In Brief

09 July, 2010

Constellation profits upRestructuring of Constellation’s UK and Australian wine business – and the sale of its Gaymer cider division – have contributed to a slight fall in revenue in the first quarter. But profitability was up, boosted by improving market conditions in the US and some new product launches. In Australia and Europe “wine net sales on an organic constant currency basis increased 1% versus the previous year’s first quarter”, the company said.

ACS calls for wage views The Association of Convenience Stores is asking members for their views on the impact of past increases in the national minimum wage. The findings will form the centrepiece for its submission to the Low Pay Commission ahead of its recommendations to the government in early 2011. ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “By spending a few minutes adding their personal experiences to our evidence base, retailers will be able to have a real impact on the decision-making process.”??Denbies rebrands sparklersDenbies has rebranded its range of sparkling wines, comprising Greenfields 2006, Whitedowns 2006 and Sparkling Rosé 2007. The Surrey-based English wine producer has also released Cubitt Reserve 2006, a 100% Pinot Noir white fizz.

Single de Samalens releasedArmagnac house Samalens has launched Single de Samalens, a range of spirits distilled from single varietal Ugni Blanc wines and aged in Gascon oak. The range comes in eight, 12 and 15-year-old expressions. Samalens is represented in the UK by Bibendum Wines and the new range has won a listing with 12 Nicolas stores.

Mount Gay chases high endFirst Drinks is to launch a super-premium version of Mount Gay rum in August. Mount Gay 1703 will be named after the date the rum was founded and will be aimed at top-end on-trade accounts.

Oz comes topOz Clarke is the leading UK expert on wine, according to a poll conducted by the EU’s Discover the Origin food and drink campaign. Nearly all those surveyed claimed that labels with quality assurances, such as AOC or DOC, helped provide them with a recognisable quality guarantee.

Fizz adds to its cider rangeFresh Trade UK has added a Cooler Passion version to its Fizz range of fruit-flavoured ciders. The range is available in 50cl bottles and 33cl and 50cl cans.

It has also launched Fizz apple cider in 45cl PET bottles.

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Hofmeister may need more than the bear essentials to succeed

So, George The Bear is back. It’s hard for some of us oldies to fathom, but there are those under, say, 40 who can’t actually remember Hofmeister and feel the cultural jolt supplied by the return of both the bear and the beer whose marketing campaigns it used to front.

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Is blended Scotch overshadowed by single malt in retailers?

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