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National spirits make their mark

National spirits such as baijiu, soju and Indian whisky have gained significant market share recently and are expected to continue growing. According to a new report assembled by Vinexpo and the IWSR, global spirits consumption will grow 1.7% between in the next 3 years. The fastest-growing spirit category by volume will be Tequila followed by Cognac. Bourbon, Scotch and gin are also all predicted to perform strongly and set to increase volumes. The report also notes that all spirit categories will achieve growth in the premium-plus price bracket by 2021. Gin and baijiu are expected to see the greatest CAGR gains in this price bracket. Vinexpo CEO Guillaume Deglise remarked that markets with renowned national spirits such as China are home to “very loyal” consumers. “But on the other side,” he added, “the fact that baijiu is going more premium is also a good sign that these producers are looking to enter new markets, both locally and nationally.” Source: The Spirits Business, February...

Beer sales start strong in 2018

According to Information Resources, Inc. (IRI), beer sales and import figures have lived up to their New Year’s resolution, increasing by 3% in just the first month. The category’s growth has favored a handful of segments. In the lead are super premiums and imports, up 13.8% and 9%, respectively. Craft products experienced solid growth over the month, up 5.8%, and even cider is off to a significant start, up 3.3%. The January 2018 Beer Purchasers’ Index for total beer also has had noteworthy 2018 success. “The total beer index for January 2018 at 52 is significantly above the January 2017 reading at 42.2, which is not surprising giving the low inventory levels reported at the end of 2017,” said the National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) Chief Economist Lester Jones. The index is reported as a composite measurement where a reading greater than 50 indicates the segment is expanding, and a reading below 50 indicates the segment is contracting. Source: Beer Business Daily, February...

Park Street President Chris Mehringer to speak on Vinexpo Panel

New York, NY – Vinexpo, taking place in New York for the first time, has organized a two-day conference dedicated to providing wine and spirit brands with the opportunity to connect with industry leaders and learn the latest trends in the ever-evolving alcohol business. As part of its initiation into the largest wine consuming market, Vinexpo has invited industry expert and Park Street President and Co-Founder, Chris Mehringer, to speak on an esteemed panel of professionals, exclusively presented to Vinexpo New York exhibitors. The panel will discuss industry trends within the U.S. market, a range of route-to-market strategies, and tips for building a successful brand. The presentation will take place the evening before the expo’s launch on Sunday, March 4th at 3:00 pm. Pioneered by Mehringer and CEO Harry Kohlmann, Park Street offers an innovative platform for craft wine and spirit brands to enter and expand in the U.S. market. Park Street is a leading provider of productivity-enhancing and cost-saving back-office solutions, advisory services, and working capital to several thousand alcoholic beverage brands from the US and around the world. The company’s clients range from entrepreneurs to multi-brand global suppliers, and include craft distillers, centuries-old family businesses, award-winning wineries, innovation brands, and more. Vinexpo is an international brand committed to producing prominent wine and spirit events customized for trade professionals. Since 1981, the event has expanded to Bordeaux, Hong Kong, Tokyo and New York, granting the company the exclusive title of the only international brand with wine and spirit events in the three continents with the highest consumption rates. Vinexpo has become a pivotal business to expanding the wine...

The California wine industry following wildfire of October

The Tubbs fire was the most destructive wildfire in California history burning major areas of Northern California, including Napa, Sonoma and Lake counties. Since October 2017, grape growers and winemakers alike have been nervous to discover how the fire has affected crops. Vintners have begun to see some telling marks along the vines. Some appear completely destroyed, colored black and crisp to the touch, but it won’t be until budding season that growers will know for certain how much damage the Tubbs fire caused. In about mid-march, when the buds start emerging, vintners then will be able to determine if the shoots are growing normally, or if the vines are so spoiled they will have to be replanted. Even so, the vine can produce grapes- but their quality may have deteriorated. Growers will have to monitor the quantity and quality of the fruit to ensure yields throughout the vineyard are consistent. Luckily, only a small amount of vines were harmed by the fire. A recent survey by Sonoma State University’s Wine Business Institute found that 99.8 percent of the region’s vineyards were not affected by the October fires. But any loss can add up quickly in sales. Preliminary figures for the size and value of the 2017 crop are yet to be...

The New York International Beer Competition announcement

New York – On Sunday, February 11th, the New York International Beer Competition will welcome commercially produced beer, cider and mead makers from all around the world to partake in the opportunity of having expert trade buyers taste and rate their products.  As the only U.S. competition of its kind, the event will host distributors, retail stores, restaurant & bar owners, and importers to perform blind taste tests across different categories and prices. Brand owners will have the choice of promoting to their key trade target and determine if it is an appropriate fit. The judges are tasting and considering the product as if they are buying for their own business. The outcomes will immediately influence the brand’s ability to direct sales and enhance marketing efforts. This is an opportunity for craft breweries to bring their product into the eye line of industry professional and expert buyers. The competition will take place this upcoming Sunday, February 11th at 3 West Club, New York, NY. Park Street is acting as the Importer of Record for this competition. Once you submit your entry form to New York International Beer Competition, please contact our competitions team at: competitions@parkstreet.com Park Street will assist you in obtaining all necessary import documentation and supply you with detailed instructions for properly preparing and labeling your shipment. Please note that the COLA waiver takes 10 – 12 business days for approval back from the...

American Whiskey sales continue to grow

Reports by the Distilled Spirits Council show increased whiskey sales across major categories. U.S. revenues for bourbon, Tennessee whiskey and rye whiskey rose 8.1 percent, or $252 million, to $3.4 billion in 2017. Domestic volumes rose 6.4 percent to nearly 23.2 million cases. Ultra-premium whiskeys experienced the greatest surge among American whiskeys. Volumes rose 18.3 percent, while revenues were up 18 percent. These whiskeys typically take the longest to age and sell at the highest prices. Export revenues for bourbon, Tennessee whiskey and rye whiskey products also rose exponentially and are expected to reach $1.1 billion, driven by favorable exchange rates and trending demand for premium American spirits, the council said. The top five growth markets by dollar value for American distilled spirits were the United Kingdom, Germany, Brazil, France and Spain. Source: Fox Business, February...

Spirits sales reach $26.2 billion in 2017

The spirits category continued its stead growth, increasing its market share for the eighth consecutive year, according to the Distilled Spirits Council’s state of the union. Spirits suppliers sales were up 4 percent to $26.2 billion, an increase of roughly $1 billion over 2016. This marks the fourth consecutive year supplier sales grew by at least $1 billion. Volume was also up, growing 2.6 percent to 226 million cases. The growth has been weighted towards the high end, super premium products, according to the Council’s SVP of economics and strategic analysis. The top 3 factors that contributed to the growth in 2017 were: increasing consumer confidence, millennials preference for premium products and more company product innovations/line extensions that resonated with consumers. Source: Wine & Spirits Daily, February...

Johnson Brothers announces new distribution agreement with Treasury Wine Estates

Johnson Brothers, one of the largest spirits and wine distributors in the U.S., has announced a new six-state distribution agreement with Treasury Wine Estates Limited, one of the world’s largest premium wine producers. Johnson Brothers will now represent Treasury Wine Estates in Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, and West Virginia. Johnson Brothers currently distributing a portion of the Treasury Wine Portfolio, the new agreement now encompasses their full portfolio and expands the number of markets. Source: Johnson Brothers, January...

Robot bartender on display at London design festival

A unique new cocktail-mixing robot, created by UK-based firm Factorylux, debuted recently at the London Design Festival. Factorylux, a lighting manufacturing firm, repurposed a robot arm used in the industry to channel audio frequencies to actually mix the cocktails. Their goal was to design a small/lightweight design to disrupt a saturated market. The robot was a hit with guests at the “Cocktail and Robots” display booth. Source: The Spirits Business, January...

Drought in South Africa could cause smallest wine harvest in past decade

The persistent drought in South Africa are producing grim predictions for grape yields. According to the South African Wine Industry Information & Systems (SAWIS) a crop estimate in the second week of January has forecasted a notably smaller harvest than previous years – possibly the smallest since 2005. Crop yields for 2018 are expected to plummet by about 50% compared to 2017. “The 2018 wine grape crop is expected to be the smallest since 2005, due to a decline in vineyard area, an ongoing drought and crop losses due to frost and hail,” said Francois Viljoen, manager of Vinpro’s viticultural consultation service. The bulk wine sector could see yields go down 25% to 50% due to the persistent dry conditions, Peens estimated. However, the premium wine sector is doing relatively well. The South African wine industry is the ninth largest producer of wine in the world and contributes 4% to global production. These numbers are subject to change following the 2018 harvest. Source: The Drinks Business, January...