Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Skyy Spirits Is Renamed Campari America, Signs 18-State Deal With Southern Wine & Spirits

(by Shanken News Daily) Skyy Spirits has changed its name to Campari America, to reflect its status as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Italy’s Gruppo Campari. The change covers Gruppo Campari’s operations in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico.

“We’re very identified with Skyy vodka, but in reality it’s only part of a very large portfolio of almost 5 million cases,” Gerry Ruvo, chairman of Campari America, told Shanken News Daily. “We want people to understand we’re part of one of the top premium spirits marketers in the world, and that our parent company is making enormous investments in its brands in the U.S. and will continue to do so.”

Beyond Skyy—which rose 1.5% to 2.7 million cases in the U.S. in 2011, according to Impact Databank—the Campari America portfolio includes the Campari brand, as well as Wild Turkey Bourbon, Glen Grant single malt Scotch, Cabo Wabo and Espolon Tequilas and X-Rated Fusion Liqueur, among other Gruppo Campari brands, as well as agency labels like the Bowmore and Glenrothes single malts and Flor de Caña rum.

“Consumers know us by our brands, but we thought it was important to let people across the trade—wholesalers and retailers—know we have a much wider footprint than just Skyy—and for the most part a company-owned footprint,” Ruvo said. Campari-owned brands represent over 90% of Skyy’s stable. Campari first invested in Skyy in 1998, eventually gaining full control in 2006.

Meanwhile, the newly christened Campari America renewed its alignment with top U.S. distributor Southern Wine & Spirits across 18 states, including existing markets Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Kentucky, Maine, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Vermont, and one new market, Indiana.

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