Dear Client: It’s becoming increasingly apparent that there are some shifts taking place in the red-hot agave spirits category. The IWSR released a report this week that predicts that the “era of rapid growth for high-end tequila in the US could be at an end after a dramatic slowing of growth for premium-and-above products during … Continue reading “Is Agave Premiumization Over?”

Dear Client: While we wait for Thanksgiving numbers to roll in, here’s a look at category growth (or lack thereof) leading up to the major holidays in NielsenIQ-measured off-premise channels through November 4.  SPIRITS STILL GROWING. Total spirits sales were up 3.4% for the 52 weeks through November 4, with volumes outpacing sales growth at … Continue reading “NielsenIQ: Pre-Holiday W&S Temp Check”

Dear Client: Pernod Ricard announced today that Conor McQuaid will take over as ceo of North America, effective January 1. He will succeed Ann Mukherjee, who has decided to step down “to focus her time and energy on her family’s well-being,” per release.  Conor has been with the company for the last 25 years, holding … Continue reading “Pernod Names New North America CEO”

Dear Client: The Thanksgiving holiday is now behind us and so is the 2023 wine grape harvest.  This year’s California wine grape harvest was “large and late,” said The Ciatti Company partner Glenn Proctor at the recent Wine Industry Financial Symposium. Glenn estimated the statewide grape crush will total about 3.5 million to 3.6 million … Continue reading “2023 Wine Grape Crop Bigger than Needed or Expected”

Dear Client: Last week your editor made the trek to Napa Valley for the 32nd annual Wine Industry Financial Symposium.  The Wine Business Institute at Sonoma State University presented the findings from their annual wine executive survey at the event, providing insight into multiple facets of the wine business from pricing and inventory to growth … Continue reading “Survey: Wine Execs Optimistic Despite Industry Headwinds”

Dear Client: Last week we covered Diageo’s view on the North America market and where it’s heading as part of the company’s Capital Markets Day event hosted in New York City [see WSD 11-16-2023]. Today we’ll zoom out a bit, taking a look at the company from a global perspective.  DIAGEO CONFIDENT IN THE LONG … Continue reading “Despite Global Volatility, Diageo Confident in Long-Term Growth”

Dear Client: Yesterday The Duckhorn Portfolio announced it reached an agreement to acquire Sonoma-Cutrer Vineyards from Brown-Forman for $400 million in a combination of company stock and cash [see WSD 11-16-2023].  Duckhorn brass explained the rationale behind the deal in a call yesterday evening. It’s the first winery brand acquisition they’ve made as a public … Continue reading “Sonoma-Cutrer an “Ideal Strategic Complement” to Duckhorn Portfolio”

Dear Client: Diageo execs convened for their Capital Markets Day event yesterday, their first time hosting the meeting in two years, noted global chief Debra Crew. There was a lot of ground covered, so today we’ll focus on North American trends.  NORTH AMERICA OVERVIEW. During her opening remarks, Debra noted that Diageo expects “sequential improvement” … Continue reading “Crown Royal and Casamigos Steering the Ship at Diageo”

Dear Client: The Duckhorn Portfolio today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Sonoma-Cutrer Vineyards from Brown-Forman for $400 million.  “Sonoma-Cutrer is an iconic, highly acclaimed winery brand with a long history of crafting exceptional wines in a timeless style and is a perfect addition to our thoughtfully curated portfolio of … Continue reading “Duckhorn to Acquire Sonoma-Cutrer for $400 Million”

Dear Client: Vintage Wine Estates kicked off its “transition year” with net revenue down about 6% for the first quarter ended September 30.  New ceo Seth Kaufman is now officially at the helm. Seth opened yesterday afternoon’s earnings call by thanking Jon Moramarco for his time as interim ceo, “and the great work and leadership … Continue reading “New VWE Chief Optimistic About “Great Upside Potential””

Dear Client: We all know that ready-to-drink is a hot category, and while hard seltzers still account for the lion’s share of it, spirits-based RTDs are growing the fastest (up 40% YTD in NielsenIQ all-channel data). And tea appears to be the flavor du jour.  Boston Beer Co. is tapping into/hitting on/addressing both spirits RTDs … Continue reading “The Latest Moves from Big Brewers in the Spirits RTD Space”

Dear Client: We typically stick to the US market in our coverage and our travel. But recently, your editor brushed up on her French skills to join Vinexpo in Quebec in September as part of the Vinexpo Explorer program, highlighting the Canadian province’s local spirits industry.  This was the fourth Vinexpo Explorer, and the first … Continue reading “How Vinexpo Brings Awareness (and Buyers) to Local Producers”

Dear Client: This week 40 craft spirits producers traveled to Capitol Hill to advocate for their top legislative priorities as part of the American Craft Spirits Association’s (ACSA) annual Legislative Fly-In– the first in-person Fly-In since 2019, reports Craft Spirits Magazine.   The group focused on four key initiatives as part of their advocacy efforts. Those … Continue reading “ACSA Descends on Capitol Hill to Advocate for Key Initiatives”

Dear Client: The state of distributor inventory levels has been a hot topic across supplier earnings calls in recent years. Rightfully so, given that US bev alc inventories are near all-time highs. But industry analysts–from Bernstein, Jefferies and Cowen– believe that inventory levels are moving in the right direction.  According to recent data from the … Continue reading “Distrib Inventory Levels Moving in the Right Direction”

Dear Client: Wine-based party punch Beatbox has consistently shown strong growth. Indeed, this year the company is on track to grow 160% and closing in on 4 million cases depleted on a trailing 12-month basis through October.  Beatbox co-founder and ceo Justin Fenchel shared those stats and more yesterday during a “Town Hall” meeting with … Continue reading “Beatbox Growing Triple Digits, Closing in on 4 Million Cases”