Dear Client:Over the last couple of years, low and no-alcohol drinks have garnered more interest and popularity. Indeed, the trend has caught the attention of bartenders and big companies.You may recall, Diageo’s investment arm Distill Ventures invested in Seedlip, a line of non-alcoholic spirits, in 2016. DV said it’s “always seeking new investment opportunities in … Continue reading “Low/No-Alc Trend Expected to Grow “Aggressively” in the US”

Dear Client:Australia’s Casella Family Brands is reportedly considering selling its entire wine business, including Yellow Tail. The group could fetch more than $500 million. Casella has hired UBS investment bank to test the waters and look for potential buyers, according to the Australian Financial Review. Sources tell AFR that the company has received a number … Continue reading “Yellow Tail Up for Sale?”

Dear Client:Big company strategics have been pretty busy so far in 2019. In just the last week, Pernod Ricard acquired a majority share of Kentucky-based Rabbit Hole Whiskey through New Brand Ventures and Brown-Forman acquired Fords Gin. A panel at Bar Convent Brooklyn last week delved into the changing M&A landscape–looking at spirits in particular–and … Continue reading “A Look into Strategics’ Evolving M&A Approach”

Dear Client:Amazon is taking steps to increase its presence in the alcohol sale and delivery game, setting its sights on the Bay Area. The retailer recently submitted its application for a Type 21 liquor license to the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, and also seeks approval from the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, reports … Continue reading “Amazon Takes Steps to Expand Bev Alc Sales & Delivery”

Dear Client:Last week, news broke that Republic National Distributing Co. and Young’s Market Company are teaming up, resulting in a combined footprint of 33 markets [see WSD 06-13-2019].HOW WE GOT HERE. In 2017, RNDC and Breakthru Beverage Group announced their intention to merge to stop Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits from running away with the … Continue reading “Tom Cole on RNDC/Young’s Tie-Up”

Dear Client:Pernod Ricard has acquired a majority share of Kentucky-based Rabbit Hole Whiskey through its strategic New Brand Ventures. No financial details were disclosed.Rabbit hole was established in 2012 by Kaveh Zamanian. The company is recognized by its distillery in Louisville. The portfolio includes Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey, Straight Bourbon Whiskey … Continue reading “Pernod Buys Rabbit Hole Whiskey”

Dear Client: Just two months after Republic National Distributing Co. and Breakthru Beverage Group decided to kill their proposed merger, RNDC and Young’s Market have announced a definitive agreement to partner in all markets that Young’s currently operates, per a release. Under the terms of the agreement, RNDC and the Underwood family will oversee Young’s … Continue reading “RNDC and Young’s Market Announce JV”

Dear Client:Three Finnish guys and an American walk into a bar. That’s not the start of a joke. It’s the start of a company.  The Long Drink Company is bringing a popular Finnish RTD to American consumers. The founders–Mikael Taipale, Sakari Manninen, Evan Burns and Ere Partanen–started producing and shipping the Long Drink last year … Continue reading “The Long Drink: An RTD with an On-Premise Focus”

Dear Client:You’re not tired of reading about tariffs yet, right? Good. At the end of last month, President Trump threatened to impose a new round of tariffs on all Mexican imports starting June 10, including tequila and Mexican beer [see WSD 05-31-2018]. But on Friday, the US reached an agreement with Mexico suspending the tariffs … Continue reading “Keeping Tabs on Trump’s Tariffs”

Dear Client:After teasing a pending gin acquisition last week [see WSD 06-05-2019], this morning, Brown-Forman announced it has reached a “definitive agreement” to acquire The 86 Company, adding Fords Gin to the B-F portfolio. No financial details were disclosed. The purchase includes the Fords Gin trademark and other assets of The 86 Company, per a … Continue reading “Alert: B-F Acquires Fords Gin”

Dear Client:In April, Remy Cointreau reported a strong end to its fiscal year (ended March 31) with global organic sales up nearly 8% to about $1.36 billion [see WSD 04-24-2019]. Yesterday, the top brass provided more color on the fiscal year’s results, company strategy and a peek into what we can expect for the next … Continue reading “Remy Brass Talks Pricing Strategy, Brand Repositioning”

Dear Client:”One of the hottest trends is small sizes, in both wine and spirits,” said Dale Horst, the director of marketing and merchandising for the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB). In a presentation at the recent NABCA conference, Dale explained how embracing small sizes and alternative packaging in both wine and spirits has led to … Continue reading “PLCB Leans into Small Sizes, Cans Trend to Boost Sales”

Dear Client:  Brown-Forman faced some tough headwinds in fiscal 2019 including tariffs and an increase in raw costs like agave and wood, but managed to end its fiscal year with underlying global net sales growth at 5%.  “So rather than remember fiscal 2019 as the year of tariffs, we changed the headline to be 2019 … Continue reading “B-F Portfolio No Longer a “Leaky Bucket””

Dear Client:  Cannabis companies are looking to carve out a piece of Napa Valley for cultivation. So far, the Napa County Board of Supervisors has barred most cannabis activity in the county, so the cannabis industry is turning to the ballot. Last week, a group called the Napa Valley Cannabis Association submitted more than 8,000 … Continue reading “What’s Up with Cannabis Cultivation in Napa Valley”

Dear Client:  “In an industry as dynamic as ours, getting the attention of our shoppers whether a supplier, a distributor, or a retailer is now harder than ever,” said Dan Sanborn, head of Diageo’s culture and partnerships team at this year’s WSD Summit. Recently, Diageo has focused more of its marketing efforts on developing strategic … Continue reading “Why 30-Second Ad Spots Don’t Cut it Anymore”