FYI News, Notes, & Trends


Beverage Dynamics Named Best B-to-B Retail Magazine

Beverage Dynamics was named Gold Winner in the Business-to-Business Retail category of the 2004 Eddie Awards, a prestigious annual competition sponsored by Folio magazine. Folio is well known as the publication of magazine industry, covering the business of the magazine management since 1972. For the past 15 years, it has sponsored the “Celebration of Excellence” Awards, for both editorial achievement (Eddies) and graphic design (Ozzies).

The Eddies are open to all magazines — consumer, b-to-b, associations and on-line. The magazines are evaluated against their own mission statement rather than against the competition. Entrants are judged on how well they fulfill their mission statements, the quality of their content and how the overall design and production supports their mission.

As readers of this publication know, Beverage Dynamics is the largest national magazine solely devoted to the needs of the off-premise beverage alcohol retailer. Our mission, briefly, is to provide crucial information on spirits, wine, beer and other beverages to aid our readership in maximizing their business potential. In addition, we try to cover a wide range of retail operations — from category management to POS software/hardware advances to store security issues — intended to inform our readers about the latest trends in retail. The May/June 2004 Beverage Dynamics is the issue that was judged tops in its category.


According to Folio, “the awards are judged by a carefully selected group of experts, a ‘Who’s Who’ of the industry’s leading editors, publishers and consultants. Their combined expertise runs the gamut from the largest consumer to the smallest trade publications, both specialty and general interest.”

There were more than 2,000 entries in the Awards this year. The Gold Award (shown here) was presented to Beverage Dynamics at the Awards Banquet, attended by about 400 guests, in New York City on November 15.

Richard Brandes, Editor-in-Chief

Constellation to Buy Robert Mondavi

The world’s largest winemaker, Fairport, NY-based Constellation Brands, has agreed to purchase Robert Mondavi Corp. for an estimated $1.36 billion. The Mondavi organization — known for brands ranging from the large-volume Woodbridge label to the rarified Opus One — had previously gone public with controversial plans for restructuring, which never had time to materialize. Richard Sands, the chief executive of Constellation, said that the announced reorganization was the impetus behind the offer for a company he had been interested in acquiring for some time.

Sands noted, “With Robert Mondavi, we will emerge with an unmatched portfolio of wine offerings.”

Indeed, Constellation has bought a dozen companies since 1993, and features some of the highest-volume wines in the country (Almaden, Inglenook and Vendange, for example), as well as some of the fastest-growing (Blackstone, Ravenswood and Alice White).

KJ-FYI Kendall-Jackson winemaster Randy Ullom introduced a new line of high-end wines, featuring estate-grown grapes from the cool, coastal highlands of California. The Highland Estate line essentially replaces K-J’s Great Estates wine tier. Soon available in select retail markets nationwide, Highland Estate wines include the 2002 Kendall-Jackson Hawkeye Mountain Estate Cabernet Sauvignon (suggested retail $45), 2002 Taylor Mountain Estate Merlot ($35), 2003 Seco Highlands Estate Pinot Noir ($35), 2002 Alisos Hills Estate Syrah ($35) and 2002 Camelot Highlands Estate Chardonnay ($25, being released in June). The wines are all 100% barrel fermented and all feature 100% estate grown varietal grapes.

Beer Growth Brand Award Winners

Each autumn, the Adams Beverage Group presents its Growth Brand Awards to managers of best-selling brands in the beer industry. The winners were highlighted in the September/October issue of Beverage Dynamics. Here are three of the company executives receiving their awards from Charlie Forman, Adams Beverage Goup vp and publisher.

Heineken Growth Brand

Bryan Semkuley (right), vp, marketing,
InBev USA, accepts Adams Beer
Growth Brand Awards from Forman.


Dan Rotella (left), national
accounts marketing manager,
Heineken USA, Inc., accepting
2004 Adams Growth Brand
Awards from Forman.

Diageo Beer GBAé.101804 003

David Eickholt, president, Diageo-
Guinness USA (right), receiving Beer
Growth Brand Awards from Forman.

Smirnoff Debuts Vodka Prepared Cocktails

0502fyi6Diageo has launched Smirnoff Signatures, a line of prepared cocktails that includes two popular vodka drinks: the Screwdriver and the Cape Codder. Using Smirnoff vodka, Signatures Screwdriver is a blend of orange and natural fruit flavors, while Signature Cape Codder includes cranberry and natural fruit flavor.

Smirnoff Signatures are available across the U.S. in 750 ml and 1.75 liter sizes. The 750 ml bottle provides six cocktails for $8.99 suggested retail, while the 1.75 liter provides 14 cocktails for $14.99.

The Prepared Cocktail category grew 7.9% in 2003, according to the 2004 Adams Liquor Handbook. And the latest figures from IRI note that Prepared Cocktails have increased 10% this past year.

Business Briefs

Steve Bellini has been named CEO of Future Brands. Well known in the industry, Bellini was previously president, North America, for Seagram, and more recently held an executive position at DISCUS… Ketil Eriksen has been appointed new president for V&S Absolut Spirits (part of the V&S Group, Stockholm, Sweden), which handles the production, marketing and sales of Absolut Vodka, and several other products… Allied Domecq Spirits, North America, has appointed Tom Steffanci as president, Northern Business Unit… Sidney Frank Importing Co., Inc. named John Frank vice chairman. Formerly executive vice president, John is instrumental in all the day-to-day business of the company, including legal and government affairs… Brown-Forman Corp. agreed to sell its shares in Glenmorangie plc to Moet Hennessy for an estimated $92 million. Under pre-existing contracts, Brown-Forman still maintains distribution and marketing rights to the Glenmorangie brands in the U.S…. Brown-Forman Corp. has acquired the remaining 20% interest in Finlandia Vodka Worldwide, which gives B-F 100% ownership of the company… Gosling’s Rums are now being imported into the U.S. by Castle Brands (USA) Corp


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