Dear Client:  Brown-Forman and Pernod Ricard reported their latest earnings today. A key theme ran through both: the resiliency of the US market.  B-F CAPITALIZING ON COVID TRENDS Brown-Forman reported underlying net sales growth of 3% for the first quarter ended July 31, driven by performance in the US and other developed markets as well … Continue reading ““Resilient” US Market Boosts B-F and Pernod Performance”

Dear Client: Today Beam Suntory announced the acquisition of Dallas-based On the Rocks Cocktails, which produces ready-to-serve, co-branded premium cocktails. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. On the Rocks (OTR) was founded in 2015 by restaurateurs Patrick Halbert and Rocco Milano. In 2017, OTR struck a co-branding and supply partnership with Beam which also included a … Continue reading “Beam Suntory Acquires On the Rocks Cocktails RTD Brand”

Dear Client:  New Jersey’s two largest wine and spirits wholesalers, Allied Beverage Group and Fedway Associates, along with 20 retailers are set to pay a total of over $10 million in fines after engaging in “discriminatory trade practices that unfairly favored” large retailers, per a release from the Office of the Attorney General and the … Continue reading “NJ Wholesalers Fined $8M for “Unfairly Favoring” Large Retail Partners”

Dear Client:  About 46 states allow direct-to-consumer wine shipping, while just a handful allow DTC spirits. But the craft spirits industry hopes to change that. You may recall, American Craft Spirits Association ceo Margie Lehrman recently told WSD that DTC is a top priority [see WSD 08-10-2020]. Indeed, at the ACSA convention earlier this month, … Continue reading “Westward’s New DTC Program Complements, not Competes with, Liquor Stores”

Dear Client:  Walmart has toppled Amazon this year as the top player in e-commerce grocery, due to a slip in buyer count for the major online retailer as more consumers turn to secondary players, according to TABS Analytics Annual Food and Beverage Consumables Study.  In 2019, Amazon’s share of grocery e-commerce transactions sat at 32.6% … Continue reading “Walmart Dethrones Amazon as No.1 in E-commerce Grocery”

Dear Client:  Anheuser-Busch is creeping further into the wine and spirits space, striking a “strategic partnership” with Sazerac Company to use its Fireball and Southern Comfort trademarks, sister publication Beer Business Daily has learned.  The partnership is part of A-B’s intent to accelerate growth in their Beyond Beer platform, “a key element of our long-term … Continue reading “A-B and Sazerac Team Up for New Fireball and SoCo FMBs”

Dear Client:  Cans have been gaining popularity across all bev alc segments from hard seltzer in slim cans to canned wine to ready-to-drink cocktails. But how much are cans actually growing? Nielsen answered that question in its latest data set.  Cans account for a very small percentage of total dollar sales for wine and spirits. … Continue reading “Cans Gaining Share Across All Bev Alc Categories”

Dear Client: Walmart’s petition to sell spirits in Texas is gaining support, most recently from the US Chamber of Commerce.  QUICK RECAP. Walmart can sell beer and wine in Texas, but is prohibited from owning a package store permit, and therefore from selling spirits. The retailer filed a lawsuit against the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission in 2015 … Continue reading “US Chamber of Commerce Backs Walmart’s Petition to Sell Spirits in TX”

Dear Client:  Boardroom Spirits launched in 2016, entering its fifth year of operation in 2020. Based in Lansdale, Pennsylvania, Boardroom does a little bit of everything, including private label and contract distilling. But what the education-focused brand really centers on is creating differentiated distilled products for their community and home state of Pennsylvania. “What we … Continue reading “Successful Pivots from an Up-and-Coming Brand”

Dear Client:  Earlier in COVID times, all major spirits companies enjoyed a boost in growth, with some better placed to capture that growth, but there weren’t any clear material shifts in winners/losers, according to Bernstein [see WSD 05-11-2020]. But, “it is now much more evident that certain categories (cognac, tequila, cocktails) and therefore the largest … Continue reading “Bernstein: Remy, Moet Hennessy & Proximo Taking Share in COVID-Era”

Dear Client:  Call 2020 the year that bev alc e-commerce really arrived. Or at least, flung the door wide open.   Today, the largest platform for bev alc e-commerce, Drizly, announced it has closed a $50 million Series C funding round. New York based investment firm Avenir led the round, with participation by Tiger Global “and … Continue reading “Drizly Expects 20% of Off-Premise Alcohol Sales to Go Online by 2025”

Dear Client:  This week the Michigan Beer & Wine Wholesalers Association spotlighted the amount of bev alc bottles shipped illegally into the state from out-of-state retailers. In total, 1.5 million bottles of alcohol were shipped into the state from January through September of 2019, and the group estimates more than 480,000 of that was shipped … Continue reading “Retailer Shipping Case in Michigan Garners Consumer Support”

Dear Client:  In 2017, Diageo purchased George Clooney’s tequila brand, Casamigos, for a whopping $1 billion. There was some sticker shock at the time, but the brand is on track to meet Diageo’s benchmarks.  Yesterday, Diageo made another star-studded purchase with a high multiple, acquiring Aviation American Gin, part-owned by actor Ryan Reynolds, along with … Continue reading “Aviation to Follow Casamigos’ Footsteps?”

Dear Client: Diageo announced today it has reached an agreement to acquire Aviation American Gin through the acquisition of Aviation Gin LLC and Davos Brands LLC for up to $610 million, per a release.  Also included in the acquisition of Davos Brands is Astral Tequila, Sombra Mezcal and TYKU Sake brands. The agreement includes an initial payment of … Continue reading “Diageo Acquires Davos Brands, Including Aviation Gin, for $610 Million”

Dear Client:  The American Craft Spirits Association held its annual conference this week virtually, with more than 200 attendees across 35 states and several countries tuning in to the two-day event. Dutch Bros. Coffee president Joth Ricci kicked things off on Tuesday as the conference’s keynote speaker. He emphasized several times throughout his presentation that … Continue reading “Now’s the Time to Play Offense”