Dear Client: Diageo North America president Debra Crew has been in the role for about eight months now, taking the helm following Deirdre Mahlan’s retirement [see WSD 03-24-2020].  Your editor recently sat down with Debra (over Zoom) to discuss her new role, recent growth drivers, and what’s in store for the second half of the … Continue reading “A Chat with New Diageo NA Chief Debra Crew”

Dear Client:  Direct-to-consumer is an increasingly important channel for wineries and growing like gangbusters, with shipments up 27% to 8.39 million cases in 2020, reaching $3.7 billion, according to ShipCompliant’s annual DTC report. As the channel continues to grow, particularly spurred on by COVID-related trends, state agencies and legislators are taking a closer look at … Continue reading “Recent DTC Bills in Tennessee Point to Wider Trend”

Dear Client:   Grupo Cuervo ended 2020 with total net sales up 19.4% and volumes up 7%, driven by its premium tequila brands and RTDs.   The Jose Cuervo brand family grew net sales by 19.4% and volumes were flattish at 0.4% globally for the fiscal year. The company’s other tequilas (1800, Azul Centenario and Maestro … Continue reading “Premium Tequilas, RTDs Drive Cuervo’s Double-Digit Growth in 2020”

Dear Client:   Continuing our coverage of the annual Silicon Valley Bank State of the Wine Industry report, evp and founder of SVB’s wine division Rob McMillan cites the challenge of recruiting younger consumers to the wine category as a top headwind for the industry.   Boomers are still the largest consumers of wine in the … Continue reading “Millennials’ Lagging Participating in Premium Wine Poses “Greatest Concern””

Dear Client:   Infused tequila brand 21 Seeds launched in 2019, and is growing like gangbusters. The brand saw 9x year over year growth in 2020, and plans to be nationwide this year through a recent partnership with Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits.  Your editor recently sat down virtually with ceo and co-founder Kat Hantas … Continue reading “The Tequila for Wine Drinkers (and Wine-Drinking Occasions)”

Dear Client:   As COVID-19 vaccines continue to roll out and restrictions slowly ease up, experts tend to agree that things will return to some kind of normal by this summer. Of course, things won’t return exactly to pre-COVID norms. In the latest Rabobank Wine Quarterly report, Rabobank outlines the long-term impacts and who will … Continue reading “Rabobank: How Long-Term COVID Impacts Favor Large Wineries”

Dear Client:  It’s been a busy week for retailer shipping cases, and retailers aren’t faring too well. You may recall, a slew of retailer shipping cases cropped up in mid-2019 shortly following the Supreme Court’s Total Wine & More v. Tennessee decision, striking down Tennessee’s residency requirement to obtain a liquor license. JUDGE DISMISSES SUIT IN KENTUCKY. … Continue reading “Retailers Losing Ground in Shipping Disputes”

Dear Client:   Campari ended 2020 with net sales down about 4%. For the fourth quarter ended December 31, sales were down 7% “largely due to the impact of the renewed lockdowns as well as the severe restrictive measures affecting key on-premise markets,” according to ceo Bob Kunze-Concewitz.  US PERFORMANCE. In the US, shipments were … Continue reading “Campari Reports “Good Recovery” in the US in Q4″

Dear Client:  Stoli Group announced today that Harry Bigelow will head up the group’s North America division. Harry’s resume includes major beverage companies such as Diageo, Guinness USA, Red Bull, PepsiCo, and E&J Gallo.The company is also bringing on Mark Iveson to the North America team as sales director West as well as Rhian Chodak … Continue reading “Stoli Group Names New President North America”

Dear Client:   Editor’s note: Power has been finicky here in Texas due to snow and ice. We’re working with what we have, so apologies for the inevitable mistakes and typos. Treasury Wine Estates reported total net sale revenues up 8.2% for the first half of fiscal 2021. But the big news from the company’s … Continue reading “TWE Restructures into Three Brand-Led Divisions”

Dear Client:  Shortly after the Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost officially closed its case over illegal direct-to-consumer shipments [see WSD 01-26-2021], Michigan settled its own, similar DTC-related cases with two retailers.  BACKGROUND. In October, Michigan AG Dana Nessel filed two separate, nearly identical lawsuits against California-based Vintner’s Collective and Go To Gifts after both failed to … Continue reading “Michigan AG Settles Cases Over Illegal DTC Shipments”

Dear Client:   In 2020, beverage alcohol sales reached $89 billion in Nielsen-measured off-premise channels, up $13.5 billion from 2019. Breaking that down by category:  Spirits dollars grew over 25% and volumes were up just over 20% for the 52 weeks ended January 2, 2021. Wine sales were up 17.5% and volumes were up 12.5%, … Continue reading “Nielsen: Breaking Down 2020, Plus a Glimpse at 2021”

Dear Client:   Pernod Ricard’s sales continue to be weighed down by declines in the travel retail channel, with total sales down nearly 4% on an organic basis for the first half of its fiscal year. Excluding travel retail, sales were actually up 1%.  STRONG GROWTH IN THE US. In the first half, sales in … Continue reading “Pernod Ups Investment in E-commerce, A&P and Tequila”

Dear Client:  Tennessee-based Ole Smoky is known for its popular distillery destinations. In 2019, the company welcomed 4.5 million visitors across four distilleries. The original site in Gatlinburg, TN is the most visited distillery, at 2.1 million visitors in 2019. That’s more than the number of people who visited the entire Kentucky Bourbon Trail the … Continue reading “Ole Smoky CEO on the Impact Shuttered Tasting Rooms have on Innovation”

Dear Client:   At the virtual WSD Summit last month, we hosted Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits and Breakthru Beverage execs to discuss industry hot topics and top issues facing the middle tier amidst a global pandemic.  The panel included SGWS cco John Wittig and Breakthru cco E. Lloyd Sobel, and was moderated by Wine … Continue reading “Top Distribs Talk Channel Shifting, E-commerce, DTC and More”