Dear Client: Treasury Wine Estates ended its fiscal year with net sales revenue down 6.4% globally due to the impact of COVID-19 and challenging US wine market conditions. Last month, the company provided a preview of its preliminary fiscal year 2020 performance as well as a strategic update [see WSD 07-09-2020], and last night provided more detail … Continue reading “TWE to Cut Volumes in Half in the US, Focus on Premium Brands”

Dear Client:  No doubt the hard seltzer category is increasingly attractive, growing triple digits and reaching a 7.9 share of the total beer category year-to-date, according to Nielsen. Jose Cuervo is the latest to enter the growing category with the launch of Jose Cuervo Playamar Tequila Hard Seltzer.  Playamar (a compound of the Spanish words … Continue reading “Cuervo Enters Hard Seltzer Category”

Dear Client: Bev alc category lines continue to blur. Take recently-launched Erosion Wine Co., a Napa Valley-based direct-to-consumer winery with a craft beer influence. Indeed, it was started by The Bruery founder Patrick Rue. Erosion bills itself as a “new kind of winery” that is “playful, unapologetically hedonistic, and present our wines in unconventional formats,” like cans … Continue reading “The DTC Winery with a “Craft Beer Mentality””

Dear Client: Like most conferences this year, the American Craft Spirits Association is taking their annual convention virtual. Your editor got ACSA ceo Margie Lehrman on the horn ahead of the convention’s kickoff tomorrow afternoon to discuss how the craft spirits industry is doing and what ACSA has been working on. COVID IMPACT ON CRAFT … Continue reading “Direct Shipping and FET Reduction Top ACSA’s To-Do List”

Dear Client:Total beverage alcohol spending is forecasted to drop by 12.5% in 2020, according to Jon Moramarco, managing partner of BW166 and editor of the Gomberg-Fredrikson report. That’s estimating off-premise spending to be up 13.7% and on-premise spending down just over 48% for the year.For wine, Jon said they expect the wine category to end … Continue reading “Total Bev Alc Spending to Drop -12.5% in 2020”

Dear Client:Unless you’ve been living under a rock the last few months, you know off-premise bev alc sales have been growing double digits while on-premise sees major declines thanks to COVID-19-related containment measures. The question is: are off-premise gains enough to offset on-premise losses? The short answer: not quite, at least when it comes to … Continue reading “A Look at On v. Off-Premise Trends”

Dear Client:Breakthru Beverage Group is the No.3 wine and spirits distributor in the US, and their “vision is to be a leading TBA beverage operator,” says evp of supplier relations Kevin Roberts. Indeed, the distributor recently closed on a deal to consolidate its Molson Coors business in Southern Nevada, adding the Miller portfolio to its legacy … Continue reading “Breakthru Aims to be a Leading TBA Beverage Operator”

Dear Client: Diageo’s fiscal 2020 was “a year of two halves,” according to chief Ivan Menezes. Indeed, the company “delivered good consistent performance” in H1, while COVID-19 “significantly impacted” H2, with peak impact in the fourth quarter.   Organic net sales were down 8.4% globally for the fiscal year and volumes were down 11.2%. Growth in … Continue reading “Diageo Chief on “Resilient” US Market, Innovation and E-commerce”

Dear Client: Last month, more than 1,100 of Facebook’s 9 million advertisers participated in a boycott, pausing advertising spend on social media in an effort to push the platform to address the posts including hate speech and misinformation. Several bev alc companies joined the boycott, some of which have decided to extend the boycott, while … Continue reading “Companies Split on Social Media Boycott”

Dear Client: Celebrities get involved with bev alc brands in several different ways, from brand ambassadorship, to minority owner and creative director to founding member, and many celebs are working with brands in a combination of those roles.  “Celebrities as paid spokespeople for brands is an inherent part of the business, from coffee brands to … Continue reading “Rose and Tequila Categories “Uniquely Galvanized by Star Power””

Dear Client:Nielsen has broken down the COVID-era into three time periods: 1) COVID year-to-date, the first week of March to the present; 2) restricted living, the first week of March through May; and 3) re-opening, the first week of June through the latest time period. “Looking at just those more recent growth rates may be a … Continue reading “Consumers Settling into ‘New Normal’?”

Dear Client:In 2019, the top 10 US wine and spirits wholesalers represented more than 70% of US wine and spirits sales, and just the top three— Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits, RNDC/Young’s, and Breakthru Beverage Group— totaled $34 billion in sales. In response to increasing distributor consolidation, independent distributors are banding together to provide small to … Continue reading “Indie Distributors Band Together to Form National Network”

Dear Client: Spirits depletions were up 3% for the rolling 12-month period through June, a 40-basis point improvement over pre COVID (the 12-month period through February), according to recent SipSource data. Meanwhile, wine depletions were down 1.3% for the 12 months through June, but reported a 180-basis point improvement over the last four months.  That … Continue reading “SipSource: Wine & Spirits Consumption Increases During Pandemic”

Dear Client: Last week, C. Mondavi & Family Wine Company made its foray into the import category, acquiring French Blue Winery [see WSD 07-22-2020]. Your editor caught up with ceo Judd Wallenbrock to discuss the acquisition and how the company is dealing in the current environment.  COVID IMPACT NOT AS BAD AS EXPECTED. First we … Continue reading “C. Mondavi & Family CEO on Being “Aggressive” in Current Environment”

Dear Client: Promising development out of Europe today on the aircraft subsidy dispute (and potentially on the resulting retaliatory tariffs). Today, Europe’s Airbus said it is amending French and Spanish government loans by accepting higher interest rates in a “final” bid to settle the dispute, reports Reuters. “With this final move, Airbus considers itself in … Continue reading “Europe Shows “Good Faith” in Airbus Dispute, Takes Step Toward Ending Tariffs”