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Retailers, consumers and prices

Constellation’s holiday drink sales less than stellar – CEO


FOSTERS/With so many forecasters talking about the 2008 holiday season in extremes (the weakest since 1970, one of the worst in modern times), it’s refreshing to hear an executive suggest that, ok, things were not great, but they weren’t horrible either.

That assessment came on Wednesday from Rob Sands, chief executive of Constellation Brands, when the world’s largest wine producer and maker of Robert Mondavi, Vendage and Ravenswood wines reported third-quarter earnings.  

Sands, whose company also sells spirits and beer, said beer sales growth was accelerating due to the recession, while sales of spirits were getting hurt the most.

Following is an excerpt from a conference call CEO Sands and his management team hosted with analysts in which he discusses the impact of the recession on sales of alcoholic drinks: