Dear Client:   After several years of working its way through the courts, the Supreme Court decided to not hear Walmart’s case against the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission. HOW WE GOT HERE. Recall, Walmart can sell beer and wine in Texas, but is prohibited from owning a package store permit, and therefore from selling spirits. … Continue reading “Supreme Court Denies Walmart Spirits Retail Case”

Dear Client:   The direct-to-consumer wine channel has seen a huge boost during the pandemic as consumers stay at home and do too much online shopping. For the first six months of 2020, DTC wine shipments were up by nearly 1 million cases over 2019, a 29% increase, according to data from Sovos ShipCompliant and … Continue reading “DTC Wine Shipments Could Reach $4 Billion in 2020”

Dear Client:   Last month, Ste. Michelle Wine Estates announced that chief Jim Mortensen is retiring and industry veteran David Dearie will be taking his place, effective November 1 [see WSD 10-27-2020]. Your editor got David on the horn recently to discuss his new role.  “It’s a horrible phrase, but people tend to call me … Continue reading “Ste. Michelle’s New Chief Wants a Wine Option for Every Bev Alc Occasion”

Dear Client:  Since February, total on and off-premise depletions for both wine and spirits have improved 300 basis points, from -0.6% to +2.4% at the end of September, according to the latest SipSource quarterly report. Not surprisingly, off-premise spirits are driving growth. Off-premise spirits depletions were up 13.6% for the rolling 12 months through September, bringing … Continue reading “SipSource: On-Premise Share of Depletions Halved in 2020”

Dear Client:   Diageo North America president Debra Crew took on the role as president June 30, following Deirdre Mahlan’s retirement [see WSD 03-24-2020]. During an investor’s presentation yesterday, Debra provided her perspective on the US market opportunity as well as key areas where the company is boosting investments.   ON THE US SPIRITS MARKET. “Despite … Continue reading “New Diageo NA Chief on Investing in Areas of Opportunity, Including RTDs & E-comm”

Dear Client:   Aluminum can supply is tight this year, thanks to the soaring demand for hard seltzers, RTD cocktails and canned wine.  For instance, during Cuervo’s recent earnings call, Proximo Spirits chief Mike Keyes said they’re experiencing constrained supply for its new Jose Cuervo Playamar Tequila Hard Seltzer due to the ability to get … Continue reading “What’s Up with Aluminum Can Supply”

Dear Client:  Like every other event this year, Maryland-based Sagamore Spirit’s RyeDay the 13th was derailed by the pandemic, forcing the distillery to pivot the largely on-premise activation to the off-premise. WHAT IS RYEDAY THE 13TH? Sagamore Spirits’ RyeDay the 13th activation happens every Friday the 13th. The number 13 “has some special meaning [for] the brand,” … Continue reading “Sagamore Spirit Brings RyeDay the 13th Off-Premise”

Dear Client:   Yesterday we shared the first part of our conversation with Vivino founder Heini Zachariassen and the increased demand they’re seeing during the pandemic [see WSD 11-11-2020]. Heini also shared plans for the company moving forward as well as some insights into current trends on the platform.  AN INCREASINGLY PERSONALIZED EXPERIENCE. The next … Continue reading “Vivino Aims to Personalize the Wine-Buying Experience”

Dear Client:   Like other e-commerce platforms, online wine marketplace and wine-rating app Vivino has experienced a surge in sales and new users during the pandemic. In April, the company saw 157% year-over-year growth and growth was still in the triple digits for August (up 107%). The app has about 47 million users globally and … Continue reading “Vivino Founder: Online Wine has “Reached a Tipping Point””

Dear Client:   Indiana-based retailer Lebamoff Enterprises is hoping the US Supreme Court will grant its petition for writ of certiorari and hear its case for retailer shipping in Michigan. This week, the state along with intervenor Michigan Beer & Wine Wholesalers Association made their case against the retailer, essentially arguing the retailer has no … Continue reading “Michigan Argues Retailer Shipping Laws Fall under Public Health, Not Protectionism”

Dear Client:  The World Trade Organization recently gave the European Union the authorization to impose its own set of retaliatory tariffs on $4 billion worth of US goods as part of a 16-year-long dispute between the US and the EU [see WSD 09-30-2020]. The EU announced today its plans to move forward with the retaliatory … Continue reading “US Wine Escapes EU Retaliatory Tariffs, Spirits Not so Lucky”

Dear Client:   Is cannabis a good thing for Napa Valley? In short: yes. At least according to a panel at the recent virtually-held Wine & Weed Symposium. (We’ll admit there might be a little bias there.)  The panel included: The Family Coppola ceo and winemaking chief Corey Beck, Honig Vineyard and Winery director of … Continue reading “The Case for Cannabis in Napa Valley”

Dear Client:  Philadelphia-based e-commerce retailer goPuff announced this afternoon it is acquiring liquor store chain BevMo for $350 million, per a release. GoPuff was founded in 2013 and currently operates in 40 states and delivers to most every major market with the exception of California and New York City. This acquisition helps them to expand into … Continue reading “E-commerce Retailer goPuff Acquires BevMo for $350 Million”

Dear Client:   Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits’ Josh Cellars brand finds itself towards the top of all the top-selling and fastest-growing wine brand lists we come across, from Nielsen to Drizly. It’s the company’s largest brand by dollars and second by volume (behind YellowTail) at about 3.4 million cases for the fiscal year ended … Continue reading “Josh Cellars Growing Twice as Fast in 2020, with Plenty of Room to Grow”

Dear Client:  Even before COVID, consumers were surely (albeit, slowly) moving more into online alcohol sales. Indeed, “consumers are pulling brands and retailers into the digital,” said 3×3 Insights ceo Mike Provance during a presentation hosted by Park Street University at the virtual Bar Convent Brooklyn last month.However, local, independent liquor stores have been slow … Continue reading “Consumer Behavior Shifts Here to Stay as Things Return to “Normal-ish””