Pernod Rejoins Century Council

FILED OCTOBER 1, 2009

Dear Client:

Pernod Ricard USA announced this morning that it’s rejoining The Century Council January 1 after leaving the group in 2006. So why did they leave in the first place? Spokesman Jack Shea told WSD that “some differences arose” between the two groups regarding The Century Council’s NASCAR logo that appeared on cars sponsored by various Century Council members. “The Century Council has since withdrawn the use of those logos on racing vehicles and made changes in its governance structure so the board of directors has oversight of any such uses in the future,” said Jack.

“I’m happy to report those issues have been fully resolved to our satisfaction and throughout the time we were out our belief in the overall mission of The Century Council never wavered....we’re happy to rejoin,” he continued.

In addition to supporting Century Council programs, Pernod will continue its “Accept Responsibility” campaign where it has invested “several million dollars” and “reached an estimated audience of more than 200 million,” according to the company.

A RETURN TO PREMIUM WINE MARKS END OF RECESSION, SAYS SAFEWAY CHIEF

Improvements in coffee and wine sales are tell tale signs that the economy is recovering, said Safeway chief Steven Burd in speaking to investors. In the LA Time’s coverage, Steven said consumers are starting to trade up to premium wines once again after dropping off when the recession first hit. "Our wine category has been a fabulous category for us for years, but we saw a mixed change with a reduction in premium wines, and we've now seen that reverse itself," he said. Safeway shoppers are also trading back up to lattes and other more expensive coffee drinks, which “suggests to me, that we're at, or near, the bottom of this whole thing, and that would be good for all of us if that's true,” he continued.

He makes a great point. Premium wine and higher priced coffee aren’t things we need in order to survive (although sometimes it feels that way), so it’s good news that consumers are starting to gravitate back to those “luxury” purchases. Its especially good news when that piece of information comes from the head of Safeway.

REMY’S SALES DROP SLIGHTLY, COGNAC AND CHAMPAGNE STILL IN TOUGH SPOT

Remy Cointreau’s organic net sales dropped -1.4% which UBS analysts considered “surprisingly strong” in the first 6 months of its fiscal year. Its champagne sector continues to suffer from the global crisis, “although the first half is traditionally of little significance for the category,” said the company. In all, champagne declined -42.6% in organic sales. Cognac grew 6.7% organically worldwide but “the trend remained weak” in the US where sales declined -10%. And finally, Remy’s Scotch category saw gains in the US. Remy didn’t issue a full year guidance.

WOMEN SAY RECESSION HAS MADE THEM FOREVER FRUGAL

A majority of women in the US say their spending habits have changed forever on major purchases and everyday needs, according to a new poll from Citi.

Seventy-five percent of mothers, both single and married, said savings and spending habits will never go back to pre-recession levels. Sixty-one percent of women without children agreed, along with 60% of men. This supports the theory that we can expect a long recovery even after the recession is officially over. Of course, don’t expect people to stick to closely to their promises of frugality – sometimes it’s easier said than done.

"During recessions and depressions, Americans tend to act like Puritans. Eventually they have Puritanism fatigue and they go back to what they were doing before," said Carl Steidtmann, chief economist at Deloitte Research.

WSD BRIEFS:

TWITTER LAUNCHES WINE FOR CHARITY. Twitter is partnering with San Francisco winery Crushpad to launch a new wine label named Fledgling Wine. Bottling begins in August 2010 and consumers can pre-order a Fledgling pinot noir and chardonnay in the meantime. It sells for $20 and $5 will be donated to Room to Read, a non-profit organization that supports global literacy.

MASS SHIPPING REVISTED NEXT MONTH. The Family Winemakers of California will ask a panel of judges to overturn an earlier decision in Massachusetts that bars wineries producing more than 30,000 gallons a year from shipping wine directly to consumers in the state. The 1st Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments in Family Winemakers of California v. Jenkins on November 2. Stay tuned, we’ll keep you posted...

INERTIA BEVERAGE GROUP has launched a new direct-to-trade wine wholesale platform that makes it easier for small producers and niche products to gain access to new markets. Orders can be facilitated online and are routed electronically through the traditional three-tier distribution system as required. Washington wholesaler Cascade Direct is IBG’s first wholesale distribution partner in a series of similar partnerships that “IBG is establishing in states across the country,” said the company.

B-F LAUNCHES ANTIGUO TEQUILA IN US. Brown-Forman can now add Antiguo Tequila to its roster of Casa Herradura brands. Described as a super-premium, lighter bodied and smooth tequila, Angtiguo is reportedly one of the fastest growing tequilas in Mexico. It has a suggested 750ml retail price of $24.99 to $29.99 depending on the expression: Blanco, Reposado and Añejo.

WE REGRET TO REPORT THAT Irving Koppel, Chairman of the Illinois Liquor Control Commission, died on Tuesday, October 13. Chairman Koppel served the Commission and citizens of Illinois for 26 distinguished years, said the ILCC in a statement. “His passion for and dedication to the important issues our industry, like preventing sales to minors, was unrelenting, admirable and incredibly successful. He will be missed by his many friends, colleagues and, of course, his loving family.”


Until Monday, Megan

“All human beings should try to learn before they die what they are running from, and to, and why.”
James Thurber

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