Dear Client: Anheuser-Busch’s Beyond Beer business unit, which includes brands like Babe wine, Cutwater Spirits, Social Club Seltzer, Hi-Ball energy and others, has created a new team within the division called Launchpad, led by Chelsea Phillips. Chelsea gave us the lowdown this week on Launchpad, the evolution of Babe wine and more. BABE INSPIRES LAUNCHPAD TEAM: “SUCCESS DOESN’T … Continue reading “How Babe Wine Inspired Anheuser-Busch’s New Beyond Beer Launchpad Team”

Dear Client:  Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve seen the tremendous growth in the ready-to-drink segment. Indeed, IWSR expects the total RTD category (which includes hard seltzers) to grow from about 9.6% volume share of total bev alc to 22% by 2025.  As such, it’s probably not surprising that a lot of investment … Continue reading “Roundup: More than $150M Invested in RTD Segment in 2021”

Dear Client:  On Friday, Missouri filed its response to Florida-based Magnum Wine and Tastings’ petition for writ of certiorari, arguing why the Supreme Court should not hear the case.  BACKGROUND. In 2016, Magnum Wine and Tastings (aka Sarasota Wine Market) filed suit against Missouri arguing the state law that allowed retailers to sell, ship and … Continue reading “Missouri Argues Retailer Shipping Rules “Serve Unquestionably Legitimate, Non-Protectionist Interests””

Dear Client:  Iconic Brands has largely been focused on celebrity-branded wine and spirits, but now the company is entering a new phase of growth and diversifying its business.  Iconic Brands was founded in 2005 by industry veteran Richard DeCicco. The portfolio currently includes Bellissima Prosecco and Sparkling Wines by model and actress Christie Brinkley, Bivi … Continue reading “Iconic Brands Enters Next Phase of Growth”

Dear Client: Over the last year and a half the digital space has become an even more important part of the marketing strategy for bev alc brands. And it’s a very nuanced space that can be tough to navigate. A recent webinar, hosted by Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America, breaks down the world of digital … Continue reading “Navigating the Digital Marketing Landscape”

Dear Client: Wineries experienced a tough harvest in 2020, and Oregon was no exception. Thanks to COVID, wildfires and naturally lower yields, Oregon’s harvested acreage was down 6.4%, resulting in a 29% reduction in grape production, according to the 2020 Oregon Vineyard and Winery report out yesterday. And the estimated value of wine grape production was … Continue reading “Oregon Wine Grape Production Down 29% in 2020, but Sales Still on the Up and Up”

Dear Client:  M&A transactions in the US cannabis industry have totaled $5.5 billion year-to-date, according to Viridian Capital Advisors, reports the Wall Street Journal. Comparatively, transactions totaled about $3 billion last year and $3.7 billion in 2019.   The “last big M&A spree” in the cannabis industry was about three years ago, per WSJ.  Indeed, Matthew … Continue reading “A Peek at the World of Cannabis Investing”

Dear Client:  The National Restaurant Association (NRA) projects food and beverage sales in the restaurant and foodservice industry will reach $789 billion in 2021, up nearly 20% from 2020, according to a mid-year supplement to the association’s 2021 State of the Restaurant Industry Report released last week.  Breaking that forecast down by segment:  Full service … Continue reading “Restaurant Industry Sales Forecast to Hit $789B in 2021”

Dear Client: Following its first quarter earnings this week [see WSD 09-01-2021], Brown-Forman virtually held its Investor Day meeting yesterday. Top execs for the company detailed strategic priorities across marketing, regions, innovation and more. Below are a few highlights. EVOLVING MARKETING STRATEGY. To elevate the company’s brand-building capabilities, svp chief brands officer Matias Bentel said they’ve identified … Continue reading “B-F Execs Detail Strategic Priorities”

Dear Client:  Total off-premise alcohol sales are down 1.7% year-to-date compared to the same period in 2020, according to NielsenIQ. Indeed, off-premise sales have been declining since March 2021 (which was to be expected as we lapped record-breaking growth rates from 2020). But not all categories are struggling against 2020 comps this year. Ready-to-drink cocktails … Continue reading “What’s Still Growing Up Against Tough Comps YTD”

Dear Client: Today Pernod Ricard announced a minority stake investment in fine wine and spirits company Sovereign Brands. No financial details were disclosed. Sovereign Brands was established in 2000 by brothers Brett and Brian Berish. Their wine and spirits portfolio includes Luc Belaire sparkling wine, Bumbu rum, McQueen and the Violet Fog gin, and French liqueur Villon, … Continue reading “Pernod Ricard Takes Minority Stake in Sovereign Brands”

Dear Client: Breakthru Beverage Group has appointed Tom Bene as its new president and ceo, effective October 4. You may recall, current president and ceo Greg Baird will be retiring at the end of the year [see WSD 03-15-2021]. In the meantime, Greg will serve as an advisor to the company to support Tom’s transition, per … Continue reading “Breakthru Names Tom Bene as New President and CEO”

Dear Client:  Earlier this year, the US Supreme Court denied to hear Indiana-based Lebamoff Enterprises’ case for retailer shipping in Michigan [see WSD 01-11-2021]. You may recall, Lebamoff had also filed a similar lawsuit in Illinois. On Friday, that case was dismissed after Lebamoff owners sold its business.   BACKGROUND. Lebamoff filed suit against the state … Continue reading “Lebamoff’s Retailer Shipping Case in IL Dismissed Following Recent Sale”

Dear Client:  September is just around the corner, dear readers. In preparation, bev alc e-commerce platform Drizly shared its top fall sales trend predictions. It seems this year’s trends will look a bit different from 2020, but won’t necessarily be falling back into 2019 patterns.  Overall, spirits has increased its share of sales by four … Continue reading “Drizly’s Fall Trends Predictions”

Dear Client:  A lawsuit filed by a former Oklahoma distributor operator against Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits’ and Republic National Distributing Co.’s joint ventures in Oklahoma survived a motion to dismiss, in part, this month. BACKGROUND. Oklahoma State Question 792 (aka Article 28A) officially took effect in October 2018. The legislation allows the sale of … Continue reading “Judge Finds Alleged Antitrust Conspiracy in OK Pushed “from Possible to Plausible””