The cache of Japanese whisky among sophisticated and well-heeled consumers has led to soaring prices for the spirit, but a disquieting amount of the spirit isn't made in Japan, Brad Japhe writes. Due to a combination of undersupply by Japanese whisky distilleries -- caught off guard by its popularity -- and the country's lax whisky-making regulations, Canadian and Scottish whisky is largely what is inside the bottles, with Japan importing an estimated 70% more Canadian whisky in 2017 than it did in the previous four years, per IWSR.
Edmond de Rothschild Heritage vineyards, which owns three Bordeaux chateaus, has tapped East Meets West Vineyards to be its sole importer to China. "We are excited to develop the Chinese market with wines that express luxury, lifestyle, and the spirit of one of the most inspirational families in the wine world," EMW CEO Edouard Duval said.
H.E. Butt Grocery has been approved for a $12.5 million construction project at its Houston distribution center and a $3.5 million remodel and HVAC upgrade for a nearby supermarket. The company is also expected to complete a 64,000-square-foot snack manufacturing plant in the city later this year.
Using customer data to create personalized in-store experiences and rewards programs can set retailers apart from the competition, Abby Kleckler writes. Personalization is the foundation of the Giant Choice Rewards program, which is currently being developed and will allow customers to choose between gas, groceries and charitable giving when redeeming their rewards.
Vegetable proteins like beans, chickpeas, seeds and nuts occasionally make it to the dinner table for 73% of shoppers, according to FMI's 2019 Power of Produce report, and provide an opportunity for grocers to help families eat more plant-based and fresh foods. "Combine the timing of more structured family meals with interest in plant-based eating and you have a veritable bounty of ways to generate interest and sales of produce this fall," FMI's Rick Stein writes.
Longer-lasting avocados from Apeel are entering more than 1,100 Kroger stores across the US. The retailer will also pilot Apeel asparagus and limes in Cincinnati this fall.
Retailer Harry & David has launched its own sparkling wine, comprising Oregon-sourced pinot gris blended with muscat, riesling and grenache blanc. Harry & David Vineyards sparkling wine sells for $59.99 for two bottles and can purchased through the Harry & David website or at the flagship store in Medford, Ore.
Spain's regulatory body for cava, Consejo Regulador Cava, has unveiled a new global marketing push to enhance the reputation of the sparkling wine, whose sales lag far behind those of prosecco and Champagne, writes Edith Hancock. The push is underpinned by three goals: tighter quality-control measures; clearer quality and origin requirements; and an expansive marketing campaign in five countries.
Vintners in Walla Walla, Wash., recently found on some vines phylloxera, a microscopic louse that eats grapevine roots. A treatment for the pest, replanting phylloxera-resistant rootstock, has been employed in multiple vineyards across the world, and the finding "truly does not have an impact to the consumer, as it does not affect wine quality," says Washington State Wine President Steve Warner.
The signature grape of Slovenia is the rebula -- an intriguing varietal that thrives in hot sun and dry soil comprising sandstone, marl and sedimentary rock in the country's Brda region -- and the grape is on course to drive global interest in Slovenian wines, Robert Camuto writes. Vintners there use the rebula to make a gamut of wines, from sparkling to sweet to orange, characterized as "complex, golden, mineral-driven wines with long aging potential," he writes.