Dear Client: The Duckhorn Portfolio posted healthy growth for the fiscal year ended July 2023, with net sales up 8.2%. In Q4, net sales were up over 28% over the prior year period, driven by a strong price/mix (up 18%) and volume growth (up 10.6%), noted new cfo Jennifer Fall Jung on yesterday afternoon’s earnings call. “Our … Continue reading “Duckhorn’s Wholesale Biz Drives Double-Digit Growth in Q4”

Dear Client: The Duckhorn Portfolio announced today that long-time chief Alex Ryan is retiring. As the company searches for a new leader, Deirdre Mahlan has been named interim ceo and chairperson.  “Alex dedicated his professional life to growing our business, and he has now decided to step away to focus on family and personal matters, … Continue reading “Duckhorn CEO Retires, Deirdre Mahlan Named Interim Chief”

Dear Client: In recent years, consumers have increasingly gravitated towards the no and low alc category. That’s created not just an opportunity for new product development, but an opportunity in the retail space as well.  Indeed, Nick Bodkins launched non-alc omnichannel retailer Boisson in New York City in 2021, and the company has seen impressive … Continue reading “Pernod VC Arm Invests in Non-Alc Retailer Boisson”

Dear Client: There’s been some positive movement on the cannabis front this year, from the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America calling for federal legalization to a recommendation from White House officials to reclassify cannabis from a Schedule 1 to a Schedule 3 drug as well as some movement on the SAFE Banking Act (more … Continue reading “Bernstein: Positive Movement in US Cannabis Market, But Challenges Remain”

Dear Client: Spirit of Gallo’s High Noon seltzer brand first hit the scene four years ago, and it continues to grow by leaps and bounds.  “We’ve reached the pinnacle as the No.1 selling spirits brand [by volume, according to Impact], but the brand really seems to show no signs of slowing,” Spirit of Gallo svp … Continue reading “High Noon has “Phenomenal Summer,” Shows No Signs of Slowing”

Dear Client: Today’s bev alc industry M&A landscape is changing. In a recent Rabobank report, senior analyst Jim Watson delved into the near to medium-term environment and what factors are tugging at both buyers’ and sellers’ chains, including things like lower valuations and more risk-averse decision-making. A CHANGING DEAL ENVIRONMENT. Despite the fast pace of … Continue reading “Rabobank: Factors Impacting Today’s M&A Environment”

Dear Client: This morning Diageo announced the appointment of Sally Grimes as ceo, North America, and Claudia Schubert as president and coo, North America, effective October 1.  You may recall, Claudia was named North America president last year following Debra Crew’s appointment as global coo (now global ceo) [see WSD 07-12-2022].  Sally has more than … Continue reading “Diageo Announces New North America Leadership”

Dear Client: Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA) hosted a webinar yesterday as part of its Access Craft education series focused on finding success in the on-premise– drawing from the perspectives of both distributors and bar and restaurant operators.  Panelists included Simone Bianconcini, vp for RNDC’s craft brand division TAG; Lee Hastings, vp of … Continue reading “Getting Craft Brands onto Back Bars”

Dear Client: Yesterday we published the first part of our interview with Daou Family Estates founders and brothers Georges and Daniel Daou [see WSD 09-18-2023]. Today we’ll pick up right where we left off.  CONSUMER-DRIVEN STRATEGY. Georges and Daniel opined the importance of their consumer-driven strategy, and understanding what consumers are looking for in a … Continue reading “Part II: Daou Founders Talk Partnerships, Expansion”

Dear Client: The Paso Robles region has garnered a lot of attention in recent years. Indeed, several major companies have invested in the area, including Gallo, Duckhorn, Constellation Brands and Riboli Family Estates. Then, too, just last week Treasury Wine Estates announced the launch of a new Paso Robles luxury wine brand.  One of the … Continue reading “Daou Family Estates on Creating the “Luxury Wine for Everyone””

Dear Client: Online platform SevenFifty recently hosted a panel of heavy-hitters within the industry to discuss the rise of the “conscious consumer.” The panel included: Nicolas Becker, ceo of Remy Cointreau Americas; Chris Swonger, chief of DISCUS and; Jackie Summers, founder and ceo of Sorel Liqueur; and Dia Simms, former ceo and current executive … Continue reading “Industry Leaders Tackle How to Operate in an Age of Conscious Consumerism”

Dear Client: Illva Saronno Holding S.p.A has acquired a majority stake in Maryland-based Sagamore Spirit, WSD has learned, strengthening Ilva Saronno’s presence in the US. No financial details were disclosed. “We are thrilled to announce this transaction, which supports our portfolio strategy to acquire high growth, attractive margin brands, and in this case, broaden our offering … Continue reading “Illva Saronno Buys Majority Stake in Sagamore Spirit”

Dear Client: Circana (formerly IRI) released its Labor Day scan data this week, looking at Total US Multi-Outlet + Convenience (MULO+C) for the week ended September 3, 2023, i.e. the weekend before the Monday holiday.  Your editors took a peek to see which wine and spirits brands won the week and which brands fell behind. … Continue reading “Spirits and RTDs Win in Labor Day Scan Data”

Dear Client:Early this morning, Campari Group announced that its longtime ceo Bob Kunze-Concewitz has decided to retire, effective April 2024, “to pursue personal passions.”Bob has led the company as ceo for the last 16 years. During that time, the company grew by about 3x in net sales and profitability; he oversaw 27 acquisitions, totaling about … Continue reading “Longtime Campari CEO to Retire”

Dear Client: After hearing oral arguments earlier this summer, the First Circuit recently issued its decision in a retailer shipping case filed in Rhode Island. And the results were a mixed bag.  BACKGROUND. A pair of Rhode Island residents filed suit against the state in 2019 amidst a string of retailer shipping cases filed after … Continue reading “Rhode Island Retailer Shipping Appeal Comes up a Mixed Bag”