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Pernod Ricard Adds Ojo De Tigre to Its Mezcal Portfolio

Pernod Ricard has invested in super premium mezcal brand Ojo De Tigre. Ojo De Tigre is an artisanal mezcal crafted using sustainable agave with Joven and Reposado offerings. The brand’s parent company, Casa Lumbre, is responsible for the creation of Ancho Reyes liqueur and Montelobos Mezcal. Ojo de Tigre will join Del Maguey in Pernod Ricard’s Mezcal portfolio. “We believe the next stage of our beloved category is one that actively invites more drinkers and expands the occasions and uses for mezcal. This expansion will recruit the next generation of drinkers and guide more mezcal lovers through the category and into our super-premium brands,” said Casa Lumbre CEO Moises Guindi. Source: The Spirits Business, July 2020...

Peanut Butter Whiskey Coming in Hot

Flavored whiskey grew nearly 19% in the US last year, and peanut butter whiskey proved to be one of the fastest risers in the category. In fact, Skrewball Peanut Butter Whiskey has led the way so far, growing 600% from 2018-2019. The spicy-sweet flavor profile of cinnamon whiskey currently dominates the category with a 50.1% share, but the savoury-sweet profile of peanut butter seems like a natural successor. It’s gaining steam with bartenders and on social media, but peanut butter whiskey only accounts for a 1.1% share of the flavored whiskey category. Source: IWSR, July 2020...

Brewstilleries Tap Into Best of Both Beer and Spirits Worlds

As both craft beer and craft spirits have become commonplace in the US, an increase of brewstilleries — capable of producing both types of alcohol — has followed suit. Brewstillery owners have found benefits in production, marketing, and innovation. But the concept is not without its challenges, particularly in distribution and sales. VinePair spoke to a handful of the most well-known brewstilleries to get more insight into the opportunities and challenges of their business model.  Source: VinePair, July 2020...

Former Ciroc Executives Invest in Saint Liberty Whiskey

Harris & Simms (HANDS), a minority women-led spirits advisory company, has purchased a stake in Saint Liberty Whiskey, a brand dedicated to highlighting female bootleggers from the Prohibition era. HANDS was founded by Dia Simms and Erin Harris, former executives at Combs Enterprises, the company behind Ciroc Vodka. The culture fit was important to Saint Liberty Whiskey, which spends 5% of its gross profits on women’s empowerment, entrepreneurial, and educational efforts.  Source: PR Newswire, July 2020...

California Halts All Indoor Dining and Drinking Amid Rising COVID Cases

Today, California Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered all bars, restaurants, and tasting rooms with indoor dining to re-close statewide as a result of increasing cases of COVID-19. However, venues that have outdoor dining may continue to operate and sell takeout. Other venues can still serve drinks outdoors if they are sold with food. The state initially reopened bars and restaurants for dine-in service on June 12. Source: LA Times, July 2020...

Anheuser-Busch to Pay the TTB $5 Million Offer in Compromise

Anheuser-Busch has agreed to pay The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) a $5 million offer in compromise (OIC) for alleged violations of the Federal Alcohol Administration Act. The brewing company’s importer and wholesale permits were suspended for 2 days in Littleton, CO, and 4 days in Denver, CO for allegations around sports and entertainment sponsorships. Source: Brewbound, July 2020...

SBA Shares Data on PPP Funding By States and Category

The Small Business Administration released a report on the impact of loans from the Paycheck Protection Program. The report found that over 4.8 million loans were given out, amounting to over $521 billion. The average loan size was $107,000 and 86.5% of all loans were less than $150,000. The PPP supported 51.1 million jobs across the country, accounting for as much as 84% of all small business employees. Among all 50 states, Florida and Hawaii led the way with 96% of their small business payroll covered by PPP loans.  Source: Small Business Administration, July 2020...

Michigan Fines RNDC $3 Million 

The Michigan Attorney General has fined Republic National Distributing Company $3 million related to a liquor shortage last year that resulted from the distributor’s new warehouse. The AG’s complaint listed 88 violations including failure to deliver orders, failure to maintain an adequate physical plant, and delivery delays during the holiday season. RNDC has acknowledged the violations, remedied the issues and accepted the fines.  Source: M Live, July 2020...

Industry Experts Share Tips on Navigating Distributor Relations 

The importance of a good relationship between a brand owner and its distribution partners cannot be understated. It’s crucial to the brand’s long-term success and it requires the two parties work together to build something mutually beneficial. With that in mind, below is some advice from recent Park Street University experts for each step in the relationship.   Nailing the First Meeting When planning to pitch a new distributor for the first time, a brand owner should research and put together a thorough packet of information including current sales data in other markets, the resources and tools the supplier will bring to the table, as well as proposed terms and goals, said Spencer Forhart, the co-founder of Proof Collective. He also believes it is a good idea to research the distributor’s existing strategy and needs to shape the pitch.   What Distributors Look For Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits reviews as many as 20-30 brands a month for potential partnership, said Rudy Ruiz, former executive vice president of emerging brands for SGWS and newly appointed managing director at Park Street. Rudy said some of the key elements distributors evaluate include brand facilities, pricing, the brand owner’s experience in the business, and the sales plan among other things.    Negotiating the Distribution Agreement Once the brand owner finds the right distribution partner an agreement will be drawn up. For those that have never experienced this part before, some of the key components of a distribution agreement include renewal stipulations, payment terms, mutually agreed upon goals, and local marketing fund, according to Ryan Malkin, the principal attorney for beverage industry firm,...

RaboResearch Projects Quarterly Growth of Online Grocery Sales

As COVID-19 has greatly impacted the growth of online grocery, RaboResearch has built a model to assess the long-term impact and project quarterly sales in the US through 2021. According to the model, e-commerce could represent anywhere from 4.8% to 9.1% of grocery sales by the fourth quarter of 2021, with the most likely scenario being approximately 6.4% of sales. Without COVID-19, online grocery would’ve represented approximately 4.7% of sales in the fourth quarter of 2021.   The research found that the long term growth of online sales will be driven by the length of the crisis, high intensity of use, and adding more first time users, but bad user experiences and limited capacity may negatively impact growth. Overall, the historical lack of investment in e-commerce means that there is very little risk for retailers to ramp up investments in their digital operations now. Source: RaboBank, July 2020...