label colors and bottle styles on the shelves so they’re visible and appeal to female shoppers.

SND: How have you geared your product selection to appeal to women?

Rector: Not to any great degree. But if something is presented to us as female-centric, we usually will go with it. For instance, the response to the recent launch of the Skinnygirl Margarita was 97% female. Products like that have been very popular among female shoppers.

SND: Have you found that male shoppers are appreciative of female-geared retailing strategies?

Bandiera: Absolutely. Many of our male customers feel very comfortable shopping with us for that reason. Before we realized that our Elite store status concept had taken off, tons of male customers had given us compliments. I’m very flattered when a customer notices change of any sort—other than the price of our wines.

Cockspur Rum is Preparing a Caribbean Christmas with Silver Belle Rum Cocktail

Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) Opens Fine Wine & Good Spirits Store in Philadelphia

(this news brief was posted by Shanken News Daily on December 8, 2011) The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) has opened its latest large-format Fine Wine & Good Spirits store in Philadelphia. Now the largest rebranded PLCB store in the state, the Philadelphia outpost is one of around 10 liquor stores that have recently been renovated under the PLCB’s new, customer-focused retail concept. In addition to an improved floor plan and more welcoming atmosphere, the new store features the concept’s signature center table, which offers staff assistance, a tasting bar and educational and promotional materials. The PLCB aims to redesign all its retail stores over the next five years.

Southern Wine & Spirits Names Stuart Gray VP-General Manager of Pacific Wine & Spirits (PWS) in California

(this news brief was posted by Shanken News Daily on December 7, 2011) Southern Wine & Spirits has named Stuart Gray vice president-general manager of the company’s Pacific Wine & Spirits (PWS) selling division in California. The PWS Division in California represents the Diageo and Moët Hennessy portfolios across the state. Gray joined Pacific Wine & Spirits in Southern California in 2010, first as vice president-sales manager and then as vice president-trade development. Prior to that he was a veteran of E&J Gallo, beginning in 1992 and working his way up to national director of trade development. In his new role, Gray will report to Gerry Rivero, executive vice president and general manager of Coastal-Pacific Wine & Spirits’ corporate leadership team.

Nielsen: Prepared Cocktails, Flavored Vodkas, Irish Whiskey Still Drive Off-Premise Growth

(this news brief was posted by Shanken News Daily on December 5, 2011) Total spirits sales grew 2.8% by volume in the 52-week period ending November 12, 2011 to 57.7 million cases, according to the latest figures from Nielsen. Off-premise growth was even faster on a dollar basis, up 3.5% to $8.37 billion over the same time period.

Vodka, rum, Bourbon and cordials/liqueurs continue to be the biggest sellers in Nielsen channels, but double-digit growth was recorded over the past 52 weeks by prepared cocktails, flavored vodkas and Irish whiskey. Skinnygirl Margarita and Malibu Cocktails led the increase in prepared cocktails, while Jameson continued to spearhead the growth of Irish whiskies. Pinnacle Whipped led the advance of flavored vodkas, and including the Cherry, Orange and Chocolate variants, the Pinnacle Whipped line is projected to sell close to one million cases total by year-end.

Ultra-premium spirits (average price of $35.43 a 750-ml.) comprised less than 5% of overall volume but were the fastest-growing price segment, up 10.3% by volume in the 52-week period. Premium-priced spirits ($18.22 a 750-ml. on average) grew 4.5% by volume, while mid-priced brands ($10.58 average) increased 2.6%. Value-priced spirits ($6.62 average) lagged the industry at just 1.1% growth, another sign that consumers might be trading up a bit in the off-premise, even in an uncertain economy.

Nielsen tracks alcohol sales in food/drug/liquor stores and other select channels that collectively account for 30% of the total U.S. spirits market by volume, as estimated by Impact.

Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) Allowing Wine and Liquor to be Purchased on its Website

(this news brief was posted by Shanken News Daily on November 30, 2011) The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) is now allowing wine and liquor purchased on its website to be shipped directly to home and business addresses. A shipping fee of $14 will be added to deliveries that include one to three bottles, with an additional dollar added for each bottle after that. Prior to this change in policy, consumers who made purchases on the PLCB website had to pick up their goods at a local PLCB store. The board had been hesitant to make the change because it feared easier access for underage drinkers. To address that concern, PLCB has partnered with UPS and will require a valid photo ID and signature upon delivery.

Sammy Hagar Unveils New Product, Sammy's Beach Bar Rum

(this news brief was posted by Shanken News Daily on November 28, 2011) Rock musician and spirits entrepreneur Sammy Hagar has unveiled a new product, Sammy’s Beach Bar Rum, in partnership with Maui-based Haliimaile Distilling Company. The small-batch silver rum was officially introduced last week at the Hard Rock Café in Waikiki. It’s made from Hawaii-grown sugar cane matured for a full two years and is designed to be sipped as well as mixed in cocktails. Sammy’s Beach Bar Rum is currently only available for sale in Hawaii, but Hagar plans to extend distribution to the rest of the U.S. in early 2012. This is Hagar’s second venture into the spirits business, as he launched the Cabo Wabo Tequila brand before selling 80% of it to Italy’s Gruppo Campari for $80 million in 2008 and the remaining 20% for $11 million to the same company in August 2010.

Cockspur Rum Preparing for the Thanksgiving Holiday

Pernod Ricard Appoints Jonas Tåhlin as VP Global Marketing for Absolut

News Brief by Shanken News Daily posted on November 14, 2011)
Pernod Ricard has appointed Jonas Tåhlin as vice president global marketing for the Absolut Co. He replaces Anna Malmhake, who was appointed CEO of Irish Distillers earlier this year. Tåhlin will be based in Stockholm and have responsibility for global marketing of the Absolut vodka, Malibu rum and Kahlúa coffee liqueur brands. His previous posts at Pernod Ricard include vice president marketing, vodka at Pernod Ricard USA; regional director for the Americas; and zone director, West Europe. Previous to working at Pernod, Tåhlin served in various brand management positions at Procter & Gamble in the Nordic, Western Europe and Latin America regions.

High-End Spirits Continue To Drive Off-Premise Growth, IRI Numbers Show

(this news brief was posted by Shanken News Daily on November 14, 2011) Entering the key holiday-selling season, the spirits industry is showing solid momentum. Spirits sales in food and drug stores were up 2.5% by volume in the 52 weeks ending October 30, 2011, according to Chicago-based SymphonyIRI Group. Off-premise growth was even better on a dollar basis, up 3.2% over the same time period. The data represent roughly 15% of the total U.S. spirits market, as estimated by Impact Databank.

High-end brands continue to drive the market, as super-premium, ultra-premium and luxury-priced spirits, with an average price of just under $20 per 750-ml. bottle, combined for 7.8% volume growth during the past 52 weeks, as well as a 6.8% increase by value. On the other hand, lower-priced segments ($8.60 per bottle on average), combined for just a 1.4% increase by both volume and value.

The fastest-growing spirit types over the past 52 weeks were all priced above the industry average, including Irish whiskey (+23.9% by volume), imported vodka (+15.4%), single malt Scotch (+9.8%) and Cognac (+8.6%), while declines continued for blended Scotch (-5.6%), non-Cognac brandy (-3.3%) and gin (-3.1%).

Among the 200 largest-selling brands ranked by dollar sales, triple-digit growth was recorded during the past 52 weeks by Pinnacle, Skinnygirl, Camarena, Tito’s, Malibu cocktails and The Kraken rum. Among the 25 largest-selling brands in food/drug stores, Jameson (+30.1%) and Svedka (+18.5%) had the fastest volume growth.

Serrallés USA Rolling Out New Aged White Rum, Caliche

(this news brief was posted by Shanken News Daily on November 10, 2011) Serrallés USA is set to roll out a new aged white rum label, Caliche, this March. A joint project between sixth-generation rum distiller Roberto Serrallés of Distilería Serrallés and American nightlife entrepreneur Randee Gerber, Caliche will be priced within the $21.99-$24.99 range. Designed primarily for cocktail occasions, the 80-proof offering will receive an on-premise-focused launch in New York City, Miami, Los Angeles and Chicago before expanding into additional markets. In addition to Caliche, Serrallés’s existing U.S. portfolio includes Impact “Hot Prospect” winner DonQ rum and the recently launched Blackbeard spiced rum brand.

Georgia Cities Approve Sunday Alcohol Sales

(this news brief was posted by Shanken News Daily on November 9, 2011) Numerous Georgia cities, including Atlanta, Savannah and Valdosta, have approved Sunday alcohol sales in stores. Statewide, approximately 120 of Georgia’s 694 cities and counties voted on the legislation yesterday, with a majority of metro Atlanta’s 51 jurisdictions approving the measure, according to early poll results. At least two cities—Palmetto and Forest Park—have blocked the initiative so far. Prior to yesterday’s vote, Georgia had been one of three states—alongside Indiana and Connecticut—that prohibited Sunday alcohol sales statewide.

Celebrate Halloween the Red Rum Way

Pernod Ricard USA In Innovation Drive With Malibu Red, Jameson Black Barrel

(this news brief was posted by Shanken News Daily on October 31, 2011) Pernod Ricard USA has unveiled two spirits innovations in recent days: Malibu Red, and Jameson Black Barrel. Malibu Red, slated to appear in the U.S. in early 2012, is a blend of coconut rum and silver Tequila. It was developed in collaboration with R&B singer and actor Ne-Yo, who will promote the new offering through a long-term partnership with Pernod. Malibu Red is 70-proof—higher than Malibu’s core 42-proof label. Its price hasn’t been released, but it will retail at a premium to the core brand’s $14 a 750-ml. Pernod expects Malibu Red to “expand Malibu usage year-round and into new occasions,” namely “nightclubs and high-energy accounts.” The company will back the new launch with TV, print, online and out-of-home ads, as well as exclusive multimedia content featuring Ne-Yo.

Malibu, which slid by around 70,000 cases in the U.S. market from 2007-2009, resumed growth last year (rising 1.9% to 1.64 million cases), and has seen continued revitalization so far this year, Pernod says. Global net sales for the brand were up 17% in the three months through September. (Malibu does about half of its global business in the U.S.)

Meanwhile, Pernod has introduced an upscale extension to its soaring Jameson Irish whiskey brand, Jameson Select Reserve Black Barrel. Black Barrel is blended from small-batch grain whiskey, triple-distilled on one occasion each year, matured in flame-charred Bourbon oak casks, and finally blended with single pot still Irish whiskey to create the final product, which sells for roughly $35 a bottle. Jameson, which now sells over 1 million cases in the U.S. annually—or 71% of its global total—continues to see torrid growth at the super-premium price tier, with U.S. net sales rising 53% in the recently completed third quarter.

Cockspur Rum Preparing for Halloween

Diageo Rolling Out New Dispensing System Across European Markets

(this news brief was posted by Shanken News Daily on October 28, 2011) Diageo is rolling out a new dispensing system across European markets for a ready-to-serve cocktail range featuring several brands in its portfolio. The Rapak technology featuring a bag-in-a-box serving system will allow bars to offer cocktails at more accessible price points. It also aims for convenience, as the bags are easily exchanged and fitted into the dispensing system. The bag-in-a-box offers 67 servings per pack and is available in Smirnoff Mojito, Pampero Mojito and Cacique Mojito. The new system will be featured in 12,000 bars and restaurants across 11 countries in Europe by the end of the year.

Distilled Spirits Council of the U.S. (DISCUS) Speaks Out Against a Proposal in Cook County, Illinois

(this news brief was posted by Shanken News Daily on October 27, 2011) The Distilled Spirits Council of the U.S. (DISCUS) is speaking out against a proposal in Cook County, Illinois to raise spirits taxes by 25%, calling it a job-killing measure for the local hospitality industry. Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle has proposed an increase of the county excise tax on spirits to $2.50 per gallon, up from the current $2.00 per gallon. According to DISCUS, the hospitality industry in Chicago is still down 13,000 jobs from when the recession began. The city has had three tax hikes in recent years—two city tax increases in 2005 and 2008, and one state excise tax increase in 2009—which have nearly doubled spirits taxes.

Massachusetts State Senate Passed an Amendment Allowing State Restaurants and Bars to Offer Happy Hour Drink Deals

(this news brief was posted by Shanken News Daily on October 27, 2011) The Massachusetts State Senate passed an amendment this month to a casino bill that would allow state restaurants and bars to offer happy hour drink deals, a practice outlawed in Massachusetts more than 25 years ago. The casino bill calls for construction of three casinos with the permission to serve discounted or free alcoholic beverages to patrons. The bill has yet to reach Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick’s desk, as the Massachusetts House of Representative still must reconcile differences with the Senate.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Diageo Sales Up 9% In First Quarter

(by Shanken News Daily) Diageo PLC posted an organic net sales increase of 9% in the three months through September, its fiscal first quarter, with all of its global operating regions showing growth of 5% or higher. Sales at the drinks giant’s North America unit were up 5% despite a 2% volume decline, as its U.S. product mix shifted to higher-priced items versus the same period last year (last year’s Q1 included the U.S. launch of accessibly-positioned Rökk vodka). Diageo said business in the wine category “remained weak” and that beer sales—where it recently unveiled a new offering, Guinness Black Lager—were roughly flat.

Meanwhile, results were solid across the rest of Diageo’s global business, with Europe rebounding to post 6% sales growth on the back of strong performances in Russia, Germany and the Nordic markets and an improvement in Spain, which at this time last year was in the midst of destocking. Latin America, boosted by a similar rebound in Venezuela, soared 30%, while Africa rose 9% (although South Africa struggled due to trading down activity). Johnnie Walker continued its standout performance in Asia Pacific, leading to a 14% sales increase for Diageo in that region, despite a slight slowdown in the Chinese economy during the period.

Diageo CEO Paul Walsh said the “fragile global economy” and a projected £35 million ($55m) negative exchange rate effect on operating profit over the course of the fiscal year pose hurdles. But he added that Diageo “continues to expect that net sales growth for the first half will improve on that delivered in fiscal 2011.” Pernod Ricard, Diageo’s closest rival across the global spirits market, unveils its first-quarter numbers tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

(by Shanken News Daily) Patrón Spirits has partnered with local player Aspri Spirits to enter India’s spirits market with its flaghip Tequila brand, as well as Ultimat vodka and Pyrat rum. Aspri, whose portfolio also includes Gruppo Campari and Distell brands among others, will distribute Patrón’s offerings in key cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore and Chennai, focusing on top restaurants, bars, clubs, hotels and premium retail locations.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Ultra-Premiums Are Fastest Growing Spirits Segment, According To Latest Nielsen Numbers

(by Shanken News Daily) Total spirits sales grew 3.2% by volume in the 52-week period ending September 17, 2011 to 57.6 million cases, according to the latest figures from Nielsen. Growth was even faster in dollars, up 3.8% to $8.35 billion. Ultra-premium spirits (average price of $35.38 a 750-ml. bottle) comprised less than 5% of overall volume but represented the fastest-growing segment in the 52-week period, up 11.7% by volume. Value-priced spirits (averaging $6.61 a bottle) showed the slowest growth, up 1.7%.

The 1.75-liter bottle was the biggest-selling size in Nielsen channels, but 750-ml. bottles showed the best growth—another sign that the market is continuing to premiumize even in an uncertain economy.

Based on the most recent four- and 13-week Nielsen periods, prepared cocktails were the fastest-growing spirits type by both volume and dollar sales. Skinnygirl Margarita led the growth charge during the key summer-selling season.

The fastest-growing spirits types by volume in the 52-week period were Irish whiskey (+21.5%), prepared cocktails (+15.2%), Cognac (+9.6%) and Tequila (+5.1%). Flavored vodkas (+17.1%) outperformed regular vodkas (+2.7%), and flavored rums (+4.5%) outperformed regular rums (-1.9%). Other declining types include gin (-1.9%), Scotch whisky (-1.1%) and non-Cognac brandy (-2.4%).

The Nielsen channels include food stores, drugstores, liquor stores and other select channels and account for 30% of the total U.S. spirits market by volume, as estimated by Impact.

Friday, October 07, 2011

Diageo Will Be Presenting Sponsor For Two ESPN Television Segments

(by Shanken News Daily) Diageo will be presenting sponsor for two ESPN television segments—“Around the Horn” and “Pardon the Interruption” and their corresponding programs on Spanish-language ESPN Deportes—beginning this month through September 2012, reports AdAge. The sponsorship will be highlighted on the programs as “Happy Hour.” Diageo will use the television time to spotlight its products, starting with Guinness Black Lager on ESPN and Captain Morgan Rum on Deportes. ESPN will also create a place on its website to feature clips from the two programs, also sponsored by Diageo. The company already sponsored “Pardon the Interruption” before it decided to make itself more noticeable on air. AdAge reports that Diageo spent around $21.7 million on ESPN’s platforms in 2010.

Texas Titan: Twin Liquors Now Up To 67 Units As In-State Expansion Continues Apace

(by Shanken News Daily) Austin-based Twin Liquors is one of Texas’s beverage alcohol retail giants. The 67-unit chain is run by the brother and sister team of David and Margaret Jabour, who serve as president and executive vice president of the 78-year-old business, which was founded by their grandfather and uncle shortly after Prohibition’s repeal. As third-generation owners, the Jabours take a long-term view, focusing on industry relationships and educating customers. Revenues aren’t made public, but reliable industry sources put Twin Liquors among the top three beverage alcohol retailers in Texas with annual sales of more than $200 million, behind only Houston-based Spec’s and Dallas-based Centennial. Shanken News Daily recently spoke to David and Margaret about trends in Texas, as well as their new interactive marketplace store concept.

Click HERE for the complete story. Please visit us at The Rum Shop for all your rum-related needs, including purchasing rum on-line, rum recipes, rum tasting notes, rum event information and rum consulting services. "Got Rum?" Magazine is back in circulation, get your free copy HERE.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Pernod Ricard USA Names Southern Wine & Spirits of Minnesota Its Exclusive Wine and Spirits Distributor

(by Shanken News Daily) Pernod Ricard USA has named Southern Wine & Spirits of Minnesota its exclusive wine distributor and preferred spirits distributor across the state (Pernod says it will also continue to work with other spirits distributors in the state). Pernod’s wine business was previously aligned with Wirtz Beverage Group in Minnesota. Southern now acts as the distributor for Pernod products in 27 states across the U.S. market. Southern entered Minnesota in 2010 via a joint venture with J.J. Taylor, one of the top U.S. beer wholesalers.

Beam Inc. Begins Trading on New York Stock Exchange

(by Shanken News Daily) Former Fortune Brands division Beam Inc. began trading as an independent company on the New York Stock Exchange October 4, 2011, completing its transformation into a stand-alone global spirits entity. Fortune Brands announced last April that it would operate as Beam Inc., following a decision to sell off its home and security and golf units to focus solely on spirits. Beam Inc. is the world’s fifth-largest spirits marketer, with a global volume of 33.5 million cases and annual sales of around $2.7 billion in 2010.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Global Spirits Industry’s Top Players: Taking Stock After Years Of Consolidation

(by Shanken News Daily) Analyzing the effect of consolidation after a decade and a half of deal-making, Shanken News Daily sister publication Impact has ranked the world’s top spirits companies—and compared today’s numbers with those in 1995.

The biggest mover in the consolidation game has been Pernod Ricard, which was in the top 10 in 1995 but with a low profile. Much of Pernod’s 24-million-case business (compared to 97 million cases today) was in France, where its Ricard and Pastis 51 brands dominated. Back then, the world’s top two spirits companies were IDV (GrandMet) and United Distillers (Guinness), followed by Seagram and Allied Domecq, which was born in 1994 after the merger between Allied Lyons and Pedro Domecq.

Guinness and GrandMet merged in 1997 to form Diageo, creating a spirits portfolio of unparalleled power, led by Smirnoff, Johnnie Walker, and Baileys. While the Diageo deal reshaped the global spirits landscape, it foreshadowed three mega-deals that would transform the business even further. Pernod Ricard was involved in all of them. In 2001, Diageo and Pernod Ricard acquired Seagram’s spirits and wine business, several months after Seagram announced it would exit the business to focus on entertainment. The Seagram deal fortified Diageo’s already-formidable lineup, adding powerhouses like Captain Morgan and Crown Royal. But it remade Pernod Ricard, energizing its portfolio with big-name brands like Chivas Regal and Martell. Four years later Allied Domecq went on the block, and Pernod was there again, collaborating with Fortune Brands, whose Jim Beam Brands unit was aiming to diversify. That deal added Ballantine’s, Beefeater, Malibu and Kahlúa to the Pernod portfolio, while Beam got Sauza, Courvoisier, Canadian Club and Maker’s Mark, among others. In 2008, one of the industry’s crown jewels—Absolut vodka—was put on the block. Seeing Absolut as the missing piece in the portfolio, Pernod again paid up—this time without a partner, acquiring V&S for approximately $9 billion.

Click HERE for the complete story. Please visit us at The Rum Shop for all your rum-related needs, including purchasing rum on-line, rum recipes, rum tasting notes, rum event information and rum consulting services. "Got Rum?" Magazine is back in circulation, get your free copy HERE.

Owsley Brown II Dies At 69

(by Shanken News Daily) Owsley Brown II, former chairman and CEO of Brown-Forman, died late Monday after a brief illness. He was 69. A great-grandson of Brown-Forman’s founder, Brown entered the family business in 1968, was appointed CEO in 1993, and, two years later, was named chairman. Under his leadership, the company was able to significantly expand the international presence of many of its brands—particularly Jack Daniel’s, Southern Comfort and Finlandia—as well as modernize its marketing approach. Brown retired from the role of CEO in 2005, withdrew as chairman in 2007, and left B-F’s board of directors in 2008.
In addition to his corporate roles, Brown was recognized for his philanthropic efforts. He served as fund chairman and president of the Greater Louisville Fund for the Arts, as well as a board member of several organizations, including the Actors Theatre of Louisville, River Fields, Inc., the J.B. Speed Art Museum, the Kentucky Center and The Partnership for Creative Economies. Brown is survived by his wife Christy, his three children Owsley III (Victoire), Brooke Barzun (Matthew) and Augusta Holland (Gill), and nine grandchildren. “Owsley was a personal friend to so many of us across the world, and we are all shocked and saddened by his premature death,” said Brown-Forman chief executive officer Paul Varga.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Brugal 1888 Rum Launch Event

(from Socially Superlative) On Wednesday evening, September 21st, 2011, a select few guests were invited to attend the launch of Brugal 1888, the newest release from the World’s Most Refined Rum. Brugal 1888 is a luxury rum from the Dominican Republic and is also the #3 rum in the world in terms of volume. Guests were able to taste and enjoy various cocktails mixed by several mixologists using Brugal 1888.

The private invite was held at Ink48 Hotel at Press Lounge located on the rooftop of the hotel. Unfortunately, it happened to be raining that night, but that did not stop the event one bit as guests mingled outside enjoying the New York skyline and listening to the beats from the DJ who provided music for the event. Guests were also treated to an array of hors d’oeuvres and a special buffet set aside of various cheeses, salads, and jumbo cocktail shrimp.

Click HERE for the complete story. Please visit us at The Rum Shop for all your rum-related needs, including purchasing rum on-line, rum recipes, rum tasting notes, rum event information and rum consulting services. "Got Rum?" Magazine is back in circulation, get your free copy HERE.

Impact’s “Hot Prospects” Rank U.S. Market’s Most Promising Wine And Spirits Brands

(by Shanken News Daily) Shanken News Daily sister publication Impact Newsletter has chosen its latest crop of “Hot Prospects”—the U.S. market’s most promising wine and spirits growth brands. The winners must have annual depletions of at least 50,000 cases and no more than 200,000 cases, while having achieved at least 15% growth in 2010 and solid progress in the two years prior to that.

A total of 72 brands are on this year’s list, 28 of which sold more than 100,000 cases. Several are likely to pass the 200,000-case threshold and enter Impact “Hot Brand” territory by year-end—including Beam Inc.’s Red Stag, Kendall-Jackson’s Murphy-Goode and Royal Wine Corp.’s Bartenura.

In addition to Red Stag, spirits Hot Prospects over the 100,000-case mark include DonQ rum (Serrallés USA), RonDiaz (Crosby Lake Spirits), Wild Turkey American Honey liqueur (Skyy Spirits), Russian Standard Original vodka (Russian Standard USA), Familia Camarena Tequila (Gallo), Pearl vodka (Luxco), Milagro Tequila (William Grant & Sons USA), Ruskova vodka (AnSon Imports) and Hendrick’s gin (William Grant & Sons USA). A further 11 spirits Hot Prospects winners were at less than 100,000 cases.

In wine, Hot Prospects at more than 100,000 cases include Bandit (Rebel Wine Co./Trinchero), Pacific Rim (Banfi), Noble Vines (DFV Wines), Redtree (Cecchetti Wine Co.), Little Black Dress (Excelsior Wine Co.), Middle Sister (Canopy Management), Newman’s Own (Rebel Wine Co./Trinchero), HobNob (WJ Deutsch & Sons), Cantine Riondo (Riondo USA), Don Miguel Gascon (Gallo), Down Under Cellars (Bronco), Matua Valley (Treasury Wine Estates Americas), Catena (Winebow), New Age (Quintessential Wines), Fünf (Schmitt Söhne) and Lunetta Prosecco (Palm Bay International). Some 33 wine brands under 100,000 cases also achieved Hot Prospect status.

Brand competitors, distributors and retailers will be watching closely to see whether these Hot Prospects can maintain momentum over the course of the next several years to become big-volume brands. A complete list and a report on the 2010 Hot Prospect winners will be published in Impact’s October 1&15 issue.

Indie Spirits Entrepreneurs Gather in Chicago on September 28th, 2011

Over 100 Indie Spirits and Over 60 Exhibitors at Inaugural Chicago Indie Spirits Expo

Distilled events is proud to announce the first Chicago Independent Spirits Expo. Since its inception, the Independent Spirits Expo has showcased an eclectic group of limited production, high quality spirits in a casual informative setting. In addition to giving attendees the opportunity to sample an amazing variety of unique and genre-redefining spirits, the Expo offers attendees a rare opportunity to meet the distillers, owners, importers, and entrepreneurs responsible for bringing these terrific products to market. The Expo’s guests include consumers, members of the trade and the press.

The Indy Sprits Expo’s director, Dave Schmier, says: “The goal of the expo has always been to provide a forum where the small entrepreneur can showcase their spirits.” The selection of spirits at The Indy Spirits Expo will cover a full spectrum of the best and the newest brands in the marketplace: from a variety of vodkas and gins to cognacs and absinthes.

With the growing micro-distillery movement in the US, domestically crafted products are strongly represented by brands from across the country as well as the burgeoning mid-west distilling movement. The Independent Spirits Expo has been a tool for small brand owners to expand their audiences for the past five years. This is the first time the Expo has been presented in Chicago and local producer Marty Duffy using his extensive work in the local spirits world to bring together many new distillers and Independent spirits brands along with the bar and restaurant trade in order to make the Chicago Independent Spirits Expo a key event in the local spirits scene.

Additionally, the Chicago Indie Spirits Expo features a pre-show industry roundtable discussion. The roundtable is sponsored by The Beverage Testing Institute, The American Spirits Exchange, Phoenix Packaging and media partners Food Industry News and The Tasting Panel.

Click HERE for the complete story. Please visit us at The Rum Shop for all your rum-related needs, including purchasing rum on-line, rum recipes, rum tasting notes, rum event information and rum consulting services. "Got Rum?" Magazine is back in circulation, get your free copy HERE.

Introducing Seven Fathoms ~ Handcrafted, Small Batch, Premium Rum from the Cayman Islands

Experience the Depths of Seven Fathoms Rum™ ~ A Wave of Artisan Innovation
Seven Fathoms Premium Rum is a handcrafted, artisanal premium rum that is distilled locally in small batches exclusively in the Cayman Islands. Unlike any other rum, Seven Fathoms is matured under water at a depth of seven fathoms (42 feet). This unique and innovative maturing technique creates superior characteristics and complexity. Seven Fathoms is a distinctive spirit made by meticulously aging the rum underwater in the pristine Caribbean seas giving Seven Fathoms a depth of flavor and smoothness that is incomparable. Seven Fathoms 80 proof rum, is limited production premium rum, created in individually numbered batches.

Seven Fathoms is handcrafted by Master Distillers Nelson Dilbert and Walker Romanica at the Cayman Island Distilleries adjacent to the cruise terminal in Georgetown, Grand Cayman. Seven Fathoms is distilled using a Christian Carl copper pot still. The company uses locally grown organic sugar cane, which is grown on a farm at the East End of the island. Once distilled, the rum is pumped into used Jim Beam barrels and then taken out to a secret location offshore of Grand Cayman. Here, the rum is placed for aging at a depth of 42 feet, or seven fathoms, under the water. The gentle motion of the waves and the alternating pressure of the water during the rising and ebbing tides helps push the rum deep into the pores of the oak barrels, extracting all of the rich oak and bourbon flavors from the wood, creating a complex rum with extraordinary depth of character and flavor.

Click HERE for the complete story. Please visit us at The Rum Shop for all your rum-related needs, including purchasing rum on-line, rum recipes, rum tasting notes, rum event information and rum consulting services. "Got Rum?" Magazine is back in circulation, get your free copy HERE.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Pernod Ricard USA will Introduce Malibu Rum Winter, a Limited Edition to be Available from October through December at $13.99 a Bottle

(by Shanken News Daily) Continuing the seasonal spirits extension theme it’s employed with Beefeater gin (Beefeater summer and winter-themed special editions appeared last year), Pernod Ricard USA will introduce Malibu Rum Winter, a limited edition to be available from October through December at $13.99 a bottle. Malibu Winter is a blend of Caribbean rum with real coconut flakes suspended in the liquid which, when consumed, dissolve slowly in the mouth. Brand manager Sheila Senhouse says Malibu Winter will “attract current and new consumers to the brand by offering a unique drinking experience during this non-traditional Malibu consumption season.” After sliding by 65,000 cases in the U.S. from 2007 through 2009, Malibu righted the ship in 2010, increasing 1.9% to 1.635 million cases, according to Impact Databank.

BarHappy Officially Launches Its Website and iPhone App

(By Shanken News Daily) BarHappy — a free resource to help consumers find food, drink and other entertainment deals in their city—has officially launched its website,, and iPhone mobile app. BarHappy’s database comprises more than 15,000 venues across 18 cities, including Boston, Chicago, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York and Washington D.C. The interface allows users to search across many criteria, such as the kind of deals they’re looking for, the neighborhood and the venue type. Businesses keep up with their own profile pages in real time so deals and information are current, and registered users can earn rewards by giving them ratings.

Bacardi USA Introducing the “OakHeart Challenge”

(by Shanken News Daily) Bacardi USA is introducing the “OakHeart Challenge,” a series of simultaneous nationwide bar events designed to support the launch of Bacardi OakHeart, on September 15. Through the program, Bacardi aims to get more than 25,000 consumers to sample the new extension on the same day, at the same time. Bars in several key markets, including Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, New York, Nevada, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Washington D.C. and Wisconsin, will be hosting OakHeart Challenge events. Rolled out in the U.S. earlier this month, Bacardi OakHeart is a 70-proof, spiced blend of Bacardi Superior and Gold priced at around $12.99-$15.99 a 750-ml that aims to take on rival Diageo’s Captain Morgan in the spiced rum segment.

Friday, September 02, 2011

Mount Gay Goes Nautical

(Photo above: Mount Gay Rum honors their sailing legacy with the launch of a nautical themed limited edition bottle to be sold at duty free shops in select countries)

(by The Rum Connection) Mount Gay Rum has been associated with the sailing community for over three centuries. This year, to honor the brand’s commitment to the world of sailing and the rich history from which it stems, Mount Gay has created the “Nautical Limited Edition” representing the beginning of a nautical series featuring maritime signal flags.

This collectable bottle of Mount Gay Eclipse Rum features the nautical flag design of the letter “M” and is designed to be enjoyed on board or wherever rum lovers celebrate the sailing legacy of the brand.

The Mount Gay Rum Eclipse Nautical Limited Edition “M” design is released this month in various global travel retail locations such as in Australia, New Zealand, Spain, France, Germany and the UK, and also on board Brittany Ferries and P&O, priced at parity with the standard Mount Gay Eclipse Rum.

This limited edition will also be exhibited at TFWA World Exhibition in Cannes 19th to 23rd September (Marine Village Foyer 1A).

Click HERE for the complete story. Please visit us at The Rum Shop for all your rum-related needs, including purchasing rum on-line, rum recipes, rum tasting notes, rum event information and rum consulting services. "Got Rum?" Magazine is back in circulation, get your free copy HERE.

Rum Is the Answer, What Was the Question?

(Photo above: Yo ho ho and 111 bottles of rum. Soaking in the sights at the Rum Bar in Phoenix)

(by Dawson Fearnow with Phoenix New Times) You'd think if you owned a bar exclusively dedicated to rum, you'd be happy to hear that the world's oldest spirit was suddenly très-trendy. Well, not so much if you're Dwayne Allen, co-owner of the Rum Bar in downtown Phoenix. In fact, this generally-genial Jamaican native was downright perturbed at the suggestion that this sugar cane-based spirit is being called trendy.

"Rum is in our blood, my friend," Allen tells me when I phone. "It's been around long before other such alcohols and spirits and is synonymous with the island lifestyle. There's nothing trendy about what we are doing at the Rum Bar," he says in his distinctly friendly-yet-deadly-serious tone. "You'd better get down here and let me show you what rum's all about."
So let's set sail to this rum-soaked tropical paradise in the heart of the urban jungle. Just be sure to leave behind your images of hangovers past, fueled by popsicle-colored daiquiris and cheap dark or spiced rums, which are often made from lower quality Grade C molasses and have "terrible flavor," according to Allen. (We're looking at you, Captain Morgan.)

Click HERE for the complete story. Please visit us at The Rum Shop for all your rum-related needs, including purchasing rum on-line, rum recipes, rum tasting notes, rum event information and rum consulting services. "Got Rum?" Magazine is back in circulation, get your free copy HERE.

Bottoms Up: Three Favorite Phoenix Rum Cocktails

(Photo above: The Dark & Stormy cocktail at J&G Steakhouse is the perfect late-summer cooler)

(by Dawson Fearnow with Phoenix New Times) Crisp, citrus-y and mixed liberally with ice, a nice tropical tipple is the perfect late-summer cooler. Here are three Valley bars serving up great rum cocktails.

1. The Dark & Stormy at the J&G Steakhouse at The Phoenician

J&G's serves up a delectable Dark & Stormy made with Goslings Black Seal Rum, John D. Taylor's Velvet Falernum, Stewart's Ginger Beer and fresh lime juice.

2. The Mai-Tai at Hula's Modern Tiki This classic Mai-Tai is made with Appleton Estate special gold rum, pineapple juice, orange Curacao, orgeat syrup and lime juice.

Suck down your third cocktail after the jump.

3. Rustyfarian at Citizen Public House

The Rustyfarian is an award-winning cocktail crafted with Zacapa dark rum, Drambuie, a medley of orange, lemon and lime juices--all garnished with lemon-lime zest.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Beam To Start Trading As Standalone October 4

(by Shanken News Daily) Fortune Brands’ board has approved final plans to spin off the company’s home and security products business by October 3, allowing it to begin operating as a pure-play spirits company trading publicly under the name Beam Inc. on October 4. Fortune Brands will receive a cash dividend of $500 million from the home and security unit prior to the spin-off, which remains subject to SEC and New York Stock Exchange approvals.

The separation of Beam from Fortune’s other former businesses has led to speculation that Beam brands like Jim Beam, Sauza, Courvoisier, Maker’s Mark and others could become acquisition targets, but Beam, which has ramped up its marketing spend by double-digits over the past year and a half—resulting in record sales in the three months through June, and a 14% increase to $1.38 billion in the first half of 2011—appears intent on remaining an independent player.

Binny’s Beverage Depot Of Chicago Continues Aggressive Expansion

(by Shanken News Daily)Binny’s Beverage Depot owner Michael Binstein plans to open two new stores this year in the greater Chicago market. In the last four years alone, he has expanded his beverage alcohol retail business from 19 to 25 stores, and now ranks as the leading independent retailer in Illinois. Binstein recently spoke with Shanken News Daily about his business, which will surpass $250 million in revenues in its fiscal year ending July 31.

SND: In the last four years, you’ve expanded from 19 stores to 25 stores, mostly through acquisition during a very difficult economy. Has your investment paid off?

Binstein: The honest answer is that the investment is paying off. Time is the ultimate test, and one needs a certain amount of humility. But there’s not a single acquisition, store opening or expansion of our model that I would take back.

SND: How has Binny’s been affected by the downturn in the economy?

Binstein: The best time to run into a market is when everyone is running for the exit doors. I think we’re contrarians by nature. Our most dramatic growth has occurred since the Cassandras and the pundits sounded the death knell for our economy in general and our industry in particular. Then there’s the fact that when you sign 99-year leases, which we do as a matter of practice when we can’t buy our own property, you’d better be prepared to ride out the business cycles that will always be a part of life. You can’t be a summer soldier and be in business. We monitor certain things every day, and one of them is customer count. The number of people actually walking through our front doors has been showing double-digit growth. Market share is healthy and growing. Sales have been helping growth, but all things considered, I think customer count is the single most important vital sign for all three tiers of our industry—not just for retail and not just for Binny’s.

Click HERE for the complete story. Please visit us at The Rum Shop for all your rum-related needs, including purchasing rum on-line, rum recipes, rum tasting notes, rum event information and rum consulting services. "Got Rum?" Magazine is back in circulation, get your free copy HERE.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Beam Global Spirits & Wine, Inc. Appoints Debora Boyda as General Manager of the Mixables Category Business Team

(by Shanken News Daily) Beam Global Spirits & Wine, Inc. has appointed Debora Boyda as general manager of the Mixables Category Business Team, which includes the company’s vodka, rum, Tequila and premix cocktail business. She succeeds and will report to Pryce Greenow, who has been promoted to vice president, group general manager at Beam. Before joining Beam, Boyda served as co-founder and president of Interplay Ideas, a Chicago-based strategic innovation consultancy. Previously, she served as vice president of marketing at Miller Brewing Co., and prior to that, spent nearly 20 years in key positions at ad agencies such as Ogilvy & Mather and Leo Burnett Worldwide, Inc. Beam’s Mixables division is led by Sauza Tequila and Cruzan rum, while the recently acquired Skinnygirl cocktail line continues to enjoy rapid growth.

Diageo Rides Premium Progress To 3% U.S. Sales Growth For FY

(by Shanken News Daily) Despite continuing economic headwinds, Diageo rode improved operating margin driven by cost cuts and a marketing push behind its key brands to solid sales growth in the U.S. market in its fiscal full year, ended June 30. U.S. net spirits sales for the global drinks giant came in up 4% on an organic basis, led by a strong performance at the premium end by brands like Cîroc, Crown Royal Black, Buchanan’s and the silver and super-premium variants of Jose Cuervo.

Diageo’s U.S. spirits volume held steady over period, as Smirnoff, Johnnie Walker, Captain Morgan, Ketel One and Tanqueray were all either flat or down across the group’s North American region, resulting in a loss of share in vodka and rum. But those results were offset by torrid growth for Cîroc, which more than doubled in size, and Buchanan’s, which grew 37% by volume. Guinness’s 3% volume gain drove a 1% rise in Diageo’s North American beer volume overall, while its wine (-4%) and RTD (-3%) businesses struggled. (Diageo has moved to restructure its U.S. wine business of late, most recently selling Edna Valley Vineyard to E&J Gallo in June.) Total organic net sales growth for Diageo NA came in up 3% to £3.3 billion ($4.7b).

“While overall consumer confidence remains subdued we have seen some recovery and, importantly for our business, this recovery has been stronger in the premium, and especially the super-premium, segments,” said Ivan Menezes, president, Diageo North America. Menezes credited a 7% rise in marketing spend, mostly behind key brands like Cîroc, Ketel One, Smirnoff and the Cuervo silver variants with buttressing sales.

Click HERE for the complete story. Please visit us at The Rum Shop for all your rum-related needs, including purchasing rum on-line, rum recipes, rum tasting notes, rum event information and rum consulting services. "Got Rum?" Magazine is back in circulation, get your free copy HERE.

With DonQ On The Rise, Serrallés USA Eyes Wider Portfolio

(by Shanken News Daily) Up to now, Puerto Rican rum maker Destilería Serrallés has derived the lion’s share of its business from its contract production of Diageo’s Captain Morgan. But with the Captain’s production being moved entirely to the U.S. Virgin Islands by next year, Serrallés is set to lose around 70% of its volume. Accordingly, the company is now shifting gears and investing to drive sales of its own rum brand, DonQ, in the U.S. market through its Serrallés USA unit. With that effort proceeding, Serrallés is also now eyeing partnerships and new brand introductions to broaden its U.S. portfolio.
A well-known brand in its domestic market of Puerto Rico, the DonQ rum range has made impressive progress since entering the U.S. market just three years ago. The brand rose 61% by volume in each of the past two years to reach 190,000 cases in 2010, according to Impact Databank. The DonQ line-up includes Cristal, Gold and Anejo offerings ($12.99-$15.99 a 750-ml.), an ultra-premium Gran Anejo ($59.99) and a range of flavored rums ($13.99) featuring Limón, Coco, Mojito and the newly introduced Pasión (passion fruit).
For 2011, Serrallés expects DonQ to hit more than 210,000 cases, and has set a longer-term goal of reaching 1 million cases, according to John Eason, vice president, national sales manager for Serrallés USA. “The time is really ripe for a firm number-two player in the silver popular rum category,” he says, noting the relative lack of meaningful competition in the segment compared with other spirits categories. “In rum, and silver rum in particular, it’s always been Bacardi. We definitely think there’s an opportunity to make a challenge and take some share in the category.”

Click HERE for the complete story. Please visit us at The Rum Shop for all your rum-related needs, including purchasing rum on-line, rum recipes, rum tasting notes, rum event information and rum consulting services. "Got Rum?" Magazine is back in circulation, get your free copy HERE.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Castle Brands Inc. Announces a 21% Increase in Net Sales

(by Shanken News Daily) New York-based Castle Brands Inc. has announced a 21% increase in net sales to $7.4 million for its fiscal 2012 first quarter, ended June 30. Bolstered by Gosling’s Rum, Pallini Limoncello and Boru vodka’s U.S. growth, group volume rose 19% to more than 70,000 cases. Net losses for the quarter, however, grew 21.7% to just under $2.1 million, as operating losses fell slightly, from $1.7 million to $1.3 million. Castle Brands president and CEO Richard Lampden said the company would continue to streamline operations and reduce overhead and distribution costs, with the “full benefits of these cost savings efforts to be recognized in the current fiscal year.”

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Diageo Launching Campaign for Its Captain Morgan Brand

(by Shanken News Daily) Diageo is launching a new multi-media promotional campaign for its Captain Morgan brand starting this month and ending in October. “The Captain’s Island” campaign will run mostly through the brand’s Facebook page, giving fans a chance to win a trip to a Caribbean island and $15,000. Actress Mena Suvari will help promote the campaign, which will also include television and Internet ads across 13 different markets—the U.S., Canada, U.K., Ireland, Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Russia, Argentina, Mexico, Peru and Costa Rica. This campaign follows on the heels of the “To Life, Love and Loot” ad effort announced by the brand in May, featuring commercials filmed by movie director Tom Hooper.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Southern Wine & Spirits Appoints Kirt Clemens As Senior Vice-President For Its North American Spirits & Wine Brokerage Division (NASW)

(by Shanken News Daily) Southern Wine & Spirits has appointed Kirt Clemens svp, eastern region, for its North American Spirits & Wine Brokerage division (NASW), effective August 1. Clemens was previously vice president-general sales manager for Southern’s Mid-Atlantic division, based in Raleigh, a position he held for five years. In his new role he’ll report to NASW evp-general manager Robert Swartz. NASW is the Southern Wine & Spirits division handling Diageo and Moët Hennessy brands across the 18 control states.

After Record Second Quarter, Beam Says It Will Step Up Brand Investment

(by Shanken News Daily) Beam Global Spirits & Wine enjoyed record sales of $703 million, up 11%, in the three months through June, and says it intends to continue aggressively upping its spend behind key brands in the second half of 2011. For the first half of the year, Beam’s net sales increased by 14% to $1.38 billion, while operating income before charges rose 12% to $299 million.
“Our investments in innovation and brand building are paying off, and we’re further stepping up our brand investment as a result,” said Bruce Carbonari, chairman and CEO of Beam parent Fortune Brands. “Jim Beam accelerated its momentum in the quarter, Maker’s Mark continued its double-digit growth, and Skinnygirl (acquired in March) has become the fastest-growing spirits brand in America.” Carbonari said profits are expected to lag behind sales growth in the third quarter as Beam’s promotional spend continues to rise by double-digits, before “normalizing to a relatively constant run rate as a percentage of sales” in the fourth quarter.

Click HERE for the complete story. Please visit us at The Rum Shop for all your rum-related needs, including purchasing rum on-line, rum recipes, rum tasting notes, rum event information and rum consulting services. "Got Rum?" Magazine is back in circulation, get your free copy HERE.

Pernod Ricard Suffers Another Setback in its Duel with Bacardi Ltd. Over the U.S. Trademark to Havana Club Rum

(by Shanken News Daily) Pernod Ricard has suffered another setback in its duel with Bacardi Ltd. over the U.S. trademark to Havana Club rum. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit today upheld a 2010 decision by a U.S. District Court in Delaware that found no significant risk of consumer confusion as to whether Bacardi’s Puerto Rico-produced Havana Club brand—sold in the U.S. in small quantities—is made in Cuba. “No reasonable interpretation of the label as a whole could lead to the conclusion that it is false or misleading,” said U.S. Circuit Judge Kent Jordan. Pernod says it will now “consider its options” in the ongoing trademark battle. Pernod general counsel Ian FitzSimons said, “It’s important to note that this decision does not grant any right in the ‘Havana Club’ trademark to Bacardi. We’re determined to continue to fight for fair competition in the United States market where ownership of the ‘Havana Club’ trademark dates back to 1976.”

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Pernod Ricard names Jérôme Cottin-Bizonne managing director of Havana Club International

(by Shanken News Daily) Pernod Ricard has named Jérôme Cottin-Bizonne managing director of Havana Club International, effective December 1. Currently serving as Pernod’s audit and business development director, Cottin-Bizonne will replace Marc Beuve-Mery and report directly to Thierry Billot, Pernod’s managing director, brands. Beuve-Mery, a longtime Pernod executive, will take up a new role within the company, to be announced later.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Texas Retail Giant Spec’s To Move Into Dallas Market By Year End

(by Shanken News Daily) Houston, Texas-based retailer Spec’s Wines, Spirits & Finer Foods is planning to enter the Dallas market by year-end, according to a report in The Dallas Morning News. The paper quoted Spec’s vice president of marketing Lisa Rydman Key, who said the company is planning two to three Dallas stores for its initial entry and is currently in lease negotiations. Rydman Key added that Spec’s hopes to have at least one of those locations open by the end of 2011.

The move into Dallas will pit Spec’s—which does $500 million in annual sales—against the area’s current top retailer, Centennial Wine & Spirits, which is projecting $250 million in 2011 revenue and is also expanding. With formerly dry areas around Dallas—such as Trophy Club near Fort Worth and Lowry Crossing in Collin County—recently voting to go wet, the region is developing as a new battleground for beverage alcohol retailers. Kroger and 7-Eleven have upped their beverage alcohol activities in the market, and Trader Joe’s is also reportedly exploring a Dallas location.

Click HERE for the complete story. Please visit us at The Rum Shop for all your rum-related needs, including purchasing rum on-line, rum recipes, rum tasting notes, rum event information and rum consulting services. "Got Rum?" Magazine is back in circulation, get your free copy HERE.

Florida’s ABC Fine Wine And Spirits Adapts To Changing Landscape In Securing Future Growth

(by Shanken News Daily) Orlando, Florida-based ABC Fine Wine & Spirits is the largest independent beverage alcohol retailer in the state. The 150-unit company dominated the Florida market until six years ago, when competition intensified from multi-state players like Total Wine & More and the Publix supermarket chain. But ABC has since adapted to the new retail landscape with aggressive pricing and a massive modernization plan that includes a new store design concept. Thirty ABC units will have been updated by this year’s holiday season. According to reliable industry sources, total revenues of the privately held ABC reached approximately $475 million last year. Shanken News Daily recently interviewed Charles Bailes, who is ABC’s chairman and CEO, and his brother Jess, who is executive vice president, to get an update on progress.

Click HERE for the complete story. Please visit us at The Rum Shop for all your rum-related needs, including purchasing rum on-line, rum recipes, rum tasting notes, rum event information and rum consulting services. "Got Rum?" Magazine is back in circulation, get your free copy HERE.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Edwin H. Nielsen, great-grandson of Bacardi founder Don Facundo Bacardí Massó, passed away

(by Shanken News Daily) Edwin H. Nielsen, the great-grandson of Bacardi founder Don Facundo Bacardí Massó, passed away July 24 in Spain at the age of 93. Nielsen became vice president of Bacardi Imports, U.S. in 1963 and was later promoted to president. He’s credited with expanding the company into international markets and helping Bacardi become the largest-selling rum in the world. Nielsen became a director when Bacardi Ltd. was formed from five operating companies in 1992, and he retired from Bacardi in 2001.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Appleton Estate Jamaica Rum appoints Brown-Forman exclusive distributor in Mexico

(by The Gleaner) J. Wray & Nephew Limited has announced that it has appointed Brown-Forman as the exclusive distributor of the Appleton Estate Jamaica Rum and Appleton Jamaica Rum brands in , as of July 1.

In making the announcement, Paul Henriques, managing director of J. Wray & Nephew Limited, noted that the company was excited to forge this new partnership with Brown-Forman, while expressing his gratitude to Casa Cuervo, the outgoing distributor for Appleton Jamaica Rum in Mexico.

"We are very excited at the prospect of working with the Brown-Forman team as we continue to build the Appleton Jamaica Rum brand in Mexico. Brown-Forman is an industry leader in Mexico, and Appleton Jamaica Rum is an excellent fit for its portfolio. Appleton has been well established in Mexico for many years, and we are confident that together we will continue to build on this strong foundation and take it to great heights.

"At the same time, I would like to thank the team at Casa Cuervo, our distributor in Mexico for over 20 years."

Click HERE for the complete story. Please visit us at The Rum Shop for all your rum-related needs, including purchasing rum on-line, rum recipes, rum tasting notes, rum event information and rum consulting services. "Got Rum?" Magazine is back in circulation, get your free copy HERE.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Blackwell Rum Names Its Exclusive U.S. Importer

(by Shanken News Daily) Jamaica’s Blackwell Fine Jamaican rum has named Domaine Select Wine Estates (DSWE) its exclusive U.S. importer. Joining DSWE’s Classic & Vintage Portfolio, Blackwell will begin rolling out in major U.S. markets this summer, retailing at $29.99 a 750-ml. In New York and New Jersey, DSWE’s Merchants wholesale division will distribute the brand. Distilled by J. Wray & Nephew at Appleton Estate, Blackwell Rum is the brainchild of music producer Chris Blackwell and advertising exec Richard Kirshenbaum, who has worked with major drinks brands including Hennessy, Dom Perignon, Grand Marnier and Guinness.

Serralles In Tough Fight Over Puerto Rico Rum Rebates

(by Shanken News Daily) Diageo’s decision to move production of Captain Morgan from Puerto Rico to the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) continues to send ripples through the Caribbean rum industry. Diageo was enticed by the USVI’s offer to return much higher tax rebates than the company was receiving in Puerto Rico. The Diageo USVI distillery is now operational and is slated to handle all of Captain Morgan’s output by next year. In all, Puerto Rico lost 9 million cases of Captain Morgan annual production in the deal.

Puerto Rico has since reached new incentive agreements to keep Bacardi, as well as smaller player Club Caribe, on the island for the next 20 years. But one holdout is Destileria Serralles, Captain Morgan’s former Puerto Rican producer, which lost 70% of its volume when the Captain set sail for USVI. Thus far, negotiations between Serralles and Puerto Rico on a new incentive pact haven’t borne fruit.

Serralles complains that it’s being offered a far less favorable tax rebate than Bacardi, mainly because Puerto Rico is making a distinction between branded and bulk rum. Bacardi will receive 46% of tax revenue on its branded rum production (similar to Diageo’s deal with USVI) while Serralles is being offered only 25% on its bulk production. Serralles’ branded business is led by DonQ, but bulk production constitutes most of its business. Bacardi rum’s U.S. volume is 9.4 million cases, nearly all of which is produced in Puerto Rico. Bacardi’s Castillo rum brand, which depleted 940,000 cases in the U.S. last year, is also produced in Puerto Rico.

Click HERE for the complete story. Please visit us at The Rum Shop for all your rum-related needs, including purchasing rum on-line, rum recipes, rum tasting notes, rum event information and rum consulting services. "Got Rum?" Magazine is back in circulation, get your free copy HERE.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Portland bar news: Rum Club debuts Tuesday; Kask opens Friday (tonight)

(By Michael Russell, The Oregonian) When you own a bar as well received for both its cocktails and food as Beaker & Flask, what do you do next?

If you're owner Kevin Ludwig, you open a bar that's just a bar. Low light. Classic cocktails. Simple food; dishes that complement what you're drinking without stealing the spotlight.

Ludwig and partner Mike Shea (a former bar manager at the Doug Fir and Ludwig's best friend) have done just that. Their Rum Club is set to open Tuesday in a little wedge of a space at the top of the same block of Sandy Boulevard as Beaker & Flask.

"Rum Club is based on a bar we grew up in back in Pittsburgh, Penn., that Mike and I used to go to," Ludwig says. "It's going to be open during the day and it's going to be kind of dark."

Rum Club's focus will be on classic cocktails -- Ludwig is mining old Trader Vic's recipes for inspiration, but says the bar won't be Tiki-themed. "We'll have interesting classics that you haven't seen before, but we don't want to compete with Beaker," he says.

Click HERE for the complete story. Please visit us at The Rum Shop for all your rum-related needs, including purchasing rum on-line, rum recipes, rum tasting notes, rum event information and rum consulting services. "Got Rum?" Magazine is back in circulation, get your free copy HERE.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Rum cake at Anthony’s Pizza and Grill to be featured on Food Network

(By Amy Friedenberger , For the Mirror)Australian chef and frequent television host Curtis Stone tried Joyelle Scavone's rum cakes last year, but apparently they are still on his mind.

He even thinks they are one of the best things he's ever eaten.

Stone will tout Scavone's ScRUMptious gourmet rum cakes as his pick for "The Best Thing I Ever Ate" on an upcoming segment of the show on the Food Network. The network was in Altoona on Monday, shooting footage at Scavone's husband's restaurant, Anthony's Pizza and Grill, on Fourth Street in Altoona.

Each episode of "The Best Thing I Ever Ate," going into its sixth season, includes eight selections from culinary hosts and chefs that focus on a theme, such as guilty pleasures or burgers.

Click HERE for the complete story. Please visit us at The Rum Shop for all your rum-related needs, including purchasing rum on-line, rum recipes, rum tasting notes, rum event information and rum consulting services. "Got Rum?" Magazine is back in circulation, get your free copy HERE.

Bacardi Names New President For North America As Esposito Retires

(by Shanken News Daily) Bacardi Ltd. has named Robert Furniss-Roe as president of Bacardi North America, succeeding John Esposito, who is retiring. Furniss-Roe most recently was regional president of Latin America and vice president of global sales. He will be based in the company’s Americas headquarters in Coral Gables, Florida.

Since joining Bacardi in 1989, Furniss-Roe has held numerous marketing and management positions around the world, including in the U.S. market. Bacardi cited a number of Furniss-Roe’s achievements in his 20-plus years at the company, including driving strong growth in Russia, developing new markets such as India and heading up global marketing for several of Bacardi’s top brands.

Furniss-Roe’s previous titles at Bacardi include chief of staff at Bacardi Ltd., vice president of corporate responsibility, interim regional president of Europe, area director for Russia/CIS/Poland, vice president of global marketing and area director for Asia-Pacific, as well as senior marketing roles in Asia, France and the United States. Prior to joining Bacardi, Furniss-Roe held marketing positions with Dunhill and L’Oreal. “Robert possesses an extraordinary mix of industry knowledge, deep understanding of our company and entrepreneurial spirit in both global and regional marketplaces that will have tremendous impact in the North America region,” said Bacardi Ltd. president and CEO Séamus McBride.

With John Esposito’s retirement, the drinks industry loses one of leading figures of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Few executives can boast the diversity of his experience. In more than three decades in the business, Esposito has worked as a retailer, distributor and supplier—serving with distinction at all three tiers of the industry.

Esposito literally grew up in the drinks business, hailing from a family of New York City liquor retailers. His first job was managing the family business. In 1977 he joined the Seagram Co. Ltd. and rose to become vice president and national sales manager of the Seagram Wine Co. In 1989, Esposito moved to W.A. Taylor & Co., the Miami-based unit of the old Allied Domecq, becoming vice president and director of sales. From there he entered the distribution tier as president of Charmer Sunbelt’s Florida unit, Premier Beverage Co.

In 1992, Esposito joined Schieffelin & Somerset (the former U.S. marketing joint venture between Diageo and LVMH) as senior vice president of national sales. Seven years later, he was named president and CEO. When Schieffelin & Somerset was dissolved in 2004 and became Moët Hennessy USA, Esposito was named president and CEO of the newly formed company. During this long period, he drove the portfolio—including Hennessy, Grand Marnier, Moët & Chandon and Veuve Clicquot—to unprecedented heights. Hennessy, for example, saw its volume triple from 1995 to 2005, rising from 745,000 cases to 2.1 million cases.

Esposito became president and chief executive of Bacardi USA in May 2006, as the parent company sought an executive with upscale brand marketing experience to drive a newly revitalized portfolio that included Grey Goose vodka, acquired two years previously. Under Esposito’s leadership, Grey Goose has retained leadership of its segment, even in the face of a tough on-premise scene of recent years. Innovation dramatically increased elsewhere at Bacardi, with the flagship rum brand’s flavor portfolio expanding dramatically. Bombay Sapphire, meanwhile, continues to spearhead gin’s role in the cocktail renaissance as it steams toward the million-case mark, while other brands including Dewar’s, Cazadores and Disaronno remain key players in their respective categories. Overall, Esposito played a major part in moving Bacardi into the modern drinks age, nurturing a balanced portfolio of rum, vodka, Scotch, Tequila and other products. At both Bacardi and Moet Hennessy, he helped spearhead the U.S. market’s premium spirits renaissance—which began nearly two decades ago and continues today.

Please visit us at The Rum Shop for all your rum-related needs, including purchasing rum on-line, rum recipes, rum tasting notes, rum event information and rum consulting services. "Got Rum?" Magazine is back in circulation, get your free copy HERE.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Brazilian sugar cane distilled rum to hit American shores

(by DBR Staff Writer) Cross Planet, an international trade company based in the US, has plans to introduce premium Brazilian sugar cane distilled rum, Cachaca Poesia, in the US markets by August.

The rum has been available in Brazil since 2007 and has reportedly won 'Best Cachaca' in the prestigious Concours Mondial de Bruxellas.Poesia, produced in the mountains of Serra da Mantiqueira in Minas Gerais, Brazil, has cane brake, carefully cut without being burnt up as the key ingredient.

The spirit is said to be distilled in pure copper containers and stored in neutral wooden barrels which eliminates contaminating agents and results in a highly refined taste that pleases the most discerning palate.Cross Planet chief administrative officer Noelle Adams said the company is very excited to bring the high quality product to market in the US.

Click HERE for the complete story. Please visit us at The Rum Shop for all your rum-related needs, including purchasing rum on-line, rum recipes, rum tasting notes, rum event information and rum consulting services. "Got Rum?" Magazine is back in circulation, get your free copy HERE.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Milagro Cantina is hosting an Eastside Bartenders Association "Rum and Sun" Event

Milagro Cantina is hosting an Eastside Bartenders Association event, "Rum and Sun," on its patio, 2-4 p.m. It's free, but RSVP at

Milagro boasts a great bar and lounge space decorated with a metal "tequila tree." Colored glass lanterns of various sizes hang throughout the restaurant, including a glass pinata in the private dining area. Dishes are regional Mexican fare served in small plates, tacos and large entrees. There are traditional and ginger-caramel margaritas. Don't confuse "traditional" with "standard," though, because these libations are delicious and strong, nothing like the sugar water served in some other establishments. Summer crowds will love the vast outdoor seating available.

Please visit us at The Rum Shop for all your rum-related needs, including purchasing rum on-line, rum recipes, rum tasting notes, rum event information and rum consulting services. "Got Rum?" Magazine is back in circulation, get your free copy HERE.