OnTrend Concepts
Spirits Sales + Marketing Digest

January 18, 2022

Nick Cook, Publisher

Another exciting week in the spirits world. Biggest highlight for this week is the fact that California has passed a bill that permanently allows spirits direct-to-consumer shipping. How will this change the spirits landscape? Could we see ecommerce companies partnering more directly with distilleries? Will distributors pivot to bypassing retailers? Or will liquor stores maintain their broad distribution and minimal change occurs? It will be a fascinating example that could serve as the roadmap for many states in the future.


Many exciting and entertaining stories within. So, pour the coffee, and enjoy this week’s Spirits Sales & Marketing Digest.


And now, the news…

Issue #4

California Committee Passes Bill to Permanently Allow Spirits Direct-to-Consumer Shipping

The new measure provides critical revenue for California distilleries, now able to ship their spirits products directly to consumers just as wineries have done for more than three decades in the state.

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ReserveBar Announces New Partnership With The Tasting Alliance

ReserveBar will be the exclusive e-commerce partner for all award programs in 2022 and will power the launch of The Tasting Alliance's new consumer-facing digital platform to be launched in February as well as an expanded program of beverage industry events.

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Beverage brands expected to continue emphasizing presence of familiar flavors

“Client requests have taken a 180-degree turn on flavor, especially where seltzers and sparkling waters are concerned,” said Tom Gibson, chief flavorist for Flavorman, in a statement. “Whereas before, clients would be looking for a gentler spritz of nuanced flavors in their drink, we are now seeing more clients ask for loud and proud, single-note flavors.”

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Virginia bill would do away with state-run ABC liquor stores

A Virginia lawmaker has filed a bill that would do away with the state's monopoly on liquor sales and put an end to state-run ABC stores.

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Great Lakes Distillery founder will debut Junipre, first in a line of nonalcoholic spirits

Nearly two decades after he began the fight to bring distilling to Wisconsin, Great Lakes Distillery founder Guy Rehorst is branching out into nonalcoholic options with a new company, Boundless Beverage.

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Will Dry January Lead to a Flood of NA Investment?

It looks like a crowd of eager investors are behind the growing non-alcoholic trend…

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Bill allowing permanent outdoor dining, alcohol to-go sales at Delaware restaurants passes in committee

State Speaker of the House Peter Schwartzkopf is hoping to continue providing aid to Delaware's restaurants by making permanent protocols introduced at the start of the pandemic to both help them now as the pandemic rages on, and into the future another option for people to enjoy their local favorites how they choose.

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Trends in craft spirits branding

With new competition popping up everywhere, craft distillers are looking for more ways to stand out while still maintaining their heritage appeal.

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Barrell Craft Spirits Introduces BCS Gray Label Seagrass

“We knew we had something special with the launch of Barrell Seagrass last year and decided to take that same method of global sourcing and blending, both in whiskey and finishing materials, and apply it to a very special set of barrels,” said BCS Founder Joe Beatrice.

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Low spirits: Supply chain issues impact Virginia ABC stores

“I was amazed at how many blank spaces there are on the shelves of ABC stores,” said Stephen King, owner of Ironclad Distillery in Newport News.

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Japan Recognizes Bourbon and Tennessee Whiskey As Distinctive Products of the United States

Japan recently became the 44th country to officially recognize “Bourbon” and “Tennessee Whiskey” as distinctive products of the United States, according to the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS).

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Forbidden Spirits Announces Exclusive Three Year Distribution and Marketing Agreement with Shanghai Based Sinowei Ltd.

Forbidden Spirits, is pleased to announce it has entered into an exclusive three-year distribution and marketing agreement with Shanghai-based Sinowei Ltd., that includes Mainland China, Macau and Hong Kong.

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Legislators hope to continue to rework Mississippi’s antiquated liquor laws

Mississippi has perhaps the most outdated, contradictory and just plain nonsensical liquor laws in the U.S. The Mississippi legislature is working on it, but as it so often the case, progress comes slowly to the Magnolia State.

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Mark Wahlberg launched a tequila. He plans to make it No. 1

It's not just the actor's go-to drink of choice, but he's now invested in a line of tequlia called Flecha Azul, co-founded by Mexican PGA golfer Abraham Ancer and entrepreneur Aron Marquez.

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How one company became a 'game changer' for celebrity alcohol sales

GrapeStars, a mobile app and web platform that lets celebrities use their social media to sell products to consumers, recognized the growing trend and is now working with more than 300 celebrities and their brands since celebrities cannot directly sell wines and spirits themselves.

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Middle West, Watershed among distilleries on new local trail

Co-sponsored by Experience Columbus and Destination Grandview, the trail invites participants to visit seven Central Ohio stops serving up locally distilled spirits and food.

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How Ernest Hemingway became a rum brand

Papa's Pilar, the rum inspired by the author and created through a licensing agreement with the Hemingway estate, has been around for nearly a decade. But the brand has been making a push to go more select, recently introducing what it calls its "Legacy Edition."

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Jim Beam’s Freddie Noe Talks About Opening A Craft Distillery Inside A Monster Legacy Brand

The new distillery was Freddie Noe’s brainchild, based on his Little Book creations.

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Food and beverage M&A on the rise, but determining valuations is difficult: Stikeman Elliott lawyer

The pandemic has hit different areas of the food and beverage sector differently, says Nigro, “some in a very good way and others in a very difficult way.”

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Making premium packaging sustainable

What steps can be taken from a design and manufacturing perspective to convey a premium image and stay sustainable? An interview with O-I Glass's Melianthe Leeman.

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Spirits Brands That Have Succeeded in the World of NFTs

NFTs are the digital equivalent of collectibles and here’s how these Spirit brands are making the most of it!

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Monster Beverage Roars Into Alcohol Sector, Will Buy Canarchy

Monster Beverage became the latest drinks company to head into the alcoholic segment, agreeing to buy Canarchy Craft Brewery Collective.

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Cognac sales jump 31% as drinkers go upmarket

Cognac sales surged by a nearly a third last year as American and Chinese drinkers guzzled old vintages, in the latest sign premium drinks makers are putting the pandemic behind them.

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