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Shanken's Impact Newsletter

Shanken's Impact Newsletter April 1-15, 2020

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Shanken’s Impact Newsletter, the leading source for exclusive data on the alcoholic beverage industry in the United States and internationally. Every issue features up-to-the-minute data and analysis on trends in the worldwide drinks market.

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United States
M Shanken Communications

in this issue

11 min.
leading wholesalers adapt as coronavirus crisis takes hold

THE U.S. DRINKS INDUSTRY—LIKE MOST other industries throughout the world—was adapting to a rapidly shifting landscape at press time, as suppliers, wholesalers, and retailers rushed to adjust their operations to meet the new realities ushered in by the global coronavirus pandemic. With the outbreak of coronavirus exploding in the U.S. in mid-March, on-premise operations effectively shut down across much of the country, while the off-premise initially saw a significant increase in sales as consumers stocked up, preparing for what could be a lengthy period of confinement. While the next few months will be challenging to say the least, the market’s top wholesale players are devoting ample resources to the fight, convening special task forces to monitor and respond to changing conditions both in the market and in their own operations, while…

7 min.
after young’s deal, rndc looks ahead

To say Republic National Distributing Company (RNDC) has been in expansion mode lately is an understatement. Following a setback early last year with the disintegration of its planned merger with Breakthru Beverage due to FTC competition concerns, RNDC rapidly got back on track, adding 10 states and more than $3 billion in revenues via a new joint venture with the Underwood family’s Young’s Holdings. RNDC president and CEO Tom Cole calls the Young’s deal, “a strong foundation for our expansion to the West Coast.” Across both legacy RNDC markets and the new Young’s joint venture—totaling 32 states—RNDC had revenues of nearly $12 billion last year. As RNDC has expanded its geographical footprint, it has also been investing heavily in technology, most notably by bringing “online distributor” LibDib into its fold.…

1 min.
coming together

WITH THE OUTBREAK OF CORONAVIRUS ACROSS THE U.S. in recent weeks, the drinks industry is facing an unprecedented challenge. But players from all tiers of the business have been stepping up and responding to that challenge with an outpouring of support for their employees, partners, and customers. The on-premise is being hit especially hard, with a majority of states closing down dine-in services to slow the outbreak. Multiple suppliers and distributors are offering relief to on-premise workers with donations to organizations like the U.S. Bartenders Guild Foundation Emergency Assistance Program, the Restaurant Workers Community Foundation, and Children of Restaurant Employees (C.O.R.E.). Patrón, Beam Suntory, Southern Glazer’s, and Brown-Forman have each kicked in $1 million to such efforts, and Bacardi has kicked in $3 million. Distillers have mobilized to provide alcohol to address…

2 min.
diageo names debra crew to lead north america unit

DIAGEO NORTH AMERICA WILL COME under new leadership July 1, as current president Deirdre Mahlan will retire on that date, to be replaced by Diageo board member Debra Crew. Crew will step down from the board to assume her new role. Crew is the former president and CEO of Reynolds American, Inc., having previously served as president and COO and president and chief commercial officer of RJ Reynolds. Before joining Reynolds, Crew spent five years at PepsiCo, where she served as president, North America Nutrition; president, PepsiCo Americas Beverages; and president, Western Europe Region. “Diageo North America is a strong business that has been very ably led by Deirdre since 2015,” said Diageo CEO Ivan Menezes. “While we are sad to be losing Deirdre, I know that she leaves a great legacy…

2 min.
e-commerce ramps up as sales move to off-premise

AS COVID-19 HAS FORCED AMERICANS TO STAY AT HOME, online purchases of beverage alcohol are seeing major increases. E-commerce retailer Wine.com reported surging demand in the early weeks of the crisis. Wine.com CEO Rich Bergsund told Impact that orders were doubling in mid to late March, with growth coming from both existing and new customers. Bergsund said Wine.com shoppers are buying a higher number of bottles per order, but spending slightly less per bottle—$26 versus the normal $32. He added that the company’s warehouses remain open and that it continues to ship, with inventories at healthy levels and no issues regarding supply. Wine.com, founded in 1998, last year saw annual revenues rise by $20 million to hit the $150-million mark. Online local delivery platforms are also seeing sharp increases. At delivery…

2 min.
suppliers, distributors step up to combat outbreak

COMPANIES FROM ACROSS THE BEVerage alcohol world—including producers, distributors, and bartenders’ organizations—have stepped up to provide financial and material assistance to help alleviate the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. Bacardi-owned Patrón Tequila announced that it was donating $1 million among three charities: Children of Restaurant Employees (C.O.R.E.); Another Round, Another Rally; and the James Beard Foundation. The donation extends support from Patrón to families, employees, and restaurant owners, respectively. Additionally, Bacardi pledged $3 million to organizations including Another Round, Another Rally; CORE; the James Beard Foundation; Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation; and Tales of the Cocktail Foundation. Beam Suntory and Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits announced a joint donation totaling $1 million to the U.S. Bartenders Guild Foundation Emergency Assistance Program and the Restaurant Workers Community Foundation. Both organizations provide assistance to workers…