B-F and Bacardi Pull Out of RNDC in AL, WV and MS

FILED NOVEMBER 26, 2013

Dear Client:

Beginning January 1, 2014 Brown-Forman and Bacardi USA will be transferring brokerage services from Republic National Distributing Company (RNDC) to Hive Beverage International (The Hive) in Alabama, West Virginia and Mississippi.

The Hive is a full service marketing agency that offers brand building, strategic planning, digital services, print, outdoor and broadcast advertising etc. They have worked with Brown-Forman in Canada for over 14 years and is currently B-F Canada's exclusive distributor, as well as their sales and marketing arm across the country.

"We are grateful to RNDC for its work on our brands in these markets and the excellent work it does, and will continue to do, for us in other markets across the middle of the US," Phil Lynch, Brown-Forman's vp, director of corporate communication and public relations, tells WSD.

A Bacardi spokesperson tells WSD they are looking to test and gain a better understanding of their route to market while applying focus and attention to enhance their brands in these marketplaces.

"We will work closely with our current partner Republic National
Distributing Company (RNDC) in these three states to ensure a smooth
transition. RNDC remains a trusted partner and will continue to handle our business in Texas, Ohio, North Carolina and other key states," says Bacardi. "Our two companies will continue to have a close relationship at the state level in all control states and we continue to work within the three tier model."

IMPORT WINES GAIN SHARE ON-PREMISE

Although domestic wine volumes in restaurants and bars outnumber import volumes by almost 2:1, imports have been steadily gaining share in 2013, according to a release from GuestMetrics.

Domestic wines represent 65.3% of wine volumes on-premise, though imports have gain a 0.7% share through early November. Italian wines have gained 0.8% volume share points, driven by the growth of sparkling wines, prosecco, red blends and chianti. Argentine wines have gained 0.5 volume share points, driven by the growth of malbec, and to a lesser extent, cabernet sauvignon. New Zealand has gained 0.2 share points, driven by the growth of sauvignon blanc. Interestingly, California has experienced the second greatest loss of volume share points (0.4), following Australia down 0.5. Chile and the Oregon and Washington region have also lost 0.2 share points, respectively.

As for varietals, malbec and moscato have led the volume share gains at 0.3 points each. Cabernet sauvignon, pinot grigio and sparkling wine/Champagne have earned 0.2 share points. On the other hand, the largest share losses were felt by merlot (0.45), chardonnay (0.4) and shiraz (0.2).

REMY COINTREAU'S SOLID US PERFORMANCE NOT ENOUGH TO OFFSET DECLINES IN CHINA

Remy Cointreau's first half sales (ended September 30) showed strong momentum in the Americas with double-digit growth driven by the US. However, it was not enough to offset the slowdown in China, which resulted in an organic sales decline of 3.6% worldwide.

Talk about China receive the lion's share of attention on this morning's earnings call, but Remy Cointreau chief Frederic Pflanz did mention that Remy Martin Cognac and Cointreau delivered good growth in the US, and Bruichladdich has doubled its production.

Frederic added that they've seen a slowdown in the US recently, "but that's part of the business and the high-end is doing well, rather than the lower end." With the holidays coming up, he said Remy Cointreau's partners are "relatively confident for this season."

Remy believes the business environment will be less favorable in the second half of the year, but they expressed confidence in the US market. "I think on the whole, things are going well in the Unites States," said Frederic.

WSD BRIEFS:

DIAGEO IS EXTENDING THE BAILEYS brand to include a vanilla cinnamon Irish cream flavor. The brand is available nationwide with a suggested retail price of $21 a 750 ml. To support the extension, Diageo is taking over 900 North Michigan Shops in Chicago for "Stylish Shots on the Go" photo-booths. Baileys Vanilla Cinnamon joins Baileys Original Irish Cream, Baileys with a hint of Hazelnut, Baileys with a hint of Caramel, and Baileys with a hint of Coffee.


MISSOURI-BASED MCCORMICK DISTILLING, owners of Tequila Rose, Tarantula Tequila and McCormick Vodka among others, is debuting a North American whiskey: Triple Crown. Besides the standard 750 ml and 1 L bottles, Triple Crown will be available in single and double serve flexible pouches. Triple Crown is now hitting shelves in 38 states. It will retail for approximately $24 a 750 ml, and $2 and $3 for the single serve and double serve pouches, respectively.

Until tomorrow, Emily

"Your past is just a story and once you realize this it has no power over you."
-- Chuck Palahniuk

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