Dear Client:   Grupo Cuervo is killing it right now, thanks to its strong presence in the fastest-growing spirits categories – tequila and RTDs. Global net sales were up 48.3% and volumes were up 26% for the third quarter ended September 30.  The US and Canada’s “robust volumes and sales growth” continued to drive “solid … Continue reading “Cuervo Growing like Gangbusters”

Dear Client:   After five years at the helm, William Grant & Sons ceo Simon Hunt is stepping down, as first reported by Just-Drinks. While the company hunts for a replacement, William Grant chair Glenn Gordon and cfo Giles Wilson will assume Simon’s responsibilities. Simon first joined William Grant in 2007, serving first as managing … Continue reading “William Grant & Sons CEO Stepping Down”

Dear Client:   Pernod Ricard showed “marked improvement” for the first quarter ended September 30, with global sales down 6%. Comparatively, sales were down 36% in Q4.  “Our first quarter is encouraging. Sales were still in decline, but the business has recovered significantly vs. Q4 FY20, thanks to the partial reopening of the on-trade and … Continue reading “Pernod Sales up 6% in the US in Q1, Expects Further Improvement in H2”

Dear Client:   It’s been a tough year for California’s wine country, to say the least. The fallout from a global pandemic and a series of record-breaking wildfires in the region have left many wondering what this year’s harvest will look like.  A recent survey from the Sonoma County Winegrowers gives us some insight into … Continue reading “Sonoma Winegrowers Could Lose More Than $150M in 2020”

Dear Client:   After a sales decrease of more than 30% in Q1, Remy Cointreau showed “significant sequential improvement” in the second quarter through September with total sales down just 4%. As a result, sales for the first half were down 16.4% on an organic basis.  “We had guided for a modest decline in Q2, … Continue reading “US Performance Buoys Remy’s H1 Results”

Dear Client:   The pandemic has created some unique financial challenges this year, to say the least. A panel of cfos at the recent Wine Industry Financial Symposium discussed their early reactions to COVID, channel shifting, handling furloughs/layoffs, and how they’re thinking about a post-COVID environment. The panel included: Cory Brown, cfo of Washington-based Long … Continue reading “Winery CFOs Talk COVID, Channel Shifting and Planning for the Future”

Dear Client:   Continuing the conversation around M&A activity in the COVID-era and beyond, Park Street University led a panel on acquisitions and partnerships and what strategic buyers are thinking during the virtually-held Bar Convent Brooklyn this week. The panel included Evis Savvides, operating partner, North America for Distill Ventures, the Diageo-backed accelerator program; and … Continue reading “Top M&A Themes: Convergence and Resilience”

Dear Client:   COVID-19 has impacted pretty much everything this year, including M&A activity. A panel at the recent Wine Industry Financial Symposium discussed how they’re thinking about M&A in the current environment. HOW DO YOU APPROACH VALUATION? The question that always pops up for any panel discussing M&A, regardless of a pandemic, is: how … Continue reading “How the Pandemic has Impacted the Wine M&A Landscape”

Dear Client:  Yesterday, we published the first part of our interview with Jackson Family Wines vp of public relations Kristen Reitzell on their digital efforts for La Crema and virtual tourism [see WSD 10-13-2020]. Today we’ll pick up that conversation as Kristen discusses direct-to-consumer, reopening, and the impact of wildfires. LA CREMA’S SMALLER WINES FIND A … Continue reading “Part II: What Reopening Looks Like for La Crema”

Dear Client:  Jackson Family Wines’ La Crema winery had a “very healthy business, from a DTC and tourism visitation perspective” pre-COVID, with 3,000-4,000 visitors on a monthly basis during peak months, Kristen Reitzell, vp of public relations for Jackson Family Wines, tells WSD. But, like many other wineries, they’ve had to pivot and get creative to … Continue reading “How La Crema is Navigating the World of Virtual Wine Tourism”

Dear Client:   Wine is the second-largest category on the Drizly platform at a 38% share. (You may recall, spirits, at 41% share, overtook wine as the biggest category this year, see WSD 08-21-2020.) A recent Drizly BevAlc Insights report looked at the top-selling wine SKUs over the 12 months to September, noting consumer demographic … Continue reading “The Best-Selling Wines on Drizly”

Dear Client:   Spirits companies have been exploring the booming hard seltzer space with spirits-based products, most recently with Jose Cuervo Playamar Tequila Hard Seltzer and Brown-Forman’s Jack & Seltzer [see WSD 09-15-2020]. Now, big brewer Molson Coors aims to get in on the spirits-based seltzer action.  Molson Coors is launching Proof Point Spirited Seltzers … Continue reading “Molson Coors Throws its Hat in the Spirits-based Seltzer Ring”

Dear Client:   Michigan is cracking down on illegal direct-to-consumer shipments. On Tuesday, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel filed two separate, nearly identical 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.  The AG claims these lawsuits are “required … Continue reading “Michigan AG Cracks Down on Illegal Direct Shipments”

Dear Client:   Earlier this year Texas-based Gabriel Investment Group, owners of Gabriel’s Liquor and Don’s & Ben’s Liquor, filed suit against the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission in bankruptcy court over the state’s public corporation ban [see WSD 02-17-2020]. On Monday, a bankruptcy judge sided with the TABC, granting the agency’s motion for summary judgment.  … Continue reading “Judge Sides with Texas ABC in Public Corporation Ban Dispute”

Dear Client:   During the pandemic, direct-to-consumer and off-premise retail have been the healthiest channels for wine, and will most likely continue to be the healthiest in the future.  At the recent virtually held Wine Industry Financial Symposium, Danny Brager, consultant Brager Beverage Alcohol Consulting, compared growth across the two channels, breaking down the similarities … Continue reading “A Look at Wine’s Healthiest Channels”