Exclusive news and research on the wine, spirits and beer business

News Briefs for November 6, 2017

November 6, 2017

•It’s only been a few weeks since wildfires ravaged parts of Northern California and Spain and Portugal. Washington and Oregon have also suffered widespread fires this fall. The full extent of property damage has yet to be assessed, and recovery efforts are in full swing. But there’s another concern in the backs of vintners’ minds: How will the 2017 vintage be impacted by the clouds of smoke that blanketed vineyards for days? Wine Spectator has a full report.

•Looking to keep up with strong growth trends, Ohio officials plan to roll out 15 to 20 new liquor stores within the next 18 months. Agency stores on average carry 800 spirits SKUs and the new stores are expected to tally annual retail sales ranging from $1 to $3 million. There are currently 465 Contract Liquor Agencies in Ohio, all of which sell spirits. Beer and wine permits are separate, but many of the contract liquor agency stores also sell beer and wine. Ohio is the number-three control state by spirits volume, and posted 3.7% growth to 5.73 million nine-liter cases last year, according to NABCA/Impact Databank. Fueled by strong trading up trends, Ohio’s spirits sales by value increased by 5.9% last year to $1.14 billion.

•New York wholesaler Empire Merchants settled a strike by its union workers on Friday night after Wine, Liquor and Distillers Workers Union, Local 1-D, UFCW—the last of three unions to accept a new contract—voted to ratify the new deal. Workers from all three unions at Empire, which also include Teamsters Local 917 and Local 2-D, UFCW Distillers, Wine and Allied Workers Union, went back to work on Friday night to load goods for Monday delivery.

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