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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...

Collaborations Keep Craft Distillers Afloat During COVID

Craft distillers in the US have been testing new business models and ways to create income this year after COVID-19 forced on-premise venues to close. Despite being more isolated than ever, collaborations between craft distillers and other business owners have blossomed. “Tourism has fallen out, but we’re not going to sit around and feel sorry for ourselves,” Wyn Ferrell, owner of Mile High Spirits in Denver, told the Washington Post. Mile High Spirits was a concert destination pre-COVID, but has partnered with local food trucks and converted into more of a table service venue in 2020. “We want to come out of covid more dynamic and accessible.” Source: Washington Post, September 2020...

New Jersey Wholesalers Fined $4 Million for Retailer Incentive Programs

The New Jersey Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control announced that the state’s two biggest wine and spirits wholesalers, Allied Beverage Group and Fedway Associates, agreed to pay fines of $4 million each after a two-year investigation by the agency. The investigation found that the wholesalers unfairly favored the states largest wine and spirits retailers. Both companies agreed to adopt a corrective action plan. Additionally, 20 retailers statewide will also pay a total of $2.3 million in fines for their participation in the program. Source: WRNJ, September 2020...

Bar Owners Look to Pop-Up Model to Meet Consumer Needs During COVID Crisis

On-premise operators are experimenting with new models to make it through the COVID crisis, and one model that is increasingly popular is pop-up ventures. Pop-up style venues allow for a smaller selection of inventory, more flexible spacing options, and most importantly, are more affordable than permanent locations. Source: Beverage Industry Enthusiast, August 2020...

On-Premise Velocity Continues Improving

The on-premise channel isn’t back to pre-COVID levels, but it is showing a steady recovery in the states tracked by Nielsen CGA. The week ending August 22 represents the seventh consecutive week without a decline in velocity. The on-premise in New York and Illinois experienced the highest growth rate increases because they’re still playing catch up to other major markets like Florida and Texas. Though, all major markets in Nielsen CGA’s weekly report delivered velocity growth.  Source: Nielsen CGA Report for Week Ending August 22...

On-Premise Buyers Discuss How They’re Re-evaluating Menus Post-COVID

As more states move into reopening phase for the on-premise again, restaurants and bars are adapting with a new business model. SevenFifty Daily spoke to sommeliers and beverage directors around the country about their strategies, many of which are focusing on re-evaluating their wine lists. Several of the strategies boil down to streamlining selections, leaning into what sells, and taking advantage of deals.  “It’s a time to re-center intentions and direction with the programs,” says Jennifer Wagoner, the wine director for Sepia and Proxi in Chicago. Source: SevenFifty Daily, August 2020...