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News came out that Provi is suing Southern Glazers and RNDC for anticompetitive practices: “Defendants have acted together and individually to boycott, disparage, and tortiously interfere with Provi’s business.”

Now, you may be asking yourself why this matters to spirits suppliers.

  1. Both RNDC and SGWS have blocked orders from Provi – which means if you’re with RNDC or SGWS, and a retailer placed an order for your product through Provi, then the order will be lost and not fulfilled. Aka no depletions on the case for you, and no reorder.
  2. It disincentivizes retailers from using Provi because many of their key SKUs are on SGWS’s Proof or RNDC’s eRNDC. Therefore, if you’ve paid to have your products listed on Provi, they may not get the visibility you invested in.
  3. The Biden administration has made it a particular point to rein in monopolies and anticompetitive practices. They specifically called out RNDC and SGWS in their February report. While it is far too early to say, there is speculation about the possibility of forcing a breakup of the two behemoths. And needless to say, that would drastically change the landscape of the spirits world in the US.

While it is far too early to say what the outcomes of this case will be, it is crucial that spirits brands have a good understanding of what is happening in the marketplace and can position their brand accordingly.

In Austin, we will be discussing spirit ecommerce and, especially in light of this, it will be one of the most engaging topics.

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