Dear Client:Earlier this month, ShipCompliant’s mid-year direct-to-consumer report showed that rose has slowed down in 2019 after an eight-year growth trajectory [see WSD 09-06-2019]. That got us thinking, how’s the category doing outside the DTC channel?  GROWTH IS SLOWING. Rose is also showing much slower growth rates in Nielsen-measured channels.  Through mid-2017 and mid-2018, rose table wine … Continue reading “A Bird’s Eye View of Rose”

Dear Client:Oregon-based Eastside Distilling has acquired Azunia Tequila, making it the company’s second national brand and first foray into the tequila category. The deal opens doors for Azunia as well as Eastside.WHY AZUNIA? In a corporate update call this morning, Eastside interim ceo Steve Shum explained the company was looking for several key elements in … Continue reading “Eastside Distilling Buys Azunia Tequila, Provides “Significant Growth Opportunity””

Dear Client:Total beverage alcohol is growing this year in terms of total consumer spending. Spirits continue to pick up share, while beer continues to lose share and wine growth has been flattening out. The wine category is slowing, but still growing. “There’s not quite as much growth so everyone has to work harder,” said Jon Moramarco, … Continue reading “How the Biggest US Wineries are Stacking Up in 2019”

Dear Client:It can be tough for a new winery to stand out among the thousands of wineries nationwide. Napa Valley-based Tarpon Cellars has partnered with music streaming service Spotify to connect with consumers and share their story.WHO IS TARPON CELLARS? Tarpon Cellars was founded in 2017 by winemaker Jeremy Carter. Jeremy’s been in the wine … Continue reading “Napa Winery Partners with Spotify to Connect with Consumers”

Dear Client:Earlier this week we published the first part of our conversation with Breakthru Beverage Group president and ceo Greg Baird [see WSD 09-09-2019]. Today, we’ll pick up right where we left off in the conversation. Wine & Spirits Daily: Let’s talk about trends in the distributor tier. Will we continue to see consolidation?Greg Baird: We … Continue reading “Greg Baird: Distribs are “Much More” than Just Sales & Logistics Companies Now”

Dear Client:The initial batch of Labor Day stats are in, and beverage alcohol sales were up across all categories. Wine sales were up 2.5% for the week through August 31, outpacing its current year to date trend of 1.8% in all Nielsen-measured channels. Spirits also outpaced its current year to date sales trend for the holiday … Continue reading “Cans, RTDs Sales up High Double-Digits over Labor Day”

Dear Client:Total Wine & More certainly stays busy in the court system. On Friday, the Second Circuit refused Total Wine’s request for an en banc review. Interestingly, several Second Circuit judges think that’s the wrong move.  BACKGROUND. Total Wine filed a federal lawsuit against Connecticut in 2016, alleging the state’s practice of setting minimum prices for … Continue reading “Appeals Court Denies Total Wine Rehearing, But Judge Calls that a “Missed Opportunity””

Dear Client:Breakthru Beverage Group operates in about 14 US markets plus Canada. That footprint would have expanded if the deal with Republic National Distributing Co. had gone through. But Breakthru chief Greg Baird says it’s already water under the bridge and that the company continues to look for opportunities to grow the business.  Your editor recently … Continue reading “Breakthru Chief Talks RNDC Deal, Performance & Cannabis”

Dear Client:Direct-to-consumer wine sales have slowed in the first half of 2019, though still at a clip about 7x faster than the overall wine market. In general, the wine category is growing about 1%-2%, while the DTC wine market is up 4.6% in volume and 7% in value, according to ShipCompliant and Wines Vines Analytics … Continue reading “Rose Popularity Drops in DTC Channel”

Dear Client:Bardstown Bourbon Company ceo David Mandell is stepping down after five years at the helm. The BBCo board of directors has appointed BBCo board member Mark Erwin as its new president and ceo. David will remain a minority shareholder in the company, per a release. “It has been an honor to serve as the ceo … Continue reading “Bardstown Bourbon Co. Names New CEO”

Dear Client:Constellation Brands has been busy reshaping its wine and spirits portfolio recently. “We’re really excited about the portfolio because the remaining portfolio gets us to the place where we can get to mid-single-digit growth,” said cfo David Klein at the Barclays 2019 Global Consumer Staples Conference today.  Though David notes that “this year, because we … Continue reading “Constellation CFO on the New & Improved Wine & Spirits Portfolio”

Dear Client:Minnesota-based Johnson Brothers has voluntarily forfeited its wholesale license in Massachusetts following a recent investigation into the company’s operations in the state by the Massachusetts Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission (ABCC).HOW WE GOT HERE. Johnson Bros. began operating in Massachusetts in 2012. Last summer, the ABCC began investigating the company’s operations in the state and … Continue reading “Johnson Bros. Voluntarily Forfeits License in MA Amidst ABCC Investigation”

Dear Client:Pernod Ricard ended its fiscal year with sales up 6% globally. Fiscal 2019 results are a “clear demonstration of business acceleration,” said chief Alexandre Ricard on this morning’s earnings call.   “This was year one of the rollout of our Transform & Accelerate strategic plan, active portfolio management, in particular through gin and American whiskey acquisitions. … Continue reading “Pernod Chief on Reinforcing Presence in US Market”

Dear Client:Constellation Brands has acquired a minority stake in North Carolina-based Durham Distillery through Constellation Ventures’ Focus on Female Founders program. No financial details were disclosed. Durham Distillery was founded in 2013 by Melissa and Lee Katrincic. Melissa, president and ceo, and her husband and head distiller Lee, will continue to manage, produce, market and sell … Continue reading “Constellation Takes Minority Stake in Durham Distillery”

Dear Client:Pernod Ricard and Castle Brands announced they have entered into a definitive agreement where Pernod, through a subsidiary, will acquire all of the outstanding common stock of Castle Brands for $223 million. Under the terms of the merger agreement, Castle Brands shareholders will receive $1.27 in cash for each outstanding share of Castle Brands common … Continue reading “Pernod Buys Castle Brands in $223 Million Deal”