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Key On-Premise Markets Stabilizing

The US on-premise channel is beginning to stabilize and consumers are warming up to the idea of returning to restaurants and bars, according to Nielsen CGA’s most recent report. Dollar velocity for the on-premise has improved by 3% for the week ended July 18. After recent declines, California, Florida and Texas are growing again, while New York and Illinois remain somewhat flat.  Source: Nielsen CGA On-Premise Impact Report, July 2020...

Craft Distilleries Getting Creative to Serve Their Consumers

As states continue to reopen, craft distilleries are figuring out new ways to get whiskey to consumers during the latest phase of guidelines. Relaxed laws on direct shipping to consumers have allowed distilleries to utilize their online channels, while spacious outdoor areas have proven beneficial for socially distanced tastings. Iron Fish Distillery in Thompsonville, Michigan is even allowing consumers to reserve campsites on their 120-acre farm. Whisky Advocate spoke with distilleries including Iron Fish, Blinking Owl, and Virginia Distillery Co. to learn more about how they are managing their comebacks. Source: Whisky Advocate, July 2020...

Congress Set to Begin Negotiations on New Stimulus Package

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell revealed key pieces of a proposed Republican stimulus package on Monday afternoon. The proposal includes a second round of direct $1,200 payments to Americans, a replacement of the $600-per-week federal unemployment assistance with a 70% wage replacement program, liability shields to protect establishments from lawsuits related to coronavirus, and an expansion of the Paycheck Protection Program. The full bill has yet to be released, but minority leaders in Congress have expressed concern that the bill does not do enough to help states and individuals that have been hit hard by the pandemic.     Source: Forbes, July 2020...

Airbus Offers Concession to End US Tariffs on Wine and Whiskey

Europe’s Airbus is set to increase loan repayments to Spain and France in an effort to reverse US tariffs and settle a 16-year old dispute regarding aircraft subsidies between the countries. The US won World Trade Organization authorization last year to impose a tariff on $7.5 billion of EU goods including wine and whiskey. The Distilled Spirits Council of the US applauded the decision. “U.S. distillers welcome today’s announcement regarding Airbus. We hope that this is a significant step toward resolving this longstanding trade dispute that will result in the prompt elimination of tariffs on U.S. and EU distilled spirits. Distillers on both sides of the Atlantic have suffered enough,” said a statement from the trade organization. Source: Reuters, Distilled Spirits Council, July 2020...

B-F Discusses Fords Gin Appeal and Potential Future Acquisitions

In June 2019, Brown-Forman entered the gin category with the acquisition of The 86 Company, creator of Fords Gin. The global drinks company is looking to expand the brand into the likes of Germany, Spain, the UK, Brazil and Australia to further drive growth. In an interview with The Spirits Business, Maureen Brekka, senior vice‐president and managing director of Brown‐Forman’s global emerging brands division, details what led the company to invest in Fords Gin in the first place and the other portfolio gaps they might look to fill in the future. Source: The Spirits Business, July 2020...

Nielsen CGA: Consumers Slowly Returning to the On-Premise

Visitation for bars and restaurants continues to see strong increases in New York, while increases have slowed down in Florida and Texas, according to Nielsen CGA data from the July 17-19 weekend. The plateau of visitors returning to the on-premise in Florida and Texas is likely due to cautious consumers holding off as COVID-19 cases increase. Overall, 41% of consumers have been out to eat in the past two weeks, an increase from 36% four weeks ago. 79% of returning on-premise visitors report being satisfied or extremely satisfied with the experience during their last visit. Drinks with food remains the top occasion for returning visitors, showing that people are returning for dining purposes rather than celebration. Source: Nielsen CGA, July...