Shop till you drop  

Consumer confidence hit a high in the third quarter of 2014 after zigzagging in earlier quarters this year, according to the latest Information Resources Inc. (IRI) MarketPulse survey. This uptick is good news for marketers, because shoppers are rolling into the holiday season on a high note and are willing to spend a bit more, it notes. In fact, the National Retail Federation is predicting that retail sales will be up by 4.1 percent in November and December. This holiday season, 5 percent of consumers say they will spend more on food and beverages, compared with 4 percent in 2013 and 3 percent in 2011. Overall, 2014 holiday sales are expected to reach $616.9 billion, which is more than a 3.1 percent increase compared with 2013, IRI reports.


Living luxuriously 

Taking the fanciness of wine up a level, XXIV Karat adds an extra-rich quality to its sparkling wines: 24-karat gold. XXIV Karat Grand Cuvée and Rosé wines are infused with 24-karat gold flakes, which are biologically inert and safe for human consumption, the company says. To make the wine even more memorable, the wine bottles are each fitted with an LED light that illuminates the bottle from within to make the gold flakes sparkle. The brand aims to help consumers create memories with luxury wine at an affordable price point, says Chief Executive Officer Dan Holland. XXIV Karat wines are suitable for a night in a club or an everyday occasion at home, he adds.


Energy delivery

As delivery services like Drizly have started to bring beer, wine and spirits direct to consumers’ homes, the trend now has extended to the energy shots segment. offers a membership service that brings proprietary energy shots directly to consumers’ doors for a monthly fee.

 Each Dollar Shot Club shot features 190 mg of caffeine in each bottle and contains B vitamins and vitamin D, the company says. Dollar Shots Club members have the ability to choose from three options: a five-pack for $5 a month plus shipping and handling; a 15-pack for $15 a month plus shipping and handling; and a 30-pack for $30 a month plus shipping and handling. This program was designed to be a less-expensive alternative to purchasing energy shots at retail, the company says. 


Looking to the past


Next year, Campari will take fans on a journey through its past with its 2015 calendar titled “Mythology Mixology.” In 12 photographs featuring actress Eva Green, the brand tells the story of its history and links 12 different periods with 12 of its most popular cocktails. From the Negroni cocktail, created by Count Camillo Negroni himself in 1919, to the modern Campari Orange Passion, a contemporary spin on the classic Campari Orange, the calendar celebrates the recipes that have stood the test of time and are still adored today, the company says. The 9,999 printed copies of the calendar will be distributed to friends of Campari around the world. Other fans can follow the journey on social media using the hashtag #CampariCalendar.


Fashion pulse

Pepsi partnered with Vogue Italia in a 10-month search for the next big thing in fashion. The culmination of the project is “The Pulse of New Talent,” a 20-piece fashion collection of men’s and women’s clothing and accessories designed by 10 emerging design talents from around the world. The following are some of the featured designers: Masha Reva of Ukraine, Stella Jean of Italy, Suno from the United States, Little Shilpa from India, Plore of China, Madiyah Al Sharqi of the United Arab Emirates, Au Jour Le Jour of Italy, Miuniku of India, Lulwa Al Amin of Bahrain, and William Okpo from the United States. Of these, Pepsi identified Reva as a designer destined for greatness. To help Reva continue on her design journey, Pepsi will support the development of her brand with a $50,000 investment.


Flavor it yourself

To offer consumers a healthier alternative to artificially flavored spirits, Zing Anything released its Vodka Zinger, which allows consumers to craft naturally flavored vodkas at home. Consumers can add fruits, vegetables or other natural ingredients and vodka to the Vodka Zinger and then twist to infuse the spirit with flavor. The Vodka Zinger’s bottom-mounted grinder retains the ground pulp from the fruit but allows the extracted fruit flavors to travel through a fine-combed mesh screen to infuse the vodka, the company says. In this way, vodka can be flavored without added sugars or artificial ingredients, it adds. The Vodka Zinger retails for $25.99.


Santa goes Rogue

In preparation for the upcoming Christmas holiday, Rogue Ales & Spirits brewed Santa’s Private Reserve Ale. The seasonal beer is a double-hopped India Red Ale created using ingredients grown on Rogue Farms in Oregon’s Willamette Valley and Tygh Valley. The beer offers 65 International Bittering Units. The packaging for the beer also features some Christmas flair. Proprietary technology on the serigraphed bottles results in the snowflakes glistening and glowing in the dark.


True character

Although it’s not easy to sum up a brand’s character in a few words, Diageo’s Johnnie Walker brand now is describing its character through picture advertisements. In creating the “Character” campaign, Johnnie Walker worked with a range of “ground-breaking” pioneers to craft a series of images that have been influenced both by the characters of its Scotch whisky blends and the expertise of the artists’ personalities. For example, the Blue Label image features French world-champion free diver Guillaume Néry, who was photographed in search of rarity and depth more than 100 feet below sea level in The Pit, the entry point to the world’s largest underground river system in the Yucatán Peninsula of Mexico.