Dear Client:  Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel has been cracking down on illegal direct-to-consumer shipments of bev alc, particularly over the last year.  In October, the AG filed two lawsuits against California-based Vintner’s Collective and Go To Gifts after both failed to stop DTC shipments into the state after receiving cease and desist letters. AG … Continue reading “Michigan AG Settles More DTC Cases”

Dear Client:  After exceeding expectations in H1, Diageo kept the momentum going in H2, reporting organic net sales growth of 16% globally for the fiscal year ended June 30.  “All of our regions grew organic top-line with three of the five [regions] growing net sales above fiscal 2019 on a constant basis,” said Diageo chief … Continue reading “Diageo Gaining Share in the US, Expects Momentum to Continue”

Dear Client: Mike Keyes, president and ceo of Cuervo’s US subsidiary Proximo Spirits, is retiring. The announcement was buried in today’s earnings release, so there’s not a ton of info yet. It did say that Mike “has decided to retire and will be leaving the organization by year-end.”You may recall, Mike took on the role in … Continue reading “Proximo Chief Mike Keyes to Retire”

Dear Client:  Gallo Spirits is “going to move by volume this year,” vp and gm for Gallo Spirits Britt West tells WSD. “I think we will move from probably the seventh largest spirits supplier by volume to the fifth largest supplier by volume.”   Indeed, E&J Gallo has been beefing up its spirits portfolio lately, most … Continue reading “Gallo on its Way to Becoming the 5th Largest Spirits Supplier”

Dear Client:Campari Group reported strong first half results today, with global net sales up 37% on an organic basis for H1 ended June 30. The company is “firing on all cylinders,” said chief Bob Kunze-Concewitz on today’s earnings call, growing double digits across all regions and priority brands compared to 2020 and 2019. “In the first … Continue reading “Campari “Firing on all Cylinders””

Dear Client:Republic National Distributing Co. is adding CBD products to its portfolio. The distributor announced today it has signed distribution agreements with CBD-infused sparkling water DayTrip, Oh Hi CBD sparkling seltzer, Sati Soda, and Wyld CBD (sparkling water and gummies), effective mid-August. RNDC will handle the CBD products in Alaska, Colorado, Florida, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon … Continue reading “RNDC Makes Foray into CBD Category with Beverages and Edibles”

Dear Client: Total wine shipments to the US (from California, other states and foreign producers) hit 435.1 million cases at a retail value of $66.8 billion in 2020, according to Jon Moramarco, managing partner of BW166 and editor of the Gomberg-Fredrikson report. That’s a nearly 7% increase in shipments over 2019, despite pandemic-related challenges. Breaking … Continue reading “Total Wine Shipments to the US Near $67B in 2020, Plus the Latest DTC Stats”

Dear Client: Nearly a year ago, MillerCoors vet Andy England took the helm of Minnesota-based Phillips Distilling Company as ceo [see WSD 08-11-2020]. It seems he’s been pretty busy since day one, and this week detailed a slew of updates and innovation to the distiller’s branded business.  You may recall, Phillips Distilling Co. has its … Continue reading “Phillips Distilling Aims to Improve its Branded Biz”

Dear Client: The wildfire season just keeps getting longer on the west coast – starting earlier and ending later each year. And this year isn’t looking any better, thanks to continued drought and early heatwaves. Experts forecast that this year’s fire season could burn 9.5 million acres across the western US – that’s 130% of … Continue reading “Wildfire Season is Here”

Dear Client: Remy Cointreau reported a global sales growth of 105% for the first quarter ended June 30. That’s compared to the very start of the pandemic, so they’re lapping some pretty easy comps there. But even compared to 2019, total sales were up 36.5%.  “This performance reflects, first of all, a broad-based growth with … Continue reading “Remy Q1 Results Outpacing Pre-COVID Levels”

Dear Client: Earlier this month tobacco giant Altria announced it is selling Ste. Michelle Wine Estates for a cool $1.2 billion to private equity firm Sycamore Partners [see WSD 07-09-2021]. Your editor got SMWE chief David Dearie on the horn to discuss the deal and what’s next for the company.  Ste. Michelle recently bounced back … Continue reading “SMWE Chief Talks Sycamore Acquisition and Future Moves”

Dear Client: Spirits trade groups have made it pretty clear that advancing direct-to-consumer shipping for spirits is a top priority for their organizations. As part of those efforts, the Distilled Spirits Council, American Craft Spirits Association, and the American Distilling Institute have formed a strategic partnership to pass spirits DTC shipping laws.  Currently, about nine … Continue reading “Spirits Trade Groups Band Together to Further DTC Spirits Legislative Efforts”

Dear Client: Beam Suntory and the Boston Beer Company announced today that they have entered a “long-term, strategic partnership” with the intent to “extend select iconic brands into some of the fastest-growing beverage alcohol segments,” leaning on each other’s respective category expertise to create and distribute ready-to-drink beverages and spirits, per release.  So far, the … Continue reading “Beam Suntory Strikes Partnership with Boston Beer”

Dear Client: More and more cannabidiol (CBD) beverage brands are poised to enter new markets through big wine and spirits distributors. Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits in particular has been making significant in-roads in cannabis in recent months, signing a distribution deal for Canopy Growth’s CBD seltzer, Quatreau [see WSD 04-21-2021]; Martha Stewart’s line of … Continue reading “Navigating the CBD Beverage Market With BDSA”

Dear Client: Spec’s Wine, Spirits & Finer Foods is one of Texas’ most popular liquor stores, with more than 100 locations across the state and growing. In fact, they are “aggressively expanding” in the Lone Star State, opening roughly one location per month – but “often more at times,” according to Spec’s beer buyer Justin … Continue reading “Spirits May Replace Beer as the “Last Affordable Luxury””