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A Look at the State of the UK Market in 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has made the US a challenging market for small brand owners in 2020, and as a result, some of them are looking to the UK as a way to diversify their geographic footprint and continue increasing sales. However, the UK is going through its own set of challenges. “It’s pretty bad news at the moment,” said Michael Vachon, Co-Founder of Maverick Drinks, a craft spirits distributor in the UK. But there are some bright spots and opportunities for brand owners who are playing the long game. The State of the UK Many of the issues the industry is facing are a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the US tariffs. Vachon predicts the on-premise experience will not be back to normal until at least the beginning of 2021. In addition, it is challenging for brands to come to the EU given the US tariffs are at 25%. If American brands intend to sell in Europe, in most cases they will be forced to combat the tariffs with unnecessarily high prices. Reasons to be Optimistic Similar to the United States, the UK has been seeing a large uptake in e-commerce. Amazon has been a massive spirits provider throughout Europe. Furthermore, the UK allows brands with DTC opportunities given there are no laws requiring a distributor.Studies from Mckinsey have shown that in the British e-market, there has been more interest from consumers in trying new beverages. Tips for Entering The UK Below are some tips for preparing to enter the UK market. Review packaging and labels – Spirits should be produced in 700 ml bottles, which is standard...

Trends Emerge for Future of Beer and Hard Seltzer

In the early days of COVID-19, the beer landscape was severely disrupted by shifts in packaging, channels and a shortage of aluminum. The industry feared that 40-50% of American craft breweries would shut down. However, some trends have emerged that paint a brighter future for the remainder of 2020 and beyond.  Source: Beverage Dynamics, September 2020...

Constellation Brands Acquires Copper & Kings American Brandy

Constellation Brands has acquired Kentucky-based Copper & Kings American Brandy Company after an initial investment through Constellation’s venture capital group in 2017. Copper & Kings was founded in 2014 by beverage industry entrepreneurs Joe and Lesley Heron. The Copper & Kings portfolio includes American Brandy, absinthe, gin, and Destillaré liqueurs.Terms of the agreement were not disclosed. Source: Craft Spirits Magazine, September 2020...

Trade Groups Join Forces to Support On-Premise Partners

A number of industry trade groups have join together to establish the Hospitality Recovery Coalition to support on-premise restaurants, bars, and distilleries.The coalition’s initial goals include extending cocktail to-go laws and supporting the Restaurants Act on a federal level. The coalition includes: The Distilled Spirits Council of the US, the American Distilled Spirits Alliance, the Council of State Restaurant Associations, the National Restaurant Association and TIPs. Source: Forbes, September 2020...

Nielsen: Healthy Drinking Habits Top of Mind for US Consumers

Spirits have led beverage alcohol growth nearly every week since March, but wine was the fastest growing category for the week ending August 29. The category was up 13% in off-premise for the week as spirits followed closely with 12.4% growth and beer/FMBs/cider grew 7.1%.  Consumers are also shifting to more health-minded activities, sparking growth in non-alcoholic beverages. Off premise dollar growth for non-alcoholic beer during COVID time periods are up 37.7%, up from the 26.8% rate for 52 weeks ending on February 29, 2020. Non-alcoholic wine is also up 23.9% during COVID compared to 5.4% in pre-COVID time periods. Source: Nielsen Weekly Off-Premise Update (8/29) ...

Retailers Share How They’re Managing Inventory During Covid Crisis

Covid-19 may have turned the supply chain and inventory management process on its head, but in an increasingly digital world, keeping accurate inventory is more important than ever. SevenFifty Daily spoke to retailers around the country on how they are adapting to the new normal. Most retailers have implemented some way for consumers to order online, others have turned storefronts into a functioning warehouse, while some have condensed the length of time between budget evaluations. At Bay Grape in Oakland, owner Stevie Stacionis said, “We do a stock reconciliation daily for a section of the store, say the still rosés, and just keep moving around each day.” Source: SevenFifty Daily, September 2020...