Dear Client:  2020 started off as “incredibly active” on the M&A front, according to M&A advisory firm Zepponi & Company. But the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent containment measures caused a “sudden and dramatic” slowdown across all bev alc categories.  Since mid-March “projects that were being brought to the market have largely been put on hold, … Continue reading “COVID-19 Causes “Sudden and Dramatic” Slowdown in M&A Activity”

Dear Client:  Constellation Brands reported its fiscal 2020 results today, which ended February 28 – just a couple weeks before the COVID-19 pandemic hit the US hard.    Total net sales were up 3% for the fiscal year, and up 6% in the fourth quarter. The company’s wine and spirits business continues to struggle, but there … Continue reading “STZ’s W&S Biz Shows Improvement in Q4; Brass Cautious on F2021 Guidance”

Dear Client:  The US has largely taken the stance that the alcohol industry is an “essential” business, allowing production to continue and (mostly) keeping liquor stores open amidst COVID-19 containment measures. But the Mexican government left bev alc off its list of essential services.  On Tuesday, Mexico’s Diario Oficial de la Federacion (basically, their daily … Continue reading “Mexico Excludes Bev Alc from ‘Essential’ Biz List, but Tequila Finds a Loophole”

Dear Client:  In mid-March, days after states started shuttering on-premise establishments, e-commerce bev alc platform Drizly shared that in their prior four days or so, they were seeing roughly 3.5 times the growth rate from earlier in the year. Beer, wine and spirits were all up tremendously, but wine and spirits were growing twice as … Continue reading “Consumer Shift to E-comm Not Just Maintaining, but Growing, Says Drizly”

Dear Client:  Off-premise trends continued to accelerate for the week ended March 21, with total beverage alcohol sales up 55% compared to the same period a year ago, according to recent Nielsen data. From week to week, sales were up 28% compared to the week ended March 14.    There were huge sales increases across all … Continue reading “Data Watch: Premiumization Trend Going Strong, For Now”

Dear Client:  Alcohol under-indexes in online sales especially compared to other CPG categories. With on-premise effectively shuttered for now, the number of bev alc companies making the move toward e-commerce has accelerated.  In fact, the number of large brands that have sought out Thirstie’s services has multiplied by nearly 5X.  “We’re hearing from major players … Continue reading “COVID-19 Accelerates Industry’s Push to E-Commerce”

Dear Client:  WineAmerica released results from a survey yesterday of wineries across the country to assess the initial economic impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on their businesses.   The survey was sent to all US wineries on March 19 with a deadline of March 23. More than 10% responded (about 1,085 wineries) across 49 states.  … Continue reading “Gauging the Economic Impact of COVID-19 on US Wineries”

Dear Client:  Late last night the Senate unanimously passed the $2 trillion economic stimulus package to provide relief for individuals and businesses impacted by COVID-19. The legislation includes much needed relief for distressed companies and individuals. There’s a lot in the 880-page bill, and the Distilled Spirits Council pulled out some important highlights:  $349 billion … Continue reading “Senate Passes Stimulus Deal, Includes Tax Waiver for Sanitizer Production”

Dear Client:  COVID-19 has certainly put some stress on the economy, and has many individuals and industries clamoring for federal relief. Indeed, bev alc trade groups have pushed for inclusion in any coronavirus stimulus package [see WSD 03-19-2020].   Early this morning, the Trump Administration and the Senate reached a deal on a $2 trillion economic … Continue reading “Trump Admin, Senate Reach $2 Trillion Stimulus Deal to Combat COVID-19 Impact”

Dear Client:  Off-premise trends really took off the week ended March 14. Across all CPG categories, weekly sales were up 39.2% compared to the same period a year ago, according to Nielsen. That shouldn’t be surprising if you’ve been to the grocery store lately.   3L BOX AND CANNED WINE SALES SURGE. For wine, total off-premise … Continue reading “Wine and Spirits Report 20%+ Increase in Off-Premise Sales”

Dear Client: Today Diageo announced that North America president Deirdre Mahlan will be retiring, effective June 30. Taking her place is Debra Crew, who will step down from the Diageo board to take the helm of the region.Deirdre joined Diageo in 2001, and rose in the ranks over the years to cfo in 2010 and North … Continue reading “Diageo NA Chief Deirdre Mahlan to Retire”

Dear Client:  There are about 2,000 small distillers currently operating in the US. But that number could start dropping soon thanks to COVID-19 containment measures. Two-thirds of craft distillers will be forced to close within three months without federal assistance due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a survey of more than … Continue reading “Survey: 67% of US Craft Distillers Expect to Close without Gov’t Relief”

Dear Client:  We’ve been pretty focused on the high-level impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on all three tiers. Today, we’ll get closer to the ground and look at things from Vintage Wine Estates’ perspective. Yesterday, your editor spoke with VWE cmo Jessica Kogan to discuss the impact she’s seeing and how VWE is responding so … Continue reading “Vintage Wine Estates CMO on Potential Lasting Impacts from COVID-19”

Dear Client:  Yesterday, supplier trade groups sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, urging for quick economic relief for distillers.  “Across the United States, our member distilleries are doing their part to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and ensure the health and safety of their workers … Continue reading “Trade Groups Push for Economic Relief to Mitigate COVID-19 Impact”

Dear Client:  So far, more than 30 states have ordered bars and restaurants to shutter to help stop the spread of COVID-19. In several states that haven’t made that call yet, cities have given the order in TN, TX, MO, AK, AZ, ID, MT, OK, WY. On-premise accounts for roughly 20% of volumes on average … Continue reading “Nielsen: Impact on Bev Alc Sales in the Early Days of COVID-19”