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Brown-Forman Corporation (NYSE:BFA, BFB) sells Finlandia vodka brand to Coca-Cola HBC AG for $220M. The company acquired Finlandia from Altia Corp. (predecessor to the current production partner Anora Group Plc) in multiple phases, obtaining full ownership in 2004. Finlandia was established in 1970 and has remained a leading vodka brand in Central and Eastern Europe with annual volumes of 2.7 million 9-liter cases globally, of which more than 60% is generated within Coca-Cola HBC’s geographic footprint.
Gallo acquires the Hahn Family Wines portfolio, complementing Gallo's existing Central Coast offerings. The strategic investment includes the Smith & Hook, Hahn, and Hahn SLH brands.
Stoup Brewing to acquire Optimism Brewing, a fellow Seattle-based craft brewery. Optimism Brewing produced 1,400 barrels in 2022, up from 1,300 barrels in 2021. Stoup operates taprooms in the Seattle neighborhoods Ballard and Kenmore. The company produced 7,059 barrels of beer in 2022, a +7% increase Y/Y after a +83% increase, to 6,594 barrels in 2021.
After extensive analysis during the diligence phase, Cape May Brewing Company has determined it will not complete the planned acquisition of Flying Fish. In 2021, Flying Fish’s volume declined -13%, to 16,688 barrels, down from its five-year high of 19,250 barrels in 2020, according to the most recent data available from the Brewers Association (BA). Cape May produced about 43,000 barrels in 2022, a decline of around -5%.
Alkaline beverage company Hawai‘i Volcanic rasies $10M from L.A. Libations (SIP incubation program), others. Distributed by PepsiCo Hawai'i. Currently in 4,000 accounts. Competitor Waiākea, $12.6M raised, has partnerships with Aaron Judge and
Energy drink brand Gorgie rasies $6.5M from individual investors. CEO Michelle Cordeiro Grant exited online intimate apparel company, Lively, to Wacoal International Corp. for $105M. BevNET New Beverage Showdown.
Since opening in 2014, New Riff has seen continual, steady growth. Production and storage facilities have expanded in recent years, with a new barrel warehouse added this year and a distillery expansion that increased production by 50% in 2021. New Riff has also increased its distribution, currently available at retail locations and via direct-to-consumer shipping in a total of 31 states.
Mezcal Amarás enters distribution partnership with Beam Suntory. Consumer interest in agave-based spirits continues to grow and it is now the second-largest category in the U.S., with mezcal representing the fastest-growing spirits category globally. In addition to its strength in Mexico, Mezcal Amarás is also available internationally in more than 24 markets including the UK, Spain and China.
A number of environmental issues regarding unsustainable farming practices: depletion of native vegetation, the harvesting of younger agaves, the use of chemicals, eroding top soil by over-farming, and monoculture (the practice of only growing one type of crop at one time in a specific field). Unsustainable production practices: inefficient use of maguey, fermentation boosters, excessive use of water, animal cruelty (such as the use of donkeys or horses to pull the tahona to crush the agave) and excessive manpower.
Maine Craft Distilling launched its successful line of RTD craft cocktails in 2018 and the brand continues to show growth in its core New England Region, where it is the third largest brand in both volume and revenue in the highly competitive grocery channel, currently growing 32% in revenue over last year according to recent Nielsen data.
Sales of bitters rose by 6.2% last year, from 51 million cases in 2021 to 54.2m in 2022.
Vodka took the reins as the best selling spirits product in the 1990s but has now ceded the top spot back to tequila with American whiskey close behind. In 2022, American whiskey grew 10.5%, to $5.1 billion.
In the last 52 weeks (ending June 4), Hard seltzer’s dollar sales declined -8.5% and volume -14.7% in multi-outlet plus convenience channels tracked by Circana.
In the last 52 weeks (through May 20), beer increased dollar sales +3.8% in NIQ-tracked off-premise channels (total U.S. xAOC + liquor + convenience). Comparatively, spirits increased dollar sales +2.4% and wine declined -1.7%.
Schilling Cider Q2 shows a 27% increase in depletions compared to 2022, driven by the success of the Excelsior Brand Family and Local Legend. Top growth cider company on the West Coast and the #2 dollar growth Craft or Cider Brand.
5 key trends shaping the liquor industry: 1. Celebrity brands 2. Premiumization 3. No-and low-alcohol 4. Conscious consumers want a story 5. Supply chain and inflationary issues persist
Poppi has achieved success due to its flavorful profiles and functional ingredients, becoming an Amazon best-seller and hitting massive growth, 611% YoY, in retailers like Target.
Spindrift Spiked increased sales +188% and volume (measured by case sales) +31% in NIQ-tracked off-premise channels in the last 52 weeks (through April 22), according to data shared by 3 Tier Beverages.
The world’s biggest-selling vodka brands ranges from 4.1M to 28.1M cases (Sminoff). The category sold 341.5M nine‐litre cases last year, compared with 331.4M in 2021.
HOP WTR launches Ruby Red Grapefruit flavor
Heaven’s Door, American whiskeys founded by Bob Dylan, unveiled the latest addition to its Decade Series with a Straight Rye Whiskey aged for 10 years, priced at $99.99
Bizzy Cold Brew updates branding that emphasizes sustainability and speaks clearly to its consumer base about the value proposition of the brand
Wildwonder launches Pineapple Paradise. The full lineup now consists of 7 SKUs including flavors like Mango Gold (formerly Mango Turmeric), Guava Rose and Strawberry Passion.
Pureboost, Amazon’s number one best-selling antioxidant clean energy drink, launches its newest product – Apple Cider Vinegar.
Casa Azul Tequila Soda launches Grapefruit flavor. The brand differentiates itself from many traditional canned drinks by utilizing real spirits, not malt liquor, and features a simple ingredient list that includes sparkling water, Tequila, natural fruit flavors, and agave nectar.
Cape May launches Beach Blends Canned Cocktails through Cape May Spirits Co
Hercules Mulligan will now be available in over 40 markets across the U.S., which includes RNDC, Martignetti, and Empire
NOVA and San Diego Wave FC unveil La Ola Dragon Fruit
BODYARMOR rapid rehydration beverage, BODYARMOR Flash I.V.. Designed to deliver the latest in active hydration and functionality for consumers without compromising on taste, BODYARMOR Flash I.V. is scientifically formulated to ensure the perfect balance of carbohydrates and electrolytes for faster absorption and replenishment.
BevNET: The crossover of bev-alc and non-alc products has faced some pushback, with some, including the National Beer Wholesalers Association, expressing concerns that large non-alc beverage companies are using pay-to-play relationships – prohibited in bev-alc – to get better shelf space.
BevNET: Super Coffee’s is planning for flat growth to reset on business fundamentals and in the end.
BevNET Live: Beverage Showdown finalists include The Bad Tea Co extra caffeinated tea, Gutsy fermented beverages, Gorgie sparkling energy drinks, PARCH non-alcoholic agave spirits, daio sparkling water and Life Cider sparkling apple cider vinegar lemonade. Parch, currently available in 47 states and 550 stores and exporting into Canada, won the showdown.
Disclosure: Highly Objective is a Beverage and Cannabis blog curated by Dai Truong, who leads Cannabis Investment Banking and Total Beverage Business Development at Arlington Capital Advisors. Third-party information presented here and links to third-party content are for informational purposes only and are not intended as a recommendation, offer or solicitation for the purchase or sale of any financial instrument, security or investment. The information provided is not warranted as to completeness or accuracy and is subject to change without notice. Linking to third-party sites in no way implies an endorsement or affiliation of any kind between Arlington Capital Advisors, LLC, or its affiliates and any third party. The information in this blog constitutes my own opinions (and any opinions posted by guest bloggers from time to time) and it should not be regarded as a description of services provided by Arlington Capital Advisors, LLC or any affiliate.