Dear Client:Johnson Bros. has agreed to pay the Virginia Alcohol Beverage Control Authority (VABC) $51,300 as part of a settlement agreement for allegedly violating the state’s wholesale laws. VABC Bureau of Law Enforcement personnel conducted investigations between October 2018 and June 2019, finding that Johnson Bros. and Riverside Imports (which partners with Johnson Bros.) failed to … Continue reading “Johnson Bros. Fined for Violating Virginia ABC Wholesale Laws”

Dear Client:Last week, Constellation Brands reported pretty dismal numbers for its wine and spirits business, with net sales down almost 9% and depletions down 13% for the second quarter [see WSD 10-03-2019]. And the short-term outlook doesn’t look better – they expect their wine and spirits division to end fiscal 2020 with net sales down … Continue reading “Constellation to Focus on 10 Key Wine and Spirits Brands”

Dear Client:Last week, the World Trade Organization sided with the US in its dispute with the European Union over aircraft subsidies, which opened the door for the Trump Administration to move forward with a 25% tariff increase on a host of European goods including Scotch and wine [see WSD 10-03-2019].While the list did include selected … Continue reading “Bernstein: Proposed EU Tariffs “Crucially” Excludes Certain Bev Alc Categories”

Dear Client:Wine industry execs gathered in Napa this week for the 28th annual Wine Industry Financial Symposium (which is pretty easy to do since most of them are already there.) There’s a lot to unpack from the two-day event, but first here’s a few highlights and hot topics. CAPTURING THE HARD SELTZER CONSUMER. You just can’t … Continue reading “Wine Execs on Capturing the Hard Seltzer Consumer”

Dear Client:Constellation Brands’ wine and spirits business continues to decline as they await FTC approval for its sale of 30+ brands to E&J Gallo. Indeed, wine and spirits net sales were down almost 9%, depletions were down 13% and shipments were down 10% in the second quarter ended August 31. “We continue to work with the … Continue reading “Delayed Gallo Deal Weighs Down Constellation’s Wine & Spirits Biz”

Dear Client:The World Trade Organization sided with the US in its dispute with the European Union over aircraft subsidies, giving the Trump Administration the green light to move forward with retaliatory tariffs on billions of dollars worth of European goods, which may include Irish whiskey and Scotch.This is part of a 14-year long dispute between … Continue reading “WTO Gives Trump Admin Greenlight to Implement Tariffs on EU Goods”

Dear Client:Almost immediately after the US Supreme Court handed down its decision in the Total Wine & More v. Tennessee case, several separate retailer shipping lawsuits were filed in Kentucky, New Jersey, Texas and Indiana [see WSD 07-19-2019]. Here’s how they’re progressing. They may be separate cases, but the underlying argument is the same: the state … Continue reading “The State of Current Retailer Shipping Cases”

Dear Client:On Friday, we published the first part of our interview with Proper No. Twelve Irish Whiskey founding partner Ken Austin [see WSD 09-27-2019]. Today we’ll pick up where we left off as Ken discusses similarities between Irish whiskey and high-end tequila categories as well as whether Proper No. Twelve would ever be up for … Continue reading “Part II: Irish Whisky to Follow in Tequila’s Footsteps?”

Dear Client:Irish whiskey is the fastest growing segment within the broader whiskey category, and Jameson still controls the lion’s share (almost 75%) of the market. But new entrants are beginning to nip at Jameson’s heels, including MMA fighter Conor McGregor’s Proper No. Twelve.  Your editor recently sat down with founding partner Ken Austin to discuss how … Continue reading “Proper No. Twelve: “We’re not Here to Take Part, We’re Here to Takeover””

Dear Client:Earlier this year, E&J Gallo entered into an agreement with Constellation Brands to purchase more than 30 wine and spirits brands, as well as six winemaking facilities in California, Washington and New York, for $1.7 billion. Jon Moramarco, BW166 founder and Gomberg, Fredrikson & Associates editor, explored market share and other financial impacts pre-sale v. … Continue reading “Gallo/ STZ Deal: Pre-sale v. Post-sale by the Numbers”

Dear Client:The Distilled Spirits Council has been pretty busy in the last year from bringing on new chief Chris Swonger to dealing with tariffs and advocating for the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act (CBMTRA) to working more closely with Responsibility.org.  Last month the Distilled Spirits Council jointly launched a new platform to support spirits … Continue reading “DISCUS Chief on Tapping into Broader Audience to Advocate for Industry Issues”

Dear Client:Last month, Treasury Wine Estates announced that Americas chief Victoria Snyder left the company and Angus McPherson took over as the new president – Americas and global sales [see WSD 08-27-2019].  At the company’s annual investor day meeting last night, Angus discussed TWE’s current position in the US market and key strategies to support growth … Continue reading “New TWE Americas Chief Details 3 “Strategic Imperatives””

Dear Client:On Thursday, the Pennsylvania House Liquor Control Committee passed a bill (HB 1512), sponsored by state Rep. Jesse Topper, to repeal the state’s flexible pricing model for alcohol in a 15-10 vote.   BACKGROUND. In 2016, Pennsylvania passed new alcohol legislation, which included wine in grocery and direct wine sales as well as implemented a flexible … Continue reading “PA Legislators Take Step Toward Repealing Flexible Pricing Program”

Dear Client:US whiskey (including bourbon, Tennessee and rye) accounts for 11% of global whiskey volumes and almost 20% of category value, a market share it’s maintained over the last 10 years. “We believe the category has strong further volume growth and premiumization potential, especially outside the USA,” writes Bernstein analyst Trevor Stirling in a recent … Continue reading “Top 6 Players in US Whiskey Control 90% of Volumes”

Dear Client:Earlier this month, ShipCompliant’s mid-year direct-to-consumer report showed that rose has slowed down in 2019 after an eight-year growth trajectory [see WSD 09-06-2019]. That got us thinking, how’s the category doing outside the DTC channel?  GROWTH IS SLOWING. Rose is also showing much slower growth rates in Nielsen-measured channels.  Through mid-2017 and mid-2018, rose table wine … Continue reading “A Bird’s Eye View of Rose”