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Interview, Part Two: Terlato Moves Into Artisan Spirits, Looks To Global Markets

April 23, 2013

In this second part of our interview with Bill Terlato, the Terlato Wine Group president discusses plans to set up a dedicated U.S. spirits unit, joining fellow wine marketers E.&.J Gallo, The Wine Group, Trinchero Family Estates and Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits, all of which have also been delving more deeply into spirits of late. Terlato also touches on the company’s international progress, and its initiative to increase advertising exposure for some of its brands looking ahead.

SND: How do you plan to target the opportunity in spirits in the U.S.?

Terlato: We sell two spirits brands already. Nonino, which is an amaro and grappa, has been doing very well for us. We also have Tiramisu, an Italian liqueur from the Verona area. Those have been sold through our existing network. Now we’re looking to establish a defined spirits division. We have a small, high-quality Cognac that I believe we’re going to add shortly, and we’re looking at some other categories as well. We’re interested in the artisan segment of the spirits market.

SND: How is Terlato Wine Group positioned internationally at the moment? Do you see openings to enter new markets?

Terlato: We’re continuing to expand worldwide. I think what’s happening is the reputation for quality that we have in the U.S. is gaining us international recognition. We’re very optimistic about the growth potential outside the U.S. Right now we’re in 16 countries. We’re focused on expanding internationally, and we’re increasing our presence selectively as opportunities come up. The U.K., Canada, Asia, even Germany, Brazil, Peru, the Caribbean—those are all markets where we’re growing our business. Our biggest international market is Canada, followed by the U.K. and then Asia.

SND: In the first part of this interview, you said you’re projecting 20% growth across the company this year. Will you invest more above-the-line to try and reach that goal?

Terlato: Yes. We’re working on developing advertising for more of our brands, all within an identifiable look or feel, so that when people see the ad, they know that it’s a Terlato brand. We think of it as a quality designation that consumers will be able to trust, knowing that it comes from us.

SND: Besides the new spirits unit, do you expect to introduce any innovations, or add more brands this year?

Terlato: There are some confidential discussions going on right now. All I can say is stay tuned for some exciting news, possibly even in the next few weeks.

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