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TTB Clarifies Trade Practice Enforcement During COVID-19

Given the circumstances of the alcohol industry under COVID-19, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) has made clarifications to the application of the trade practice provisions from the Federal Alcohol Administration (FAA) Act. The TTB will allow the return of products that were to be used at cancelled events, temporarily extend the allowable credit terms for retailers from 30 to 120 days, and temporarily allow industry members to make donations to charities that support alcohol beverage retailers or their employees. The bureau also clarified that industry members may provide hand sanitizers to consumers, or donate prepaid gift cards to consumers, as long as the card is not tied to a retailer. Source: Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, May...

Spirits Lead Category in Strongest Increase Since Peak Pantry Loading Period

For the week ending May 2, the alcohol category had its strongest performance since peak pantry-loading period in March, according to new Nielsen data. Total off-premise sales were up 32% for the week led by spirits (+38.6%), followed by wine (+35.8%), and then beer/FMB/cider (+28.1%). Below are some of the highlights from the Nielsen update: Nielsen speculates the period might have captured some pre-Cinco de Mayo purchasing, which resulted in the bump in sales. However, trends went “way beyond” just upticks for typical holiday drinks like Mexican beer or Tequila. Data shows that price/mix is still trending upward as higher price tiers are growing faster than lower price tiers. For spirits specifically, the price tiers that had the largest gain were those in the middle, while the value and ultra premium price tiers on the far ends of the spectrum did not see as big of an increase. Though, Nielsen notes that despite high-priced items moving faster, there is also less retail promotion happening. “Retailers likely have less of a need to offer deals as much as before, in reaction to what may be a less ‘price conscious’ consumer – at least for now,” according to the Nielsen Beverage Alcohol Practice team. Source: Nielsen, May...

Gallup: Consumers Spending Less But View Slowdown as Temporary

51% of US consumers are spending less than usual in the wake of COVID-19, according to a new Gallup poll. However, Gallup found that one difference between now and Great Recession, is that more people who are spending less think this is a temporary change in spending patterns.47% of Americans surveyed said they expect their reduced spending habits to be temporary–compared to 33% who said the same in 2010. “But whether their spending can return to prior levels depends on the extent to which businesses can accommodate demand while observing social distancing requirements likely to be in place for the foreseeable future,” per Gallup. Source: Gallup, May...

COVID-19 Stimulus Bill FAQs & Action Items

DISCLAIMER: Park Street has put together a list of Frequently Asked Questions that we hope will be helpful for you. Just a quick reminder, please, that we are not attorneys and are not providing legal advice. Also, while we touch on a number of the major items below, please note that this is not a definitive list of the provisions or relevant considerations. Our goal is to provide the highlights of what we believe will be most relevant to most clients. There are, of course, a myriad of special circumstances that may apply to you. We recommend that you consult with your counsel and/or banking professional as applicable. Stimulus FAQs / Action Items Who is eligible? Each of the following as of 2/15/2020: 1) Small businesses with 500 employees or less; however, the Act waives certain affiliation rules for businesses in the hospitality and restaurant industries which would enable a number of employees in excess of 500 in certain circumstances 2) Sole-proprietors, independent contractors, and other self-employed individuals as eligible for loans What is needed to determine eligibility? And what is the certification required? Business must have been operational as of February 15, 2020 and had employees for whom it paid salaries and payroll taxes, or a paid independent contractor You will be required to make a good faith certification that (i) the loan is necessary due to the uncertainty of current economic conditions caused by COVID-19, (ii) the loan proceeds will be used to for allowable purposes (see more on this below) including but not limited to payroll, group health benefits, rent, and utility payments, and (iii) you...

Spirit-Infused Wine Banks

Spirit-infused wine combines the science of aging wine with the science of spirit-aging, which creates a very unique blend. However, the spirits selected need to complement, as well as enhance the tasting notes of the chosen wine. Whiskey, rye, and bourbon barrels are known to complement red wine varietals, while tequila barrels are known to complement white wine varietals. With a variety of options and price points, there is something for everyone. Source: Forbes, December...

Imports and Exports Report: Beer, Spirits, & Wine

Imported beer grew 4.10% by value and 1.70% by volume, while exported beer grew 11.3% by value over the last twelve months. On the other hand, imported packaged spirits grew 15.3% by value and 10.2% by volume, while imported bulk spirits grew 13.6% by value over the last twelve months. Imported packaged wine grew 2.50% by value and 3.60% by volume, while imported packaged wine grew 11.2% by volume. Similarly, exported bulk wine grew 5.70% by volume over the last twelve months. Source: BW166, December...