Dear Client:   Kentucky’s 2021 economic impact report for the state’s distilling industry–commissioned by the Kentucky Distillers Association (KDA) and prepared by economist Dr. Paul Coomes–hit the wires this week. The report found that the industry contributes a whopping $9 billion to the state’s economy each year. We pulled a few more interesting nuggets from … Continue reading “Distilling Industry Contributes $9B to KY Economy Each Year, Plus Other Stats”

Dear Client:   After a boom in direct-to-consumer wine shipments in 2020 (particularly in volume), the channel still grew in 2021, up 13.4% in value to $4.2 billion and up 1.4% in volume to 8.5 million cases, reflecting a return to normalcy, according to ShipCompliant’s annual DTC report.  “2021 looks a good deal like what … Continue reading “DTC Wine Shipments Top $4B in 2021, Trends Show a Return to Normalcy”

Dear Client:   The annual Silicon Valley Bank State of the Wine Industry Report is out today. 2021 was a good year— not great, but not bad— for the wine industry. But SVB raised a couple major long-term concerns that will impact the wine business. “The wine industry overcame numerous hurdles to achieve a hard-earned … Continue reading “SVB Issues Call to Action to Galvanize Wine Industry”

Dear Client:   Yesterday, we published the first part of our interview with William Grant & Sons’ recently-appointed president & managing director of its US business, Paul Basford [see WSD 01-17-2022]. Today, we’ll pick up where we left off as Paul discusses navigating the new on-premise environment, e-commerce, his priorities for the year, and more.  … Continue reading “Part II: William Grant US Chief Wants to Have His Cake and Eat it, too”

Dear Client:   Last year William Grant & Sons named Paul Basford as president & managing director of its US business, effective May 24 [see WSD 05-04-2021]. Your editor got Paul on the horn recently to discuss his first months at the company and plans for the future.  But first, a little about Paul. He’s … Continue reading “William Grant & Sons New US Chief Plans to Push the Innovation Agenda”

Dear Client:   The year-end data reports are rolling in, and your editor combed through the spreadsheets so you don’t have to.  Of course, we knew the growth we saw in 2020 would be hard to match. Indeed, only a few categories were up to the challenge. But before we dig into that, let’s take … Continue reading “Year-End Scan Data is in: How’d We Do?”

Dear Client:   The fast (and consistently) growing tequila segment has attracted several high-profile celebrities in recent years, including George Clooney, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and even Kendall Jenner. The latest celebrity to throw his hat in the tequila ring? Mark Wahlberg.  Marky Mark struck a deal last year to become the principal investor in … Continue reading “The Ins and Outs of Celebrity Partnerships”

Dear Client:   In 2020, the door cracked open a little further for direct-to-consumer shipping of spirits in a few key states, including California and New York, with temporary provisions enacted to support small, craft distillers. Distillers, and trade organizations, would like to see those temporary provisions made permanent.  Indeed, DTC spirits was widely discussed … Continue reading “Could California Open the Door for DTC Spirits in More States?”

Dear Client:   Online alcohol sales in the US topped $6 billion in 2021, up 131% compared to 2019, according to Rabobank’s 2022 Alcohol E-commerce Playbook. That brings the channel’s share to about 4% of all off-premise alcohol sales in the US, doubling share from 2019. (Of course, alcohol is still relatively under penetrated compared … Continue reading “Rabobank: US Online Alcohol Sales Top $6 Billion in 2021”

Dear Client:   New year, new predictions. Your editors put our heads together–sans crystal ball–to outline what we see coming down the pike in 2022.  First, we’re going to start with a few ‘gimme’ predictions, i.e. things that are terribly obvious but still important and, as such, are worth mentioning here. Those predictions for the … Continue reading “Placing Our Bets for 2022”

Dear Client:  Despite pandemic-related challenges, the US craft spirits market continues to grow. To support that growth, craft distillers have increased investment for expansion in recent years. Total investment by US craft distillers for expansions increased 8.7% from $698 million in 2019 to $759 million in 2020, according to the recent Craft Spirits Data Project, put … Continue reading “US Craft Distillers Up Investments to Meet Consumer Demand”

Dear Client:   Today Republic National Distributing Co. announced it has purchased independent Anheuser-Busch wholesaler White Mountain Beverage in Alaska, “combining wine and spirits with beer to have one consolidated route to market,” per release.  “This purchase gives RNDC a unique competitive advantage, allowing RNDC to be the only wholesaler to own the full route … Continue reading “RNDC Buys White Mountain Beverage”

Dear Client:  Today Constellation Brands announced it has entered into a “brand authorization agreement” with The Coca-Cola Company in the US to bring the Fresca brand into the bev alc space “through the manufacturing, marketing, distribution, and launch of Fresca Mixed,” a line of spirit-based ready-to-drink cocktails, per a release. “The Coca-Cola Company’s Fresca brand is … Continue reading “Constellation Strikes Deal with Coke to Make and Market Fresca Spirits RTDs”

Dear Client:   It’s that time of the year again, dear readers, where your editors take a look back at the predictions we made for the previous year and see how we did.  PREDICTION: STICKY COVID TRENDS. We expected a few COVID-related trends to stick around in 2021, including bev alc sales over indexing in … Continue reading “Grading Our 2021 Predictions”

Dear Client:   Breakthru Beverage Group today announced it has signed an agreement to purchase Missouri-based wholesaler Major Brands. No financial details were disclosed.  “This is a tremendous opportunity for Breakthru to further solidify our standing in the Midwest,” says Breakthru chief Tom Bene (who will be speaking at the WSD Summit next month). “We … Continue reading “Breakthru to Acquire Major Brands”