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Work to open more states to DTC wine shipments continues

In Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky and Delaware, bills allowing out-of-state wineries to distribute directly to customers are being considered since they are the last states in the Union to prohibit the practice, including Utah. Direct-to-consumer wines increased by 15 percent in 2017 in volume and value, with sales reaching to 5.8 million cases worth about $2.7 billion. As a business strategy, wineries prefer direct-to-consumer sales since retailers and distributors are increasingly consolidating. The U.S Supreme Court’s Granholm v. Heald decision to allow direct-to-consumer wine shipping has provided the platform to facilitate in-state direct-to-consumer wine shipments which includes the inability to prohibit direct-to-consumer wine shipments from out-of-state wineries. Source: WineBusiness June...

New Hampshire waffles on interstate wine shipping laws

Progress in control states such as New Hampshire provide influential pull on other states in regards to retail and national shipping. One of the main obstacles faced in control states are the push of bills that limit existing retailers to ship into the state and others like it. New Hampshire is considered one of the more progressive control states, and it offered residents an opportunity to order from both out-of-state wineries and retailers. The New Hampshire Liquor Commission (NHLC) recently tried to remove the retail licenses to ship wine into the state, stating that operators were selling residents existing wine brands, and similar off-brands at a discounted price. Wineries, retailers and consumers have faced certain obstacles. The NHCL Senate Bill 353 bill was not passed facilitating those distributers or organizations like National Association of Wine Retailers (NAWR) that value direct to consumer sales channels. How New Hampshire conducts its interstate shipping has affected how drink sales are conducted in many states, thus proving progress for distributors. Source: Forbes, May...

Wilson Daniels acquires Oregon wholesaler

Wilson Daniels has acquired Oregon-based Galaxy Wine Company expanding its footprint to the West Coast. The deal is expected to close by the end of the second quarter of 2018. Galaxy Wine Co. was founded in 1999 by Matt Elsen and Bob Liner, Galaxy has become the third-largest wine wholesaler in Oregon representing more than 400 producers. As part of the agreement the two owners will continue to lead the current sales team. Galaxy will operate independently under the wholesale division of Wilson Daniels, which is a subsidiary of Young’s Hodlings. Source: Wine & Spirits Daily, May...

Nielsen Spirits Update

Distilled spirits dollar sales were up 3.7 percent in the month of May, which was slightly above the 3.4 percent growth seen over the last 3 months. Across brown spirits, bourbon and Irish whiskey gained dollar share, while tequila was the only major white spirit that outperformed the total category. Total distilled spirits dollar sales grew by 3.7 percent in the month of May, which was also slightly above the 3.4 percent growth seen over the last 3 months. Volume was up by 2.2 percent as price/mix contributed 1.5 points to overall performance. Brown spirits remained strong, with bourbon and Irish whiskey both grew ahead of the category, while Canadian whiskey underperformed the category. Across white spirits, tequila posted strong sales growth of 11.6 percent and vodka was up 3.3 percent. Source: Cowen, May...

Understanding Rosé Wine

According to the Council of the Wines of Provence, one of every three bottles purchased these days is rosé. Rosé symbolizes color, of course, but there is much more to it than just the shade. The rich color comes from the way the grapes are managed in the vineyard as well as how the wine is made. Grapes for rosé are harvested relatively early in the season and in the chill of night, allowing the fruit to enter the winery at a cooler temperature. This gives winemakers more control over the fermentation process to bring forward the bright aromatics and crisp freshness that consumers expect from a bottle of rosé. Source: Forbes, May...

Vermont franchise law reform approved

Last month, Vermont governor Phil Scott approved House Bill 710, which will allow beer companies making fewer than 50,000 barrels annually, and whose business accounts for three percent or less of a wholesaler’s total annual sales, to break their franchise agreements. Beer makers who want to terminate their wholesalers will be required to provide compensation for inventory as well as five times the average annual gross profits earned by the wholesaler on the brewery’s products during the previous three fiscal years. For newer beer companies, they must pay for the period of time they’ve been in business. The regulations are slated to take effect in 2022. Source: brewbound.com, May...

California wine sales in U.S. market exceed $35 billion in 2017

California wine shipments in the U.S. reached an estimated retail value of $35.2 billion in 2017, up a solid 3 percent from the previous year. The state is the largest producer of wine in the U.S. shipping 241 million 9 liter cases domestically in 2017, up 1 percent from 2016. California wine sales wine sales to all markets, both domestic and international, were 278 million cases in 2017. Over the past decade California wine sales in the U.S. market have grown a very strong 15 percent from 209 million cases in 2008 to 241 million cases in 2017. Source: winebusiness.com, May...

Augmented Reality Beer Labels are in Development

Creative design agency Frey Anderson is partnering with 3D visualization specialist Render Studio to develop technology that will enable alcoholic beverage consumers to view animated can designs in real-time using a mobile device and application. So far the agency has three can designs and is now working to animate the cans and create an augmented reality experience new to the industry. Source: thedrinksbusiness.com, May...

Johnson Brothers to expand footprint in Indiana

News broke last month that Indiana distributor Monarch Beverage will be exiting the wine business as of September 1st of this year. Johnson Brothers confirmed that they will be expanding their footprint in the state and have agreed to purchase certain assets of Monarch’s existing wine business. Johnson Brothers has operations in 24 states and recently expanded in North Carolina with the purchase of Mutual Distributing, New York with the partnership with Nestor Imports, and into West Virginia through a partnership with Mountain State Beverage. Source: Wine and Spirits Daily, May...

Control State results for April 2018

In April, 9 liter spirits case sales grew by 2.0 percent in control states compared to April 2017. Spirits volume grew 2.6 percent compared to 1.5 percent a year ago. Many states had a strong month, exceeding their 12 month trends, including: Alabama, Iowa, Maine, Mississippi, Oregon and Wyoming. The Price/Mix for April was 2.5 percent, down from March’s 3.5 percent. Control State spirits shelf dollars were up 4.5 percent during April while trending at 5.3 percent during the past 12 months. The fastest growing category in April remained Irish Whiskey followed closely by Vodka. Source: NABCA, May...