Things I Learned in Florida

January 19, 2018

I was invited to speak at the Beer Industry Summit this past Monday where I was a panel participant on an e-commerce panel. I also stayed for the Wine & Spirits Daily Summit the following day. Both summits were super interesting and I thought I would share some tidbits from my five days in the Sunshine State (besides the fact it was freezing there).

  • The content that the average person scrolls through every day on their phone is equal to the height of the Statue of Liberty.
  • Breakthru Beverage receives approximately 3,000 requests per year (across all markets, but still!) for distribution.
  • If a new brand had to pick just one thing to really invest in, packaging is key.
  • Craft = honesty. Consumers like to buy from small companies and local families because they don’t think they will get “ripped off” by their neighbors.
  • Captain Morgan was very close to being killed before it was released.
  • When Tito’s first came out, nobody would take it. The few distributors that did in the very beginning are reaping the rewards today.
  • Mike’s Hard Lemonade’s White Claw Hard Cherry Seltzer is delicious.
  • When looking at the success of a brand, accounts sold/cases sold is not a good indicator. Look at reorders. Also, consider Instagram – how many people are taking pictures of your brand and engaging with the product?
  • Nielson shared some data that was really interesting.
    • 75% of new products fail.
    • Rosé, ultra-premium gin, bubbles and Cabernet Franc are trending.
    • Tequila is up 8% on premise. Cognac is picking up speed.
    • Sangria is a new product that is growing at a tremendous rate.
    • Alternative packaging (kegs, cans, boxes) continue to grow.
    • On-Premise experts are seeing trends for locally made products, especially amongst travelers and millennials.

One big rumor in the halls: The big distributors are really tightening down on their portfolios. One in particular now has a 9-month vetting process before taking on new suppliers. It’s like having a baby!

A lot of great content. Many great connections. And so many data points when it comes to three-tier consolidation, the large proliferation of new and exciting craft products, incubation partnerships with distributors, and e-commerce habits and growth…LibDib is on to something big.