In recent years the largest wholesalers have been consolidating the market and expanding to new regions. The 6 major distributors have now consolidated into 4, with two of the largest mergers seen in the industry in many years. Wirtz Beverage and Charmer Sunbelt merged to form Breakthru Beverage Group, which now accounts for 14% of the market. The other merger was a blockbuster with Southern Wine & Spirits merging with Glazer’s to create Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits. They are now the largest distributor and operate in all of the major open states and are close to a complete nationwide footprint with operations in 44 states.
As the major wholesalers continue to consolidate it is leading to fierce competition for market share and brand recognition. There are many benefits as well, with brands being able to reach more markets and receive efficiencies of scale through refined distribution. This trend doesn’t seem to be going away as RNDC is looking to expand its footprint as well in the near future.
Source: IWSR, May 2017