Dear Client:  A few years ago Oklahoma voters “overwhelmingly approved” State Question 792, allowing the sale of wine and full-strength beer in grocery and c-stores, which officially took effect October 2018. The legislation also allowed suppliers to choose any wholesaler in the state as well as allowed out-of-state distributors to operate as full distributors within … Continue reading “Oklahoma Distrib “Forced out of Business” by Alleged Antitrust Conspiracy”

Dear Client:   Five Drinks Co. canned cocktails hit the scene in July 2019. In its home market of Florida, the brand has surpassed Cutwater Spirits in year-to-date dollar sales to become the No.1 canned cocktail in the Florida liquor channel. Moreover, it’s ranked No.5 in the state when you include the big national seltzer … Continue reading “Former A-B Exec on New RTD Cocktail Company”

Dear Client:   In 2020, total bev alc consumption is projected to go up 1.8%, slightly higher than growth of the LDA population (growing at about 1%), according to Jon Moramarco, managing partner of BW166 and editor of the Gomberg-Fredrikson report.  Wine shipments have been flattening the last couple of years and will likely end … Continue reading “Wine Shipments Unable to Offset Tasting Room Losses in 2020”

Dear Client:   Good news on the tariffs front. Yesterday, the UK government decided it will suspend the recently announced retaliatory tariffs on US rum, brandy and vodka.  You may recall, the World Trade Organization gave the European Union the authorization to impose its own set of retaliatory tariffs on $4 billion worth of US … Continue reading “UK Drops Latest Tariffs on US Rum, Vodka and Brandy”

Dear Client:   For the first half of its fiscal year, Brown-Forman reported a global net sales decrease of 1%. The first quarter largely weighed down results for the half. Sales were up 4% on an underlying basis in the second quarter ended November 31.  The US continues to be a strong performer. Sales were … Continue reading “B-F Maintains High Single-Digit Growth in the US Despite Headwinds”

Dear Client:   Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost filed suit against several out-of-state retailers and a wholesaler earlier this year for violating the state’s liquor laws that prohibit them from shipping alcohol directly to Ohio residents. Most recently, the state settled with two more defendants– Pacific Wine & Spirits and Wine Country Gift Baskets– while … Continue reading “Ohio AG Settles with Two More Defendants in DTC Case, Another Denies Wrongdoing”

Dear Client:   The direct-to-consumer spirits channel has been on the rise in recent years, and COVID has only accelerated that trend. (Though it’s still nowhere near the size of the nearly $4 billion DTC wine market.) A panel at the recent virtual Bar Convent Brooklyn, hosted by Park Street University, explored the DTC spirits … Continue reading “Increased Awareness Drives DTC Spirits Growth in 2020 and Beyond”

Dear Client:   Today Drizly released findings from its second annual nationwide survey of independent bev alc retailers. Those independent retailers surveyed are seeing big boosts to both online and in-store sales since March, with 70% reporting higher in-store sales and 78% reporting higher online sales.  The methodology: Drizly conducted an in-depth study of more … Continue reading “Majority of Indie Bev Alc Retailers’ Online Sales Reach 11%+ of Total Sales”

Dear Client:   Constellation Brands cfo Garth Hankinson took the virtual stage today at the Morgan Stanley Virtual Global Consumer & Retail Conference. Perhaps not surprisingly, wine and spirits took a backseat to beer and hard seltzer during the session– as beer continues to be the largest (and more profitable) section of the business. And … Continue reading “Constellation W&S Biz on its Way to Mid-Single-Digit Growth + 30% Margin”

Dear Client:   Today Minnesota-based Prestige Beverage Group announced it has acquired the Windsor Canadian Whisky brand from Beam Suntory, per a release. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.  “Windsor will be a foundational pillar in Prestige’s spirits portfolio, giving us instant scale in the whisky category,” Prestige gm and cmo Scott Schilling tells … Continue reading “Prestige Beverage Group Buys Windsor Canadian Whisky from Beam”

Dear Client:   US spirits industry growth accelerated to 11% in Q3, above the 4%-5% growth trend pre-COVID. That acceleration is largely due to price/mix and volume growth, according to a recent Credit Suisse note.  Premiumization has accelerated in the off-premise channel, and Credit Suisse expects that trend will continue at least in the medium-term. … Continue reading “Credit Suisse: Why Diageo is Poised for a Fast(er) COVID Recovery”

Dear Client:   Earlier this month, the European Union moved forward with retaliatory tariffs on nearly $4 billion worth of US goods, including spirits, as part of a 16-year-long dispute between the US and EU over aircraft subsidies [see WSD 11-09-2020].  “Obviously, we were greatly troubled by the EU’s announcement,” Distilled Spirits Council chief Chris … Continue reading “DISCUS Chief on Latest Tariffs, New Administration and Other Priorities”

Dear Client:   After several years of working its way through the courts, the Supreme Court decided to not hear Walmart’s case against the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission. HOW WE GOT HERE. Recall, Walmart can sell beer and wine in Texas, but is prohibited from owning a package store permit, and therefore from selling spirits. … Continue reading “Supreme Court Denies Walmart Spirits Retail Case”

Dear Client:   The direct-to-consumer wine channel has seen a huge boost during the pandemic as consumers stay at home and do too much online shopping. For the first six months of 2020, DTC wine shipments were up by nearly 1 million cases over 2019, a 29% increase, according to data from Sovos ShipCompliant and … Continue reading “DTC Wine Shipments Could Reach $4 Billion in 2020”

Dear Client:   Last month, Ste. Michelle Wine Estates announced that chief Jim Mortensen is retiring and industry veteran David Dearie will be taking his place, effective November 1 [see WSD 10-27-2020]. Your editor got David on the horn recently to discuss his new role.  “It’s a horrible phrase, but people tend to call me … Continue reading “Ste. Michelle’s New Chief Wants a Wine Option for Every Bev Alc Occasion”