Michigan, with a population of 7.5 million legal drinking-age residents, boasts one of the most robust beverage alcohol markets of any control state. Beverage alcohol in Michigan is regulated by the Michigan Liquor Control Commission (MLCC). Though the MLCC does not operate any retail stores directly, it successfully generated $633 million in sales for the state in 2022. In Michigan, private grocery stores, convenience stores, and gas stations with appropriate licenses are permitted to engage in beverage alcohol sales.

The top three spirits categories in the state are vodka, straight whiskey, and cordials/liqueurs. Tailoring product offerings to align with these circumstances and consumer preferences can enhance brand appeal and increase the likelihood of success in Michigan. Additionally, Park Street University has pulled together some essential insights for beverage alcohol brands planning to enter Michigan, focusing on the state’s unique regulatory framework and distribution model..

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How to Get Listed in Michigan

To enter Michigan, beverage alcohol brands must pursue a full listing. Full listings are a common path to entry in alcoholic beverage control states and you can learn more about them by reviewing our full overview of control states. In Michigan, full listing submissions are handled in their own unique manner in accordance with state law.

Full Listings

Before submitting for a full listing in Michigan, there are several important requirements that must be fulfilled.

  • It is essential to obtain COLA (Certificate of Label Approval) approval for the product to ensure compliance with labeling regulations.
  • Complete and accurate product specifications must be submitted, including details such as volume and alcohol content.
  • It is also necessary to identify an Authorized Distributing Agent (ADA) or bailment warehouse within Michigan that has agreed to store the brand’s inventory. Some prominent ADAs in Michigan include Imperial Beverage, General Wine & Spirits, and National Wine & Spirits.

If a supplier is working with Park Street, their compliance coordinator can assist in consolidating this information and submitting it to the Michigan Liquor Control Commission (MLCC).

Deadlines for Listing Submissions

The MLCC holds monthly meetings to review and approve listings, making it possible to submit products at any time for consideration in the following month. It is crucial to adhere to the submission deadlines and ensure that all necessary documentation and requirements are met to maximize the chances of approval. Collaborating closely with a broker or compliance coordinator can help streamline the submission process and improve the efficiency of listing requests.

To capitalize on the scope and potential of Michigan’s beverage alcohol market, understanding and adhereing to Michigan’s regulatory landscape is essential. By tailoring product offerings to align with consumer preferences and complying with the Michigan Liquor Control Commission’s requirements, brands can increase their chances of success in the state. Collaborating with compliance coordinators, such as those at Park Street, can streamline the process of submitting a listing and make entering the state a less daunting task.

More Resources on Alcohol Regulation

What Are Beverage Alcohol Control States?

The Most Common COLA Mistakes to Avoid

How To Get a Beverage Alcohol Formula Approval

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