Canadian Wine Imports Accelerate During the Pandemic

Canadian wine imports grew by 11% in May relative to the same month a year ago based on data collected by the Canada Border Services Agency. This follows a double-digit volume gain in April and a slight contraction in March. For the three-month period beginning in March, the month when the COVID-19 outbreak was officially declared a pandemic, wine imports increased by 6% to 13.3 million cases. This represents an acceleration in demand as imports had slipped a bit during the 12 months leading up to the pandemic.

Spirits also gained ground over the last three months with a 7% increase in volume, but beer imports plunged 16%.

Canada is the 8th largest global wine importer and imported wines, including bulk wines destined for International Canadian Blends (ICBs), represent around 85% of Canadian wine sales by volume. Among the largest provincial markets, growth has been strongest in British Columbia and Ontario. Quebec, the country’s leading wine importer, has experienced only a slight increase in volume since the pandemic began while Alberta has recorded a double-digit decline.

The value of imported wines has increased at a slower pace than volume – suggesting that consumers have traded down during the pandemic. Indeed, gains over the last three months were driven largely by surging bulk wine shipments (specifically from California), which are typically blended with domestic wine and marketed as value-priced ICBs. Bulk wine imports grew by 10% relative to the same period last year.

Packaged wine imports increased at about half that rate with wines in large format containers of two liters or more (think boxed wine) outpacing those arriving in smaller bottles. Italian wines led the pack in the packaged wine category with a 13% year-over-year increase in volume. Demand for bubbles also appears to have accelerated during the pandemic as sparkling wine imports popped by 13%.

The import data suggests that wine demand in Canada remains healthy, but the Canadian wine industry has not fared as well in terms of exports, though they are not a major source of income. For the three months ending in May, packaged wine exports declined by 54% in value and 66% in volume. By comparison, Canadian beer exports were down by nearly 25% in both value and volume while spirits bucked the trend with only a slight decline in volume and a solid gain in value.

Source:  Vintage Economics

Rémy Cointreau in Negotiations to Acquire Champagne J. de Telmont

The Rémy Cointreau Group announced last week that it has entered into exclusive negotiations with the Lhopital family to acquire a majority stake in the capital of the Champagne J. de Telmont company.

This family-owned champagne estate was founded in 1912 in Damery, near Epernay, on the slopes of the hills of the Marne Valley. It has been crafting champagnes under the brand “J. de Telmont” for over a century. J. de Telmont is one of the last family-owned estates in Champagne:  Pascale Lhopital and Bertrand Lhopital represent the fourth generation of true master craftmen in the art of champagne.  Bertrand Lhopital, alongside the Rémy Cointreau Group, will continue working with his team on the upstream side (vineyard/sourcing) and on the champagne production side to perpetuate the estate’s know-how and family tradition.

The scope of the acquisition transaction includes the brands, stocks, production resources and real estate assets of the domain, as well as vineyards in Champagne. This acquisition would enrich Rémy Cointreau’s portfolio of exceptional wines and spirits with a high-end champagne brand that offers significant growth potential overtime, especially on the international market.

The signing of the deeds of acquisition is contingent, in particular, on the statutory process for notifying employees. The transaction, which will be submitted for the administrative authorizations required by laws in force, should be completed in the third quarter of the financial year 2020/21.

PERNOD RICARD OFFERS FREE “SUSTAINABLE” ONLINE BARTENDING COURSE

Pernod Ricard has just announced the launch of its online sustainable and responsible bartending training modules, targeting bar professionals.

The Covid-19 crisis has hit the hospitality industry hard. French drinks giant Pernod Ricard predicts solidarity, sustainability and responsibility will be paramount in future, and as such, the company has partnered with online training providers UNITAR and EdApp to create free bartending online courses on green and responsible practices, available worldwide.

Pernod Ricard’s in-house training group Pernod Ricard University has developed the courses in partnership with anti-waste bartending organizations TrashTiki and the Sustainable Restaurant Association. The curriculum covers all aspects of sustainability and responsibility – from fresh ingredient use and responsible serving of alcoholic beverages to waste management – directly aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It is based on four pillars (ingredients, service, bar and staff) and assesses each through the 5Rs model: Rethink, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Respect.

There is also a stand-alone course dedicated to alcohol and responsible drinking. This course focuses on what alcohol is, differentiates myths from facts, and equips users with knowledge to encourage responsible drinking.

Vanessa Wright, Vice President of sustainability and responsibility at Pernod Ricard, commented: “As Créateurs de Convivialité, we strongly believe in sharing with others and supporting communities. During the Covid-19 crisis, among other initiatives, our Group has been supporting the bartending community through various projects including Jameson’s partnership with the US Bartenders’ Guild, Pernod Ricard South Africa’s donation to local hospitality workers and the J’aime mon Bistrot programme in France.

“Bartenders, and the hospitality industry more broadly, have always been very important partners, as well as drivers of innovation – perfectly placed at the forefront of our changing world, embedding sustainable and responsible practices and enabling others to do the same. In preparing for the future, this online training module is another milestone of our joint journey towards the bar world of tomorrow.”

Click here to access the online course for more details.

 

 

 

L’uva Bella, Ohio’s Largest Winery Acquired by Millennial Investors  

L’uva Bella, the largest winery by volume in the state of Ohio, has been acquired by Marisa Sergi, 26, and Evan Schumann, 25, through their investment fund, S’quared Holdings.

The winery, based in Poland Township, primarily produces bulk wine for private label and retail channels. It also makes a range of grape and other fruit juice products.

The financial details of the transaction have not been disclosed, but the price paid by S’quared Holdings is believed to be “in the mid seven-figure range”.

The winery was founded 15 years ago by Sergi’s father, Frank. Marisa is a third-generation winemaker and already produces wine under the RedHead Wine label, which is distributed in Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania, with plans to also launch in Kentucky, Virginia and Tennessee.

She said she hopes to add further product lines to the winery’s range, as well as branch into organic wine and extend distribution into five to 10 more states.

“We’ll also be implementing innovative partnerships and plan to hire six to 15 more people in the next three to five years,” she said. “We are willing to bet on ourselves, our team, and our community despite the challenging current environment. We believe we can build a bright and prosperous future for our company and our employees by continuing to produce great products and to go above and beyond to make our customers happy.”

Her business partner, Evan Schumann, studied entrepreneurship and finance at university and is member of the fifth generation of his family’s business, Ohio-based metal refinery Schumann & Co. He is the founder of Zitek Corporation and management consulting firm Matrix Growth Ventures, and has also worked for Magnus International and PrintCB.

Source:  Drinks Business and L’uva Bella

 

WBWE Asia Launches Virtual Wine Exhibition July 12-13 in Yantai

The World Bulk Wine Exhibition, WBWE Asia has just launched a virtual wine exhibition, which will include an online trading system in which wineries will establish direct contact with buyers.

How it will work

The technology-based communication system will allow wineries to close deals without being in person at the trade fair. Wines will be shipped to China as usual and displayed with a promotional stand, material and staff representing the winery. Chinese buyers and merchants will be able to taste the wine and can ask winery managers any further details via WBWE Asia’s virtual system.

WBWE will be inviting buyers, purchasing managers, consultants, managers, merchants and the media to the fair on 12-13 July in the city of Yantai. All attendees will receive a list of those exhibiting before the show starts.

Winery managers who are unable to travel to the exhibition can instead “virtually attend”.

The statement noted: “Winery managers will be able to do business from their offices or their place of origin, whilst virtually attending the fair with the same trading warranty as if they were in China.

“Right now, it is too soon to be certain that the fairs of the future will follow this route, yet we cannot afford to run the risk of stopping exports while we wait to see what unfolds.”

“WBWE Asia ensures that your winery is accurately displayed and that your wines are available to be tasted by an important portfolio of buyers and distributors from China, whether you can attend the fair in person or via the internet.”

WBWE Asia noted that the bulk wine market was helping the Chinese market to recover from Covid losses. Imports of bag-in-box (BIB) to China rose from 1.12 million litres to 1.14 million litres in the first quarter of 2020.

World Bulk Wine Exhibition ASIA Website wbweasia.com