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    The Demographic Trends That Will Drive Alcohol Consumption in the Future

    The profile of alcohol consumers in the US has significantly changed over the last decade, according to research from Rabobank. Most notably, the average alcohol consumer is aging, with people over 50 accounting for 39% of consumption in 2019, up from 29% in 2007. Additionally, people of color account for 31% of drinkers today compared to 23% fifteen years ago, and this trend is expected to increase as 40% of drinkers under 25 are people of color. Women are also expected to overtake men as drinkers, with 2019 marking the first year that the majority of alcohol consumers under 25 were women. Source: RaboBank, January 2021...

    Constellation Sells Paul Masson Brandy to Sazerac for $255M

    Constellation Brands has reached an agreement to sell Paul Masson Grande Amber Brandy to Sazerac for approximately $255 million. Paul Masson sells two million cases annually and is one of the world’s largest brandy brands. The deal would first require a review and clearance from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and is expected to close in the second quarter of fiscal 2021. Constellation has also agreed to sell its Nobilo wine brand to E&J Gallo Winery for $130 million, subject to FTC approval. “These agreements represent another step forward in our efforts to transform our wine and spirits business,” said Bill Newlands, president, and CEO at Constellation Brands. Source: The Spirits Business, January 2021...
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    Dimensional Insight’s Nancy Berkowitz Talks Inventory Management in a Pandemic

    What is it that Dimensional Insight does and what is your role  there?  I’m the Industry VP for Dimensional Insight, so my role at a  40,000 foot view is to make sure that everybody is happy, and that we provide  what our clientele needs today and tomorrow.   We are a privately held software and service company where we focus on  business intelligence, data management, reporting and analytics. We have  several hundred plus suppliers and distributors in the beverage alcohol industry  who use us to manage their business. Some are very large companies, some  very small. We have built industry specific applications to meet their specific  needs.   Basically, we can take information from multiple sources extract it and tie it all  together in columnar data bases so you can report on and analyze what is  happening in your business while focusing on what you need to.  Specifically, for the alcohol industry, I know that there is a vast  array of data and analytics that you collect, but what are some of the most  common ones that people would use so they can understand this without  seeing it?  There are a lot of key performance indicators that companies  must look at and one area is inventory management performance details. But  they can look at inventory, sales, marketing, finance, operations etc. and tie it all  together because they are all interrelated. So, producers of products, whether it’s  a winery or it’s a distillery, or importers for that matter, can take information from  their production side/supplier and bring it all the way down to the final sale to the  consumer.   Because that is...

    Investments in Non-Alcoholic Spirits On the Rise

    The non-alcoholic spirits category has gained steam in recent years thanks to the rising global trend of health and fitness. The no- and low-ABV sector has grown 506% since 2015, according to Forbes. The trend took off in Europe first, but is steadily gaining in popularity in the U.S. market as well. Pernod Ricard is the latest major player to take a stake in a non-alcoholic spirit in a deal with Ceder’s, but it isn’t the first or the only big name spirits company that has invested in the category. Diageo purchased a majority stake of non-alcoholic spirit Seedlip in August of 2019 and, six months later, its subsidiary Distill Ventures acquired a minority stake in non-alcoholic drinks brand Ritual Zero Proof, reports The Spirits Business. Bacardi’s Martini brand launched an alcohol-free option as well. “In the past, deciding not to drink alcohol meant a fizzy water while everyone else enjoyed cocktails, or staying at home on a Friday while your friends go out and enjoy aperitivo time,” Nick Stringer, global vice president of Martini told Foodbev Media. “But times are changing, and consumers don’t want to feel like they are missing out when they are being more mindful about their drinking.” Source: Forbes, The Spirits Business & Foodbev Media, January 2021...

    How States Handled COVID-19 in December

    As winter began and COVID cases in the US surged to new highs, states across the country continued to tighten restrictions on restaurants and bars, per the Park Street State Reopening Tracker.  For December, 17 states placed new restrictions on indoor dining or new limits on capacity, though many restrictions were temporary in order to avoid a surge in cases during the holidays.  Some of the significant updates in December included: Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Pennsylvania and D.C. temporarily shutdown indoor dining again.  Illinois, Montana, North Carolina and Virginia enacted new curfews for the on-premise. Kentucky, Virginia and Rhode Island loosened restrictions on indoor dining. We will continue to update the State Reopening Tracker monthly. Please submit any changes to psu@parkstreet.com Source: Park Street, January 2021...

    RNDC Acquires Opici Family Distributing of Florida

    Republic National Distributing Company (RNDC) has announced an agreement to purchase Opici Family Distributing of Florida, Effective March 1, 2021. RNDC will also distribute Opici Wine and Spirits in Florida, Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and South Carolina. “We are excited about the purchase of Opici Family Distributing of Florida as it expands our fine wine and craft spirits portfolio, as well as our relationship with the Opici family,” said Bob Hendrickson, Chief Operating Officer of RNDC. Source: Wine Industry Network, January 2021...
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    M&A Activity Remained Strong in 2020 Despite COVID-19

    Despite the shock to the economy that COVID-19 dealt last year, several companies went through with plans for mergers or acquisitions in 2020. Perhaps not surprisingly, the beginning of the year started off slow, but the number of deals picked up in the summer. During the pandemic there was M&A movement in all categories in the alcohol industry. There were 48 deals between companies or brands with a significant presence in the U.S. The spirits category experienced the most mergers and acquisitions totaling 21, followed by wine at 18 and beer at 8, plus one non-alcoholic deal. Most Active Companies The companies that participated in the most M&A deals will come as no surprise to anyone in the industry with Constellation Brands, Pernod Ricard and Diageo rounding out the top three busiest companies.   Below is a compilation of the most significant M&A deals that took place in 2020. January Two Rivers acquires majority stake in Bare Arms Brewing (Beer) Molson Coors Acquires Atwater Brewing (Beer) Diageo’s Distill Ventures acquires majority stake in Ritual Zero Proof Distilling (non-alcoholic) Halewood Wine & Spirits acquires 48% stake in Vestal Vodka (Spirits) Suntory Holdings acquires 10% Edrington (Spirits) WX Brands acquires True Myth, Tangent, Baileyana, and Zocker wine brands from the Niven Family (Wine) February Constellation Brands acquires stake in Press Premium Alcoholic Seltzer (Beer) March Kings & Convicts Brewing Co. acquires Ballast Point Craft Beer from Constellation Brands (Beer) Pernod Ricard acquires equal stake in Italicus Aperitivo (Wine) Pernod Ricard acquires remaining shares in Monkey 47 Gin (Spirits) MGP Ingredients acquires Green Hat Gin (Spirits) Integrated Beverage Group acquires Ransom wine...

    O’Neill Vintners Buys Rabble Wines in Paso Robles

    O’Neill Vintners & Distillers has acquired Rabble Wines of Paso Robles, California. Rabble Wines was founded in 2010 by Rob Murray and found a following among a younger demographic as the first winery to use augmented reality on its wine labels. “O’Neill is laser-focused on creating sustainable growth through our innovative brands and offering approachable wines to Millennials and upcoming Gen Z consumers,” said Jeff O’Neill, CEO of O’Neill Vintners & Distillers. “Rob has created a unique brand that maintains relevance in an industry that frequently finds itself a little behind.” Source: Paso Robles Daily News, January 2021...

    FDA Reverses Course on $14K Fee for Distillers Making Hand Sanitizer

    Last week, US distillers were shocked to learn the Food and Drug Administration planned to charge them $14,000 for producing hand sanitizer in 2020. However, industry advocacy groups jumped into action, and within 48 hours, leadership at the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services had withdrawn the scheduled fees. In a statement sent in conjunction with the reversal, Brian Harrison, HHS Chief of Staff, said: “Small businesses who stepped up to fight COVID-19 should be applauded by their government, not taxed for doing so. I’m pleased to announce we have directed FDA to cease enforcement of these arbitrary, surprise user fees. Happy New Year, distilleries, and cheers to you for helping keep us safe!” Source: Distillery Trail, January 2021...

    New US Dietary Guidelines Rejects Recommendations to Cut Alcohol Intake

    New dietary guidelines from the US Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services rejected the recommendation that men lower their alcoholic beverage intake to one drink per day from the current standard of two. The committee’s recommendations did not meet a “preponderance of the evidence” standard required by law, according to Brandon Lipps, deputy undersecretary for food, nutrition and consumer services at the USDA. The decision has received praise from the beverage alcohol industry for choosing to maintain a long-time standard of what is already considered moderate alcohol consumption. Source: WSJ, December 2020...