Trade News

→ Wine & Spirits Daily recently featured a story on Foley Family Wines which has purchased two significant vineyards, Huntington Hill Vineyards in Oregon’s Willamette Valley and Chalk Hill Vineyards in Russian River Valley, to support the winery’s rapidly growing luxury wine portfolio.

“The purchase of these two premier vineyards reaffirms the Foley family’s commitment to the luxury wine segment and provides the FFW organization the opportunity to fuel growth for both The Four Graces and Chalk Hill brands,” says Chief Marketing Officer Gerard Thoukis.

VinePair, an on-line industry publication, recently canvassed 20 brewery employees and community leaders across the country to talk about today’s hottest beer trends. Mentioned frequently was the movement in craft beers to make classic American Lagers, as well as the trend to use locally-grown hops and fruits from their home states. Health-conscious brands with lower calories, hard seltzer and ciders also were noted. Several participants said that more competition among craft brewers is resulting in higher quality beers, a “plus” for craft beer lovers.

→ Wine & Spirtis Daily reported that beverage alcohol sales were up across all categories through August 31, stats that were measured by Nielsen-measured channels. Wine sales were up 2.5% outpacing its current year-to-date trend of 1.8%. Spirits also outpaced its current year-to-date sales trend for the holiday week, up nearly 7% for the week period compared to about 6% year-to-date. Beer also was up about 4.4% for the week.

Growth drivers, the publication says, were Rosé, canned wine and wine-based cocktails for the wine category growth. Sparkling Rosé in particular showed strong gains, up almost 11% for the holiday week, while table Rosé sales were up about 6%. Canned wine sales were up a whopping 62% for the holiday week. Wine-based cocktails also reported strong growth with sales up about 40%.

The usual suspects drove spirits growth. Tequila and whiskey sales were up 18% and 9.5%, respectively. Moreover, Spirits-based Ready-to-Drink (RTD) sales jumped 84% compared to last year. Mule flavored cocktails were the most popular RTD flavor, according to Nielsen.

The beer category growth was largely driven by super premium imports, FMBs and non-alcohol beer.

In IRI outlets, wine and spirits sales growth was up even higher for the Labor Day holiday. Wine sales were up 4.8% and volumes were up 2.2% for the week ended September 1. Spirits were up just over 8% in sales and about 8.6% in volume for the week period.