Constellation Names Jay Wright COO

FILED JUNE 1, 2011

Dear Client:

Constellation Brands has announced that Jay Wright, currently president of its North American division, has been named chief operating officer, effective immediately. His replacement was not named. "The creation of the COO role is the latest step in the company's evolution to further refine and streamline its organization," said the company. Jay will continue to report to chief Rob Sands.

Jay was named president of the North American business in December 2009. Previously, he served as evp and chief commercial officer of Constellation Wines U.S.


Dollar sales and volumes grew 2% and 2.1%, respectively, for spirits in food and drug stores, based on Symphony IRI data in the 52-week ending May 15. Prices were down just slightly (-2 cents) per volume. There is evidence of discounting across all the spirits price tiers, but mostly notably in the super-premium, ultra and luxury categories.

Out of the top 40 brands, here are the brands that have posted the most dollar sales and volume growth in food and drug stores, based on SIRI scans:

Jameson: 29.7% (dollar sales) and 33.1% (volume)

Maker's Mark: 27.1% and 30.9%

Svedka: 25% and 27.6%

UV Vodka: 19.7% and 22.4%

Sauza Tequila: 12.6% and 18.2%

Seagram Vodka: 12.7% and 10.6%

Evan Williams: 10.5% and 8.7%

Jim Beam: 6.6% and 7%

Canadian Club: 5.6% and 7.7%

Skol Vodka: 5% and 3.5%

Crown Royal: 4.6% and 2.5%

Skyy: 2.7% and 6.1%

Ketel One: 2.5% and 5%

Hennessy: 1.9% and 0.5%

Jack Daniels: 0.4% and 0.3%

Absolut: 0.2% and 3.3%

Those brands posting gains in high double digits and beyond include: Skinny Girl, Familia Camarena Tequila, Pinnacle, Tito's Vodka, Ciroc and Sobieski.

And here are the brands experiencing declines:

Gordon's Vodka: -15% (dollar sales) and -15.5% (volume)

Popov: -12.6% and -13.3%

Jose Cuervo: -6.5% and -6.7%

Stolichnaya: -6.5% and -3.8%

Southern Comfort: -6.4% and -0.4%

Seagram's Gin: -4.2% and -0.6%

Dewars: -4.2% and -5.1%

Canadian Mist: -4.2% and -4.9%

E&J Brandy: -4% and -5.1%

Tanqueray: -3.4% and -4.3%

Malibu: -2.9% and -1.9%

Black Velvet: -2.7% and -3.5%

Bacardi: -2.2% and -1.9%

Christian Brothers Brandy: -1.9% and -1.8%

Johnnie Walker: -1.6% and -4.6%

Jagermeister: -1.4% and -0.7%

Seagram's 7: -1.3% and -3%

Smirnoff: -1.1% and -1.8%

Grey Goose: -0.9% and +0.4%

Patron: -0.9% and +0.8%

Cuervo Prepared Cocktails: -0.6% and -0.3%

Captain Morgan: -0.4% and -0.8%

Bailey's -0.2% and +0.2%

So how does that compare to our random sampling of grocery store weekly ads over the Memorial Day holiday?

VODKA WARS. Grey Goose 750ml is going for $26.99 ($1.06 per ounce) at a Los Angeles Ralphs and $24.99 (99 cents per oz) at a Chicago Binny's. Ketel One 750ml sold for $21.99 (87 cents an oz) at a Chicago Dominick's and $20.99 (83 cents) at an Albuquerque Smith's. Skyy Vodka 1.75 L sold for $19.99 (34 cents an oz) at the LA Ralph's, while 750ml went for $12.59 (20 cents an oz) at a Las Vegas Smith's. Smirnoff 1.75 sold for $17.99 (30 cents per oz) at Chicago Dominick's and $16.99 (29 cents) at Chicago Binny's. A Phoenix Fry's is selling Absolut, Jagermeister or Three Olives 750ml for $16.99, or 67 cents an ounce.

TEQUILA. We saw a rather wide range of prices for Jose Cuervo Gold 1.75L: $14.99 (25 cents an oz) at an Albuquerque Smith's, $24.99 (42 cents) at an LA Ralphs and $26.99 (46 cents) at a Chicago Binny's.

WHISKEY. Maker's Mark 750m is selling for $22.99 (91 cents) at Chicago Binny's, $23.99 (95 cents) at Chicago Dominick's and $20.69 (82 cents) at a LA Smith's. Meanwhile, Crown Royal 750ml is selling for as low as $17.99 (71 cents per oz) at a Chicago Binny's and $20.69 at LA Smith's.

RUM. Captain Morgan 1.75ml sold for $21.99 (37 cents) at a Chicago Smith's and $20.69 (82 cents) at a Las Vegas Smith's. Chicago Dominick's is also selling Bacardi Light or Gold for $17.99 per 1.75L bottle.


Remember that Skyy Spirits lawsuit we reported on last week? You'll recall that Skyy claims Phillips Products' Ice Hole XXX is a direct trademark infringement of X-Rated Fusion Liqueur. Well Phillips Products has since responded to the complaint, stating: "No likelihood of confusion is created by Defendants' use of their trademarks and trade dress because Defendants' trademarks and trade dress are not confusingly similar to Plaintiff's alleged trademarks and trade dress." Phillips is asking the court to dismiss the complaint and award them attorneys fees and related costs.


Crimson Wine Group announced this afternoon it has acquired Seghesio Family Vineyards, which specializes in estate-grown Zinfandel wines. It joins Crimson's portfolio of wines including: Archery Summit (OR), Chamisal Vineyards (CA) and Pine Ridge Vineyards (CA).

"Much of the family will remain in place in the day to day management and operations of the winery including winemaker Ted Seghesio and Peter [Seghesio], who will assume the role of Winegrower," said the statement.

Details of the sale were not disclosed. Demeter Group acted as exclusive financial advisor to Seghesio.


NEW YORK LAWMAKERS are proposing legislation that would require restaurants and retailers to purchase wine directly from a wholesaler rather than an auction house. The goal is to prevent sales of counterfeit wine. The bill (No. A06884) was introduced April 5 and is garnering criticism - most recently from a blog post in WSJ (also a wine retailer). "No longer will New York restaurants be able to source wines from auctions and private collectors to bring you a wide variety of the world's finest and rarest wine. Plus, your New York retailer will now be at the mercy of the wholesalers," writes Jay McInerney.

Until tomorrow, Megan

"You can't build a reputation on what you are going to do."
Henry Ford

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