Chain Beverage Buzz: March 18, 2013

Technomic Reveals Adult Beverage Industry Growth Drivers
With sales approaching a record $200 billion, the adult beverage industry continued on its growth path in 2012 despite a challenging economic environment. The trends in spirits, wine and beer prove yet again that Americans are embracing adult beverages as appropriate accompaniments to food and socializing. Total adult beverage volume grew 1 percent to 7.7 billion gallons, while dollars increased 3.6 percent to reach $199.8 billion, according to Technomic’s recently-released Special Trends in Adult Beverage Report: 2013 State of the Industry report. MORE>>

James L. Barrett, owner of Chateau Montelena in Napa Valley, passed away March 14
He was 86. Montelena’s 1973 Chardonnay helped put California on the wine map when it took top honors at the 1976 Judgment of Paris tasting, winning over a field of famous white Burgundies. Barrett was one of California’s wine pioneers. “He was a tough and loving man who will be greatly missed at home, at the winery and throughout the Napa Valley,” said his son Bo Barrett in a statement. “My dad died of a life well-lived.” MORE>>

Restaurateurs tell Senate minimum wage hike will hurt
A New Jersey-based restaurateur told a Senate panel that increasing the federal minimum wage would have a negative effect on the restaurant industry. Melvin “Mel” Sickler, a multiunit franchisee of the Auntie Anne’s Pretzels and Cinnabon brands, testified March 14 before the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on recently introduced legislation that would increase the federal minimum wage rate by 39 percent, from $7.25 an hour to $10.10 per hour. MORE>>

Dewar’s Makes Flavored Scotch Play With Highlander Honey
The Bacardi-owned Dewar’s Scotch brand is entering the thriving flavored whisk(e)y category with its launch of Dewar’s Highlander Honey. Rolling out in April, the 80-proof, honey-infused offering will be priced at a slight premium to the brand’s core White Label variant. The new entry is part of Dewar’s overall efforts to engage younger LDA consumers, particularly brown spirits drinkers in the 25- to 29-year-old range. MORE>>

WSWA Educational Foundation Announces Scholarships to Support Member Firms' Children
Applications are now available for the WSWA Educational Foundation College Scholarship Program that awards scholarships each year to help student dependents of WSWA member firm employees pay for college. As in past years, the foundation will award ten $2,500 scholarships. In addition, because of the generous support of wholesalers and suppliers attending the 2013 Convention, an additional fifteen $1,000 scholarships will be presented. “WSWA is proud to help support the academic careers of our member firm employees’ children and I encourage all WSWA member firms to urge children of employees to apply,” WSWA President and CEO Craig Wolf said. MORE>>

UK wine, spirits sales fall as consumers cut costs: WSTA
Alcohol volume sales in the UK have fallen by 3% in the off-trade and 4% in the on-trade in 2012 driven by year-on-year alcohol duty rises, according to a market report by UK-based organization for the wine and spirit industry Wine & Spirit Trade Association (WSTA). If the Alcohol Duty Escalator carries on at the current rate till 2015, duty on wine and spirits will have increased by 50% and 44%, respectively, since 2008. This rise in alcohol duty has forced consumers to cut back their spending on alcohol in the country. MORE>>

Restaurant Chain Growth Report 3/12/13
ROOSTERS of Columbus, OH (founded 1988) has increased by 5 units, from 25 to 30 (20% growth). These are family/casual American restaurants with full bar and seating for around 150. Meal periods are lunch and dinner. Per person check average is around $6-$12. Locations are more than 30% franchised and are in IN, KY, OH and WV. Dallas, TX-based LA DUNI CAFÉ has increased by 1 unit, from 3 to 4 (33% growth). This is a family/casual Spanish restaurant concept, open for lunch and dinner. Per person check average is $8-$20, with full bar service. Seating is for about 150. Catering and online ordering are available. All locations are in TX. MORE>>




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