OnTrend Concepts
Spirits Sales + Marketing Digest

January 11, 2022

Nick Cook, Publisher

Lots of news over the past week.


On the distributors side, Breakthru Beverage buys out Major Brands in Missouri. Many articles discussing the importance of both continuing alcohol take-out at restaurants (especially in New York) and the importance of legalizing direct-to-consumer for spirits brands. Also, some press releases about new brand launches, mergers, and spotlights on the craft and emerging spirits fronts: Racquet Club Spirits, Palm Beach Distillery, Victor George Spirits, and more.


Another interesting topic of discussion is the sky-rocketing growth of non-alcoholic spirits brands. Granted, it is still a small percentage of the market and a lot of attention is on account of “dry January”. Still, it will be interesting to see how it plays out and if/how craft distilleries use their creativity, knowledge, and resources to jump into this space.


My personal favorite article from this week is highlighting the growing creativity of craft spirits in Southeast Asia.


And now, the news…

Issue #3

5 Forces Impacting Beverage Alcohol Tax Compliance In 2022

Changing business models and the explosive growth of ecommerce have turned the spotlight on beverage alcohol sellers. They'll likely face increased scrutiny in 2022 to ensure they're complying with federal, state, and local requirements.

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Breakthru Beverage Group Moves to Acquire Missouri-based Wholesaler Major Brands

Breakthru Beverage Group today announced they have a signed agreement to purchase Missouri-based Major Brands, further expanding the company’s North American footprint.

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Michigan liquor supply could face delays, state warns

Rising cases of the Omicron variant are affecting staffing at Michigan’s liquor distribution centers, according to the Michigan Liquor Control Commission.

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Supply chain issues causes alcohol shortage

Interview with Duke Spirits and Ethan Wayne (John Wayne’s son) about how supply chain issues are affecting spirits brands throughout the country right now.

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Takeout alcohol an important start, but more needs to be done

Amid the deserved cheers for Gov. Kathy Hochul's advocacy for making alcohol-to-go permanently available from New York's bars and restaurants, corners of the state's archaic booze laws still remain unaddressed.

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No, New York did not bring back to-go cocktails yet

Updates on the details of New York’s restaurant to-go laws.

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Restaurants risk losing big cash if takeout liquor is off the menu

Pressure coming especially from restaurant owners to keep liquor on the take-out menu continues to mount against restrictive laws.

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Black Owned Victor George Spirits Acquires Majority Stake in Palm Beach Distillery

Black-owned Victor George Spirits announced they have closed on a deal to buy an equity stake in Palm Beach Distillery.

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Racquet Club Spirits crafts 'something that tastes good' for Palm Springs

Racquet Club Spirits owners Brian Harke and Matthew Winks worked closely with New Alchemy Distillery in El Dorado Hills to produce a vodka with hints of vanilla and lemon, and a smoky bourbon featuring flavors of caramel, vanilla and chocolate.

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TTB Newsletter for January 7, 2022

The biggest update is that Janelle Christian selected as Outreach Director (also the TTB permitting online was down on Saturday in case anyone was having issues).

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Give CA distilleries a break. Let them ship directly to customers — just like wineries do

Wineries have been allowed to ship directly to their customers for years, but due to some weird and outdated legislation, that option hasn’t been available to distilleries.

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Wine & Spirits Wholesalers Of California Launches New Microsite To Fight Direct-To-Consumer Spirits Shipping And Protect Californian Businesses

California wholesalers fight against the direct-to-consumer push coming from distilleries and spirits brands.

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Cheers To A New Year: California’s New Alcoholic Beverage Laws For 2022

If you’re a distillery in California, you may want to just make sure you’re updated on all the new legislation.

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Prestige Wine Imports Strengthens Distribution with Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits

Expanding this existing footprint will allow Prestige Wine Imports to tap into Southern Glazer’s expertise and infrastructure to accelerate brand building capabilities.

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Badger Liquor proposes $6.5M distribution center in Wausau

Wisconsin Distributor, Badger Liquor Company, was given preliminary approval Tuesday to purchase city-owned property for a new distribution center in Wausau.

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Here’s who had the most liquor sales in Michigan’s 83 counties

Counties with lots of tourism and entertainment venues tend to have the most liquor sales per capita since non-residents are coming in and purchasing liquor.

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Mecklenburg County liquor stores change hours, citing labor shortages due to COVID

Mecklenburg County liquor store hours will open later due to labor shortages related to the COVID-19 pandemic, officials said Wednesday.

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How Cooper's Daughter Spirits grew without online sales

Distilleries are hoping to be able to ship direct-to-consumer in the near future.

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Sales of Non-Alcoholic Spirits Were Up 290% in 2021, Says Drizly

It might be more than a Dry January: Sales of non-alcoholic spirits were up 290% on Drizly last year, as noted by The Spirits Business.

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Bacardi launches non-alcoholic spirit brand Palette

Initially launching in select bars across London, Paris, and Amsterdam - including Lyaness, L’Escargot and Christopher’s, Palette is the Bermudan spirits company’s latest addition to its growing no alcohol portfolio that includes Martini Non-Alcoholic Aperitivo Vibrante and Floreale, that launched in 2020.

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Australia: Lyre’s signs Audience Precision ahead of global alcohol-free drink rollout

An Australian non-alcoholic spirits brand is riding the wave of alcohol-free drink alternatives and going global, naming local media consultancy Audience Precision to its now international account.

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Pernod Ricard revamps non-alcoholic spirits brand Ceder’s

Pernod Ricard is revamping its non-alcholic spirits brand Ceder’s with a new look and marketing campaign to coincide with Dry January.

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Southeast Asia: In Southeast Asia, New Craft Distilleries Are Creating Distinctly Regional Spirits

From a Vietnamese gin to an Indonesian grappa, these bottles tell a story of the local climate and flora.

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That $1,000 Bourbon You Bought May Be a Phony

Counterfeiting — filling luxury bottles with cheap liquor — has hit American whiskey hard as sky-high prices raise the payoff for scammers.

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PaQui Tequila Calls Out Clooney, The Rock, Jenner and Offers ‘Celebrity Spokesperson Reeducation Program’

To slow the curve in celebrity-driven misinformation with tequila drinkers worldwide, the team behind PaQui Tequila is announcing its new “Celebrity Spokesperson Re-Education Program” to help celebrity spokespersons understand the process required to concoct a genuinely high-quality tequila.

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Australia: Former Greencross, Seafolly CMO launches her own spirits brand

Greencross brings on Nick Adams as its new chief customer officer as its former CMO, Adriane McDermott, debuts her own low alcohol spirits brand, Tanica.

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Tax Tip: Alcohol 2.0 With a Compliance Chaser

For anyone not paying attention over the past year, beverage alcohol has become the most dynamic and interesting sector to track—a classic example of technology enabling shifts in consumer preference during a historic era, enabling transformative business growth, with compliance trailing close behind.

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Seedlip partners with AnalogFolk for mobile-first website

Seedlip, a distilled non-alcoholic spirits company launched in 2015, has appointed global creative agency AnalogFolk to help evolve its direct-to-consumer business in the United States as its digital strategy and design partner.

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A Roundup of All the M&A Deals for 2021

Mergers & acquisitions in the beverage alcohol space continued apace in 2021 as strategic buyers adjusted their portfolios to meet demand for new consumer trends like canned cocktails, hard seltzer, and ecommerce.

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Coca-Cola and Constellation Brands team up to create alcoholic Fresca cocktails

Coca-Cola and Corona brewer Constellation Brands are teaming up to create alcoholic cocktails under the Fresca soda brand.

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SB’s best-performing spirits companies of 2021

Spirits Business’ winners of their international blind taste tests.

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