Have recently received word from Vineco International - the makers of several brands of wine kits, including Cellar Craft, KenRidge family, Heron Bay, Cheeky Monkey, and Niagara Mist - that price changes are coming soon as well as a new round of product discontinuations.
To summarize, here's the short explanation: On the whole (at least as far as the USA is concerned), wine kit prices increased an average of 3%. The new pricing kicks in around next weekend, so if anyone has been on the fence about getting one of these kits, recommend you do it now before the prices go up. The word I'm getting from the manufacturer is that costs of good quality raw material is up significantly; as much as possible was absorbed by Vineco, but in the end prices had to go up a bit.
Some brands were unaffected by the price change, while others were hit. Check with your retailers to get the full story.
As far as product updates go, there are several kits that are being discontinued. Most significant is the loss of the ENTIRE Heron Bay product line. Once the HB kits that have already been produced are sold, there will be no more. For the most part, Vineco is recommending that consumers substitute the 8L Heron Bay Premium kits with the 7.5L Classique kits from Cellar Craft.
On average, most brands lost 1 to 4 SKU's per brand due to discontinuation. On the bright side, none of the Cheeky Monkey or Niagara Mist kits were affected by discontinuation.
I sent out a massive email to all our retailers concerning the above, along with updated price lists that take effect on April 7th. Thought everyone would appreciate a heads up on this.
Hope everyone has a great winemaking weekend....