Dear Client:   Campari Group was pretty active on the M&A front in 2022, acquiring a minority stake in Howler Head banana-flavored bourbon and Catalyst Spirits as well as a majority stake in Wilderness Trail Distillery.  At the recent WSD Summit, Campari America managing director for the US and Canada Ugo Fiorenzo shared more color … Continue reading “Campari’s US Whiskey Portfolio “Near Complete” with Latest Acquisitions”

Dear Client:   A group of data experts and representatives from successful wine brands big and small came together at the recent Unified Wine and Grape Symposium to discuss how to reach new demographics, what channels are growing, innovation opportunities, and why people are choosing wine going into 2023. The panel included: William Allen, founder … Continue reading “The Who, Where, What & Why of the Wine Industry”

Dear Client:   Wine has struggled to connect with younger cohorts, and the discussion has gone mainstream – you may have seen the recent New York Times article, “The American Wine Industry has an Old People Problem.” “Those younger than 60 are less in love with wine than those older than 60. That means that … Continue reading “SVB: Getting Younger Consumers into the Wine Category”

Dear Client:   Last week Sovos ShipCompliant released its annual direct-to-consumer wine shipping report, showing a market correction in 2022, with DTC wine shipments down 10.3% in volume and 1.6% in value [see WSD 01-24-2023].  Today we’ll break down the results further by region, winery size and varietal.  BY REGION. In recent years there’s been … Continue reading “Breaking Down DTC Wine Channel Growth (or Lack Thereof) in ’22”

Dear Client:   The Unified Wine & Grape Symposium was back in full swing this week in Sacramento. There were over 10,000 in attendance representing all aspects of the wine industry and more than 650 exhibitors on the trade room floor, according to event representatives.  The conference covered a lot of ground, but we’ll touch … Continue reading “What Makes the “Glass Half Full” for the Wine Industry”

Dear Client:  Diageo kicked off the first half of its fiscal year with global volumes up nearly 2% and net sales up 9.4% on an organic basis, growing ahead of the company’s medium-term guidance. “We’re driving consistent topline performance and delivering operating margin expansion while reinvesting smartly in our brands fueled by productivity savings,” said chief … Continue reading “Diageo Maintains Market Share as US Spirits Growth Normalizes in H1”

Dear Client:  Earlier this week we outlined the opportunity in the no and low alc category based on the latest IWSR data presented by chief strategy officer Brandy Rand at the recent WSD Summit [see WSD 01-23-2023]. Today we’ll dig into insights shared from the other panelists, providing a look at the category from the … Continue reading “Going Beyond Dry January with No/Low Alc”

Dear Client:  E-commerce platform Speakeasy just completed its third seed round fundraise, raising $6.8 million, led by InvestBev, WSD has learned. Your editor chatted with Speakeasy co-founder and ceo Josh Jacobs as well as co-founder and coo Michael Bowen to discuss plans for the investment. INVESTING IN THE TEAM AND FULFILLMENT CAPABILITIES. Josh tells WSD they plan … Continue reading “Speakeasy Raises $6.8M to Expand Team, Fulfillment Capabilities”

Dear Client:  The no and low alc category has picked up steam in recent years as many consumers, particularly younger consumers, gravitate towards a healthier lifestyle. Indeed, the no/low consumer base has increased in the last year (up about 7%) and now represents 40% of the adult population in the US, according to IWSR. That’s … Continue reading “Breaking Down the No/Low Alc Opportunity”

Dear Client:   Your editors took the first few weeks of the New Year to ruminate on the top trends we see taking shape in 2023. Based on industry knowledge and gut instinct, here’s what we think is in store for this year:  RUM RESURGENCE. We think premium rum is poised to take off in … Continue reading “What’s in Store for 2023”

Dear Client:   Silicon Valley Bank released its annual State of the US Wine Industry report yesterday, exploring the wine industry’s performance in 2022. A quick rundown tells us largely the same story as 2021: it was a good year, but not a great year, and many of the problems that plagued the industry then … Continue reading “SVB: Wine Industry Well-Positioned to Weather Recession”

Dear Client:   In 2022, bw166 estimates that total servings of beverage alcohol entering the US market was down just about 0.13%. In 2021, that growth was up 3.3%, but on average, total servings growth has been around 1.2% a year over the last 20 years, so 2022’s numbers show a near return to normalcy.  … Continue reading “Shift Back to On-Premise Boosted Consumer Spending in ’22”

Dear Client:   Breakthru Beverage Group announced today it has signed an agreement to acquire California-based Wine Warehouse, marking a big move for the wholesaler into the California market. Financial details were not disclosed.  Wine Warehouse was established in 1973 by Bob and Jim Myerson, eventually becoming the third largest wholesaler of beer, wine and … Continue reading “Breakthru Enters California with Wine Warehouse Acquisition”

Dear Client:  Today Diageo announced it has reached an agreement to acquire super-premium Don Papa Rum for a little over $282 million, with a further potential consideration of about $192.6 million through 2028 subject to performance, per release. Don Papa Rum launched in 2012 by Stephen Carroll. The Philippines-based rum is currently available in 30 countries. … Continue reading “Diageo to Acquire Don Papa Rum for About $282 Million”

Dear Client: “Over the past several years, RNDC’s performance as a distributor grew worse and worse. Sazerac has attempted to work with RNDC to come up with ways to improve its performance. None of those efforts have worked.” So starts the 13-page lawsuit Sazerac filed against its longtime distributor, Republic National Distributing Co. (RNDC), in … Continue reading “Sazerac Sues RNDC for Millions in Alleged Non-Payment of Inventory”