Market Watch

Market Watch November 2019

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Every issue features new product launches, restaurant and bar openings, innovative retail concepts and unique promotions for on- and off-premise establishments.

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United States
M Shanken Communications
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2 min.
joining the e-commerce age

Distributors can sometimes have a reputation for being old-fashioned, but that’s a bit unfair. Even as far back as 20 years ago, a visitor to a wholesale house would have found eye-popping levels of advanced technology in place. But those tech elements were primarily targeted at internal functions. In terms of e-commerce, the second tier largely sat out the ballgame, and things remained as they were back in the 1980s. Now that picture has changed—and with surprising speed. Distributors are all-in, reinventing practices and joining the age of digital commerce. There were reasons for their previous reticence—chiefly involving concerns over direct shipping and protection of proprietary technologies. But the second tier has finally found its digital comfort zone. Southern Glazer’s, the industry leader, has undertaken an initiative befitting its scale. Grouped under…

4 min.
through the glass

Deutsch Announces Joint Venture With Gray Whale Gin…. With super-premium gin showing strong growth in the U.S., Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits has made its first move in the category, forming formed a 50-50 joint venture partner-ship with Jan and Marsh Mokhtari, founders of the high-end Gray Whale gin label. Terms weren’t disclosed. The 43% abv Gray Whale ($40 a 750-ml.) is currently present in the California and Connecticut markets. Deutsch plans to launch it nationally in three waves, with about 17 markets expected to come on stream in the next 12 months. While production is currently tiny at 2,000 cases, Deutsch says it intends to scale the brand through its national network, noting that the over-$30 gin segment has been increasing by double-digits lately. “Building a scaled spirits portfolio of craft…

1 min.

AS PICTURED: 1. Actor Ice-T mixed a cocktail at LG’s “The Craft Ice House” experiential launch event—in partnership with Pernod Ricard—for the new InstaView refrigerator at Location05 in New York City on September 19. 2. Reality TV star Colton Underwood handed out Smirnoff Seltzer Raspberry Rosé samples at Fizz Fight in Denver on September 14. 3. Emmy winner Jharell Jerome and his mother Radoyka Jerome raised a bottle of Sterling Vineyards Iridium Cabernet Sauvignon at the 2019 Emmy Winners Circle, hosted by Sterling Vineyards, at the 71st Primetime Emmy Awards Governors Ball in downtown Los Angeles on September 22. 4. Uncle Nearest CEO, co-founder, and chief historian Fawn Weaver spoke at the grand opening of the Nearest Green Distillery in Shelbyville, Tennessee on September 5. 5. The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirk-man visited The Last…

5 min.

Las Vegas: Park MGM Hotel Unveils Agave-Focused Bar Boasting what they claim is the country’s most extensive collection of Tequila and mezcal, Park MGM Las Vegas opened Mama Rabbit Mezcal + Tequila Bar in August. The Oaxaca-themed casino venue lists more than 500 agave spirits labels, including some exclusive bottlings. Mama Rabbit is the brainchild of chef and restaurateur Bricia Lopez, who was born in Oaxaca. The new bar offers modern Mexican cocktails, as well as gaming, live entertainment, and Mexican art. Agave drinks ($16-$20) are the highlight, and the bar serves updated takes on classics alongside new creations. Standout drinks include the Salt of the Earth, mixing Los Nahuales Reposado mezcal, Ancho Reyes Chile liqueur, Lustau Dry Amontillado Los Arcos Sherry, Bittercube Corazón bitters, and house-made Oaxacan cacao syrup, served…

17 min.
new products

Glenfiddich Grand Cru William Grant & Sons is rolling out Glenfiddich Grand Cru, the latest permanent addition to the brand’s port-folio. The 40% abv single malt Scotch whisky was matured for 23 years before finishing in French casks previously used for sparkling wine. Glenfiddich Grand Cru ($300 a 750-ml.) is available nationwide. For more information, visit Glenfiddich.com. Dewar’s Caribbean Smooth Bacardi is launching Dewar’s Caribbean Smooth, an 8-year-old, double-aged blended Scotch finished in Caribbean rum casks. The new release ($22 a 750-ml.) combines up to 40 single malt and grain whiskies aged at least eight years and finished in ex-Caribbean rum casks for around six months. Dewar’s Caribbean Smooth is the first in a series of cask finishes at this entry-level pricing tier. The whisky is available nationwide. For more information, visit Dewars.com. Rémy…

3 min.
brand watch

Patrón Amid a boom in luxury-priced and aged Tequilas, Bacardi-owned Patrón has unveiled a new barrel-aging facility that will double its total capacity for aging spirits to over 20,000 barrels. The new space—a nearly 17,000-square-foot extension named for master distiller Francisco Alcaraz—will feature a tasting area for brand education and an underground bar for VIP entertaining called La Cava. The expansion dovetails with the consumer interest in upscale marques and more varied Tequila consumption. “In the past, Tequila was just shots,” says Antonio Rodriguez, Patrón’s director of production. “Then suddenly, people grew more interested in what’s behind Tequila.” While Patrón isn’t selling all the aged Tequila it can make, its planners are following internal forecasts. Rodriguez notes that the brand wants to have enough capacity to supply the core line, remain…