Dear Client: Constellation Brands has been busy on the M&A front lately. Today the company announced a minority investment in El Silencio Mezcal through its venture capital division. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The Los Angeles-based mezcal brand has two expressions in its portfolio, Ensamble and Espadin, which is distributed nationwide through Southern … Continue reading “Constellation Takes Stake in El Silencio Mezcal”

Dear Client: Earlier this month, E&J Gallo purchased more than 30 wine and spirits brands from Constellation Brands for a cool $1.7 billion [see WSD 04-03-2019], continuing the wider trend of big, public suppliers streamlining and premiumizing their portfolios. What does that mean for the low-end segment of wine and spirits? BY THE NUMBERS. Between … Continue reading “The Future of the Low End”

Dear Client: Spirits came out of the gate strong in 2019, up nearly 7% in sales and 3.6% in volumes in the 13 weeks to March 23 in all Nielsen-measured channels. In fact, all spirits categories reported sales growth, with just a few reporting slight dips in volume. The usual suspects were stand-out performers for … Continue reading “Spirits Post Strong Start to 2019”

Dear Client: Missouri-based wholesaler Major Brands took Mast-Jagermeister to court last year for allegedly violating the state’s franchise law when it decided to switch its distribution over to Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits. Last month, US District Judge Henry Autrey sided with Jager and SGWS, granting their motions to dismiss in part, but gave Major … Continue reading “Judge Sides with Jager in Missouri Franchise Lawsuit”

Dear Client: The number of spirits brands coming online has skyrocketed in recent years. At the recent Wine & Spirits Daily Summit, several industry veterans– who have all embarked on new ventures–took the stage to discuss harnessing the power of building a diverse portfolio of independent brands and scaling together. The panelists included: Robert Furniss-Roe, … Continue reading “Industry Vets on Curating a Strong, Focused Portfolio”

Dear Client: Yesterday, the Trump administration threatened the European Union with tariffs on $11 billion of EU products from motorcycles and textiles to wine and cheese, escalating trade tensions. This latest round of tariff threats is part of a 14-year long dispute between the US and EU over aircraft subsidies. We’re not going to get … Continue reading “Trade Tensions Swell Between US and EU”

Dear Client: Similar to spirits, US wine exports were weighed down by retaliatory tariffs in 2018. Total US wine exports were down nearly 5% in value for the year to $1.47 billion and down 1.2% in volume to 41.7 million cases, according to the Wine Institute. WI notes that tariffs aren’t just to blame. The … Continue reading “Tariffs Hamper US Wine Exports in 2018”

Dear Client: In 2018, direct-to-consumers wine sales reached $3 billion from over six million cases of wine, according to ShipCompliant’s annual DTC report [see WSD 01-23-2019]. So far, 2019 data is following a similar trajectory. DTC wine shipments in February were up 5% in value to $262 million and 4% in volume to a little … Continue reading “2019 DTC Wine Growth On Par with 2018”

Dear Client: After more than a year of merger negotiations, Breakthru Beverage Group and Republic National Distributing Co. are calling it quits. The two jointly announced this morning that the proposed merger has been terminated and the related Hart-Scott-Rodino filing with the Federal Trade Commission has been withdrawn. Why? The two companies decided to call … Continue reading “RNDC, Breakthru Kill Merger”

Dear Client: Yesterday, news broke that E&J Gallo agreed to purchase more than 30 of Constellation Brands’ wine and spirits brands, as well as six winemaking facilities located in California, Washington, and New York, for $1.7 billion [see WSD 04-03-2019]. The news took top billing on this morning’s earnings call. “This strategic action is a … Continue reading “Constellation Brass on Translating Beer Strategy to W&S Portfolio”

Dear Client: E. & J. Gallo Winery (Gallo) just announced it has entered into an agreement with Constellation Brands to purchase more than 30 wine and spirits brands, as well as six winemaking facilities located in California, Washington, and New York, for $1.7 billion. The transaction, which is subject to closing adjustments/conditions, is expected to … Continue reading “Gallo Buying More than 30 Wine and Spirits Brands from Constellation for $1.7 Billion”

Dear Client: Today wraps up the 76th annual Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America convention. This year, your editor noticed there was a lot of focus on communicating the value of the three tier system.   In fact, incoming WSWA chairman Sydney Ross, Great Lakes Wine & Spirits vice chairman, took the stage Tuesday morning … Continue reading “WSWA 76 Emphasizes Value of Three Tier System”

Dear Client: We all know Tito’s Handmade Vodka is the fastest growing spirit brand in the country, and it’s growth does not appear to be slowing. We got to hear their evp of sales, US and Canada, Peter Angus, speak at the recent American Beverage Licensees conference in Vegas, and he presented some stats that … Continue reading “How Big Vodka Brands Stack Up to Tito’s”

Dear Client: Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America chief Michelle Korsmo has been at the helm for eight months and your editor got Michelle on the horn to discuss how she’s settling into her role and what issues are top-of-mind in 2019. AN OUTSIDE PERSPECTIVE. Working in a highly regulated industry is not a first … Continue reading “New WSWA Chief on Key Issues Facing Middle Tier”

Dear Client: The type of on-premise venue impacts the average number of bev alc drinks a consumer has in a single occasion. For instance, consumers drink more at a club or sports bar, at an average of about three drinks, compared to an average of less than 2 drinks at a casual dining venue, according … Continue reading “What Influences Consumers’ On-Premise Drink Choices”