COMPANY PROFILE

Bookmark and Share

BEVERAGE TRADE NETWORK

Beverage Trade Network logo


CONTACT INFO

Facebook Twitter Linkedin Google Plus

Address

501 Silverside Rd, Suite 77
Wilmington
DE, 19809
United States
Phone
855-481-1112
Fax
Primary
Sid Patel

Beverage Trade Network

BTN provides you with the tools you need to grow your wine business. Connect with Importers, Distributors and wholesalers worldwide.  Source new suppliers that match your needs. Learn about Sales, Distribution and Marketing. 

Grow. Source. Learn. Sign up today.                                                                                                           

Buying Leads - Source with Buying Leads. An effortless approach for importers and distributors to source globally.
 
Selling Leads - Post your brands as Selling Leads and be found by importers and distributors.
 
Broker Leads - Find Wine Brokers by location, compensation type and product category.
 
Events - Browse Wine Events and Competitions.
 
BTN Academy - Providing real industry insights into sales, distribution, marketing and legal know-how.
 
Enterprise - An advanced sales solution that allows you to make professional presentations and manage leads.

See why thousands of beverage professionals use beveragetradenewtork.com

It’s free and easy to get started. Create your profile and within minutes access BTN tools to help grow your beverage business.

Get started now!

BTN Buyers Guide & Premium Membership Plan


BTN Guide 2015 (USA) - Entries Are Now Open

The 2015 BTN GUIDE (US Market Entry Version) is an exclusive catalog of exciting new wine, craft beer, and spirit brands looking to expand their distribution network. It is designed with the needs of importers, wholesalers and distributors in mind and showcases each brand with specific sourcing details to guarantee a trouble-free experience. With an explicit focus on trending brands that excel at marketing, the BTN Guide will list select commercial brands that are ready to break onto the international market.

 

btn usa guideEarly Bird Special Till October 31st, 2014 ($400 Per Brand)

After October 31, 2014 entry fee will be $600 per brand. Brands from each category will be selected evenly.

  • Craft Beers (Imports and Domestic)
  • Spirits
  • Wines
  • Innovative brands with unique packaging

How Does it Work?

The print version of BTN guide will be mailed out in January/February 2015 to more than 4000 key wine, spirits and beer wholesalers and importers in USA.

The online version of the BTN Guide will be featured on the BTN website and in our weekly newsletter that goes to more than 25,000 trade professionals worldwide. BTN Buyers Guide is designed for suppliers looking to grow their distribution in USA. A perfect platform to be infront of thousands 4000+ buyers in early 2015.

Visit last year's BTN Buyers Guide on line edition >>

What Is Mailed Out?

Importers and Distributors will get a hard copy of Buyers Guide along with sample request form as shown below. BTN Buyers Guide Sample Form

Enter Your Brands Now >>

Early Bird Special Till October 31st, 2014 ($400 Per Brand).

BTN Premium gives you access to all Buying Leads, All Brokers and All Articles. All for $29 a month.

click to enlarge

Contact Importers and Distributors.

BTN Premium gives you full access to all Buying Leads. Buying Leads are buying requirements that are posted by licensed importers and distributors them selves. Each Buying Lead is verified by BTN.

click to enlarge

Generate Leads By Getting Priority Listing in Selling Leads

When importers and distributors search for new brands, brands of BTN Premium members will have better chances to appear at the top of search results. This gives your products maximum exposure and significantly increases the likelihood of you receiving a distribution inquiry from a importer or a distributor. BTN will also post your brands as Selling Leads, manage them and promote them on leading social media networks

 

click to enlarge

Grow Your Network By Connecting With Brokers.

Access to all Broker Leads on BTN. Broker Leads is a directory listing of Wine Brokers, Spirits Brokers and Beer Brokers. BTN Premium members will be able to view all the contact information about Brokers and contact them directly.

 
click to enlarge

Full Access to BTN Academy.

Browse our knowledge based articles in BTN Academy on the Beverage Industry. Reserved for BTN Premium Members, our premium articles are in depth studies on Marketing, Distribution, and Sales but we have a large selection of free content.

More information on how to join at:

http://beveragetradenetwork.com/en/btn-premium-advantage-468.htm

3 Ways to Use the Bulk Wine Market as Part of Your Marketing Strategy

If you are producing a vintage that is in demand in the bulk market, then use these strategies to become a bulk wine supplier. It may not mean that your profits will soar, but your marketing sources will diversify. It is worth giving it a try and seeing if it's right for you.

IBWSS

If you’re looking to differentiate your wine in a crowded marketplace, one place to look for a relatively low-cost, high value-added marketing strategy is the bulk wine market. By tapping into the power of the bulk wine market, you will be able to think beyond the typical bottling and distribution process that leads from your winery to store shelves.

There are three basic reasons why you would want to use the bulk wine market as part of your marketing strategy: it can help you to increase margins; it can help you develop a new positioning or branding strategy for your wine; and it can help to stabilize your existing wine production processes when the overall wine market may be showing signs of weakness.

Understanding the factors of supply and demand

Before going into the details of how to go about using bulk wines as part of your marketing, it’s first important to understand how the bulk wine market works. Like any market, it’s driven by factors of supply and demand. The overall economic environment also matters, because a booming stock market typically leads to booming consumer demand for all varieties of wine (and vice versa). Consumer demand is a highly important factor, because rising consumer preferences for chardonnay, white zinfandel or merlot can send bulk wine prices skyrocketing. But you cannot ignore the impact of supply either, because a short harvest can also push prices up considerably. In the 1990s, for example, prices for Central Coast chardonnay fluctuated widely, depending on size and quality of crop harvests.

Strategy #1: Increase your margins with bulk wines

Given the importance of supply and demand, the goal here is to be a net seller of bulk wines when prices are rising, and a net buyer of bulk wines when prices are falling. Some wineries, for example, purposely produce more than their needs, pick out the best grapes for their own wines, and then sell off any excess in the bulk market. In fact, some California wineries gear their entire marketing strategy to selling on the bulk market. By using the bulk market to sell 90% or more of their wine, they eliminate many of the factors that impact margins – like bottling and distribution. This strategy works particularly well when prices are rising.

Conversely, some wineries choose to become net buyers of bulk wines when they need to augment or blend their own wines. By selling new blends made with low-cost bulk wines, it is possible to boost their overall margins. This strategy is particularly effective with the introduction of new private label wines, where you are able to charge more for a product even when you are using lower-cost bulk wines. This strategy works particularly well when prices are falling.

Continue Reading: 3 Ways to Use the Bulk Wine Market as Part of Your Marketing Strategy


News Archive


Today's the Day to Leverage At USATT
16 May, 2017

Every year, the USATT Show brings together small and medium-sized importers, distributors, retailers and press professionals of the US wine, spirits and beer industry in New York City for 2 days of learning, buying and selling, networking and fun — all designed to help participants grow their bottom line. Visitor trade registrations are now open.

What's On at the USATT 2017 Show

1. Grand Tasting: Meet more than 130 Exhibitors from 20+ countries who are looking to grow distribution in the US market. These brands are looking to connect with Importers, State Distributors and Retailers of USA.

2. USATT ShowDeals:We’re pleased to announce a new free program for USA Trade Tasting Buyers, called #ShowDeals. USATT Show Deals are the two-day only discounts for attendees of the show from the beverage industry. These are buying opportunities for distributors, importers, retailers and brokers to get real savings with specials and deals offered only at USATT 2017. These offers are limited to USA Trade Tasting attendees and can be redeemed on the trade show floor, 11:00am – 6:00pm on May 16 and May 17, 2017. ShowDeals will be live on USATT website from March 1.

3. USATT Office Hours: In-depth advice and discussion on what are importers and distributors really looking for? (Panel + Q & A).


4. Business Conference:
The USATT Conference is a 2 day event that brings together owners, managers, sales and marketing leaders in the wine, beer and spirits import, distribution and retail industry and helps them learn more about the business, network with other professionals from all areas of the country and exchange ideas and collaborate. The conference will have TED-Style talks where speakers will give you insight into what strategies and standards the industry’s top thinkers are using to shape the marketplace around you.

*Admission to trade & business visitors only. No person under the age of 21 will be admitted. All visitors must be properly attired & present business cards. More info at www.usatradetasting.com
Event Producer: Beverage Trade Network


USA Trade Tasting is brought to you by Beverage Trade Network, the leading online platform dedicated to connecting the global beverage industry. Beverage Trade Network (BTN) successfully connects wineries, breweries, distilleries and brand owners with international importers, distributors, brokers and beverage industry professionals on a daily basis. Strong partnerships with international and US organizations have helped BTN establish USA Trade Tasting as a premiere sales and marketing event committed to connecting the beverage industry.
 
Every year, the USATT Showbrings together small and medium sized importers, distributors, retailers and press professionals of the US wine, spirits and beer industry in New York City for 2 days of learning, buying and selling, networking and fun — all designed to help participants grow their bottom line. Get Your Visitor Trade Pass Now.


What Content Marketing looks like for Wineries and Breweries
22 April, 2017

It can be difficult to stand out from the crowd when you consider the many millions of accounts that appear on social platforms daily. With over a billion Facebook users, almost 650 million Twitter accounts and then all of the social media in between.

The most vital part of starting a new platform (or advancing your current one), is how you use all of the available information in order to achieve success.
People are on the internet to consume, so don’t be shy in sharing. Start with creating a strategy, because there are millions of potential consumers just waiting to hear what you have to say.

That being said, here are the 5 tips we’re imparting to you to build your brand.

1. Create a Marketing Strategy

Before you do anything, sit down and make a plan of what it is you want to accomplish. Consider how you can use social media to create traffic to your website, blog, and company. Who is your target audience and what platforms do they use with the most frequency? What are your brand’s most popular concepts and how can you use that in order to engage followers? What is your brand identity?

2. Listen & Talk Equally

Social media moves fast, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by that and start bombarding the platform with messages and images. Don’t fall in to that trap, because people like to feel valued, and they enjoy personal relationships. Take time to engage in two-way conversations, find out what people are looking at, and engage as frequently as possible. If you can answer questions- even better.

3. Quality beats Quantity

It’s easy to get drawn into how many followers you have, but just because they’re following or subscribing doesn’t mean they’re keeping up. So make sure you’re offering something that will engage your audience and keep their interest.

4. Consistency is Key

There are plenty of content creators out there and people have a short attention span. So unless you provide consistent content that engages your audience they will simply replace you. Update your profiles and blogs regularly to ensure that your audience has something interesting to engage with.

Continue Reading: What Content Marketing looks like for Wineries and Breweries


What are the top 5 challenges in Wine Logistics?
15 April, 2017

When it comes to logistics and supply chain management, the two biggest challenges that are consistently brought up are optimization and risk management.  Finding the balance between reducing costs, time and inventory to gain competitive advantage while still protecting business from inevitable supply chain disruptions is no easy feat.  Add in multifaceted regulations, a fragile high-value product, and an international transport carrier environment constantly in flux, and you have the complex world of wine logistics.

 

We can’t talk about this topic without featuring the particular challenges for wine supply chains involving the US.  Now the largest wine consuming country, US beat out France and Italy, with 779 million gallons in 2015 according to the Wine Institute.  It’s easy to see why this is an attractive target market for both foreign and domestic wine producers.

 

To explore this topic further, we turned to JF Hillebrand, an international logistics provider specialized in beer, wines and spirits to provide industry insight on the key challenges and recommendations for the wine supply chain.

 

Getting the Most from each Shipment

 

Wine by nature is a heavy commodity, 1 kilo to 1 liter, and when you add in wine bottles, packaging and pallets in standard ocean equipment, you have two common scenarios.  The available space in a twenty foot container will limit the load tonnage, and in a forty foot container the road weight allowances in the USA will limit the payload.

 

So how about shipping just the wine instead?  Bulk shipping has permitted wine shippers around the world to do just that, shifting the bottles and packaging out of the shipping container and to the destination markets.

 

Innovation in flexitank technology provided shippers a new bulk shipment method, more cost-effective and flexible than existing ISO tanks, which require strict cleaning standards to be met along with unit repositioning to balance the import and export demand.

 

JF Hillebrand’s VinBulk system more than doubles the capacity of a single twenty foot ocean container, safely transporting up to 24,000 liters of bulk wine compared to 10,584 liters of bottled wine.  It essentially transforms a twenty foot standard container into a bulk liquid transportation device or a bulk wine storage unit in the case of JF Hillebrand’s VinStore.

 

Reducing Temperature Risk to Product

To state it simply, wine is a temperature sensitive product.  Exposure to daily thermal fluctuations, extreme heat, cold and humidity in transport affects wine in transit, impacting bottled wines and packing or labels the most.  Given the factors of geography and seasonality in the supply chain, owners have had to determine for themselves what level of risk to take on shipping in dry containers or opting for the additional cost of operating refrigerated containers.

Taking the industry lead for temperature risk assessment on beer, wine and spirits, JF Hillebrand developed VinRoute, a predictive risk management tool.  The internal database of shipping routes and historical temperature and humidity data allows shippers to make informed decisions on container equipment selection.

 

Continue Reading: What are the top 5 challenges in Wine Logistics?

 


Why Distribution Is So Important in Telling Your Story to the Media
01 April, 2017

How Important is distribution before going out to the media with your story?

At the2016 USA Trade Testing Conference, a panel of top media insiders from the wine and spirits industry discussed the role of distribution in helping to tell the story of a new or unknown wine brand. In many cases, they say, it’s a Catch-22 situation: it’s difficult to get broad distribution if you don’t have media attention, but you can’t get media attention if you don’t have distribution in place.

The consensus opinion is that distribution has to happen first, and then you can reach out to the media to help tell your story. As W.R. Tish of Beverage Media Group points out, if a brand wants to get its story out, it has to have some form of distribution in the marketplace. It just “doesn’t make sense” for a trade media publication to tell your story unless there’s some way to access to the wine within the U.S. marketplace.


In other words, if a media publication is going to take the time to learn about you and your brand, it’s going to want a way to introduce its readers to your products. David Ransom of The Tasting Panel and The SOMM Journal echoes this point, emphasizing that “you don’t have to be in all 50 states, but you do have to be in the major markets.” That means a presence in major markets like New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Seattle. That’s especially true for wine brands reaching out to a national media publication. If you’re targeting a purely regional publication, then you may only need to have access to a few key distributors in your region or areas. However, if you’re telling your story to a national publication – or to an international publication, then it’s vital to have distribution in place.


As Felicity Carter of Meininger’s Wine Business International points out, if you are trying hard to get publicity, but don’t have any distribution, then it’s “a waste of money.” As she notes, it’s “absolutely critical” to have that distribution already set up, especially if you are trying to reach a very sophisticated international audience.To a certain extent, you have to view this from the perspective of the publication’s readers. If they are reading about a compelling wine brand, the first thing they are going to do is find out how they can purchase it to taste for themselves. However, if they go to their favorite wine store or check out online stores, they are going to be frustrated if they can’t find it.


And that, ultimately, will reflect negatively on the publication that just featured your brand. As David Ransom points out, “They may need to re-think why they’re reading the magazine.”
Wanting to get your brand’s story out is a natural inclination, and one that’s shared by any up-and-coming brand. However, there’s a proper sequence of events that has to occur. And, in today’s media landscape, that means lining up distribution first, and then reaching out to top media outlets, rather than the other way around.

Learn more about the USA Trade Tasting conferece here


Discover the Best Ways to Grow Your US Distribution.
25 March, 2017

usattOn May 16 & 17 at the Metropolitan Pavilion, join over 2,000 trade show visitors, that include buyers, importers, distributors and retailers and 132 exhibitors at a high-energy, global wine and spirits business conference in New York City that has been designed to inspire and empower you with the best ideas from all over the world of how to market, sell and grow your business. It’s brought to you by Beverage Trade Network (BTN), the leading platform connecting the global beverage industry.

At a stunning event space in the heart of New York City, you’ll have the chance to meet wine, beer and spirits exhibitors from over 20 countries. At a special two-day Grand Tasting during the event, you can check out the latest offerings from: Black Horse Liquors, Casal Branco, Clos Malverne, Doolhof Wine Estate, Hammeken Cellars, Kingston Estate Wines, Mezcal Nucano, Park Street, Quinta da Alorna, Reynolds Wine Growers, Swiss Mountain Spring and Vodquila.

You’ll also have a chance to network with12 globally-recognized keynote speakers, including top thinkers from Beverage Media, Bevology, International Wine & Spirits Research, JF Hillebrand and Newman Wine.

Here’s what you can expect in New York…

#1: Incredible networking opportunities: You’ll experience two full days of learning and networking with some of the brightest minds in the wine and spirits industry. There will be extensive networking opportunities throughout the event, including USATT Office Hours, where you can have your specific questions answered by experts.

#2: Best-in-class content: We’ve set up a speaker schedule of 12 TED-style talks that will challenge your view of the wine and spirits industry. In addition, we have a full slate of 3 masterclasses, where you can learn more about the wines of up-and-coming wine destinations such as China or Tejo in Portugal.

#3: A peek ahead at new products: One special feature of this year’s show is Unique and Innovative Products (UIP), where you will be able to learn about new wine and spirits offerings before anyone else. Buyers will get a chance to look at new and innovative brands and concepts from all over the world in one dedicated area at the show. Suppliers will get key buyer feedback to help plan their go-to-market strategy.

And it’s all brought to you in New York City, the entertainment and restaurant capital of the world. In addition to all the structured networking events planned for the event, there will be plenty of unstructured opportunities to meet after the show at some of New York City’s iconic bars and restaurants. The show’s location gives you easy access to Chelsea, the Flatiron District, Union Square and Greenwich Village.

See what’s on at USATT 2017.


Here’s why you should attend this conference…

#1: You will learn proven techniques for entering the U.S. market: If you are looking to grow your distribution in the U.S. market, you will have plenty of opportunities to connect with distributors, importers and retailers. Moreover, each of the12 TED-style talks have been geared to the specific needs of brands looking to enter the U.S. market. The focus is on practice, not theory.

#2: You will get valuable feedback on how to speed your time to market: Not only will you get insights from fellow conference attendees, you will also have opportunities to mix and mingle with 2,000+ trade show visitors who are attending the Grand Tasting event. This is a unique opportunity to see what sophisticated New York wine and spirits connoisseurs think of your product.

#3: You will build awareness of your brand: A new free program for USATT exhibitors, called Show Deals, will help you drive more traffic and close more business during the event. Show deals are two-day discounts for attendees of the show from the beverage industry. These specials are only available at USATT 2017 and provide a strong incentive to close business during the event.

#4: You will meet the world’s newest wine and spirits brands: This year’s show is a truly global event, with exhibitors from over 20 countries. As part of our focus on bringing you the very best from all over the world, attendees of the USA Trade Tasting show will also have a unique opportunity to learn all about Chinese wine regions and varietals, including the elegant wines of Chateau Rongzi.

See the agendaand the full speaker line-up at this year’s Conference.

What Makes This Event Unique?

In addition to bringing together some of the most talented and experienced professionals in the wine and spirits industry, the USATT 2017 event offers:

#1: Valuable, actionable content – We have worked with each of the presenters to make sure that their content is specifically focused on practical insights that you can use immediately to grow your business. In addition to session panels, there will be Masterclasses and Office Hours where you will have close one-on-one interaction with top industry experts.

#2: Extensive networking opportunities – As much as this event is about learning and gaining practical insights, it’s also about networking and connecting with importers, distributors, retailers and members of the media. You will walk away from this event with priceless professional connections.

#3: A New York City location – Everything is more exciting in “the city that never sleeps.” New York provides a vibrant, energetic setting for the two-day event. If you want to meet up later with connections you’ve made at the show, you can discuss business at some of the world’s most iconic restaurants.

#4: Full access to the content of the show including EVERY session – We understand that you may want to spend time on the trade floor of the Grand Tasting during part of the show, or may be involved in meetings while some of the sessions are going on. That’s why we will be providing each attendee full access to all of the great content at the event, including video and social media highlights.

#5: A focus on innovation – USATT 2017, in many ways, is a global test marketplace. And this event helps to capture that feeling by offering you early access to Unique and Innovative Products (UIP), as well as an early look at new products available for importers and distributors from over 20 countries.

Plus, did we mention… this event takes place in New York during springtime – perhaps the best time of the year to visit the most dynamic and high-energy city in the world?

Getyour USATT Conference Pass today.


10 Factors in Your Press Release That Will Catch the Media Attention
18 March, 2017

It’s only natural that your distillery is looking for ways to capture the attention of the media. One way to do this is by crafting a high-impact press release that makes your distillery or your spirits brand a very compelling story for that publication’s audience. Here are ten factors in your press release that will catch the media’s attention.


Factor #1: Impact
The facts and events that have the greatest effect on the audience are the most newsworthy. While these facts and events can be specifically related to the spirts industry, they can also leverage existing political, economic, cultural or even technological trends. One big trend, for example, is the emergence of young millennials as an important new class of buyers. So a story pitch that is packaged around how young millennials are using new apps like Distiller to discover your spirits might be a big enough story to attract the attention of the media.


Factor #2: Weight
The significance of a particular fact or event lies in its value with respect to other facts or events. In short, what happens in the alcoholic beverage industry is important – but it’s even more important if it can be related to broader economic trends. For example, during an economic recovery or an economic downturn, alcoholic beverage drinking consumption patterns might change.
Suddenly, a story about a relatively low-cost spirit that delivers beyond its price point might take on new significance as part of a broader economic trend of consumer belt-tightening. For example, a compelling story about the appearance of private label brands in supermarkets to appeal to budget-conscious consumers might work here.


Factor #3: Controversy
Arguments, debates, charges, counter charges and fights increase the value of news. In short, you want your spirit to be part of the conversations that consumers are already having. Thus, consider the current economic debate taking place within the United States about the role of international trade treaties such as NAFTA. That might be the necessary controversy to make a story about spirits from South America (especially Chile) especially compelling.

Factor #4: Emotion
Take into account human interests that touch reader emotions. Ultimately, media publications are in the business of telling stories, and the most effective stories are those that resonate with an audience because of emotion.
This type of press release is especially well-suited for telling the story of the distillers behind the brand. What adversity have them overcome? What makes their story so compelling from a personal perspective? If you can provide great quotes in the press release, this is also very effective.

Read more at : http://usatradetasting.com/blog/10-factors-in-your-press-release-that-will-catch-the-media-attention/

 


USA Trade Tasting 2017 is here!
11 March, 2017

It is our pleasure to invite you to USA Trade Tasting 2017’,a buyer’s only trade tasting and educational conference happening in New York, USA.

 

Register here to get a free entry. SAVE $40 by booking online now. Tickets are $40 at the event registration desk.

 Here is what you can expect at the event:

  • Come along and meet suppliers that are ready to grow their distribution. Taste some great local craft spirits, beers and boutique wines along with products from international producers from Spain, Portugal, New Zealand and France that are looking to grow in Australia. See a  list of our exhibitors: http://usatradetasting.com/en/exhibitors/2017/
  • Network with your fellow retailers, restaurant owners, bartenders, distributors, importers and members of the press.
  • Receive special USATT 2017 trade only pricing and deals from exhibiting brands.
  • For conference registration, please Click Here

What’s On At USA Trade Tasting 2017:

  • Grand Tasting: Meet more than 130 Exhibitors from 20+ countries who are looking to grow distribution in the US market.
  • Keynote Sessions Conference: Conference for Wine, Beer and Spirits Importers, Distributors and Producers. Learn About Sales, Distribution, Compliance and Marketing.
  • Unique and Innovative Products: Showcasing Unique and Innovative Brands from all over the World to US Buyers.
  • Masterclasses: Get advice from the exports in a highly personalized workshop-style class.
  • Office Hours: USATT’s Office Hours sessions give you a chance to talk one-on-one with speakers and mentors.
  • USATT Show Deals: USATT Show Deals are the two-day only discounts from USATT Exhibitors for attendees of the show from the beverage industry.

These are buying opportunities for distributors, importers, retailers and brokers to get real savings with specials and deals offered only at USATT 2017. These offers are limited to USA Trade Tasting attendees and can be redeemed on the trade show floor, 11:00am – 6:00pm on May 16 and May 17, 2017. Register now and avoid $40 gate fee.


Time and Venue:
New York:
Date: Tuesday & Wednesday, May 16-17 2017,
Time: 9:30 AM to 6:30 PM (EST).
Location: Metropolitan Pavilion, New York City, NY, USA.
RSVP for USATT 2017 here.


We look forward to having you there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Restaurant Owners and Sommeliers to Gather in NYC at USA Trade Tasting 2017
04 March, 2017

Beverage Trade Network, the leading online platform dedicated to connecting the global beverage industry, will host the USA Trade Tasting Conference in New York City on May 16-17, 2017.


USATT returns this year, promising to be bigger, bolder and better. Poised to be a one-of-a-kind show on the East Coast, it pulls in exhibitors from over 20 countries making it an attractive show to be explored by restaurateurs and sommeliers alike. The show will take place on May 16 & 17 at the Metropolitan Pavilion in New York City.
Malvika Patel, event organizer of USATT Trade Tasting mentions that there are 3 new concepts being introduced this year that are sure to wow buyers.

1. #ShowDeals

USATT Show Deals are the two-day only discounts offered by exhibitors for buyers attending the show. These are buying opportunities for restaurateurs and sommeliers to get real savings with specials and deals offered only at USATT 2017.

2. Unique & Innovative Products:

USA Trade Tasting will feature ‘Unique and Innovative Products’ (UIP) from all over the world to restaurateurs and sommeliers at the 2017 show. “The idea is to make New York the first test market around the globe for new concepts and ideas related to branded alcoholic products. Suppliers can get key buyer feedback and plan their go to market strategy based on the feedback and initial buyer interest. Buyers will get a chance to look at unique and innovative brands and concepts from all over the world in one dedicated area at the show. Buyers will be able to add unique brands to their portfolios and offer their customers something fresh and new”, Sid Patel,CEO and Founder of Beverage Trade Network and USA Trade Tasting.

3. Office Hours:

USATT’s Office Hours sessions give you a chance to talk one-on-one with speakers and mentors. These are real business owners with years of experience in running an operation successfully. Retailers and sommeliers can pose questions about the challenges they face in running their enterprise and how to overcome these.

4. Sommelier Direct

iSanté magazine and USA Trade Tasting have partnered to provide restaurateurs with an innovative sales solution that gives direct access to wine brand owners.

Leveraging the strengths of the USATT Direct platform and the influence of iSante Magazine’s network, on-premise markets will be able to access a wide range of brand owners from around the world like never before.

“The market has always needed a program like this in place,” said USA Trade Tasting President, Sid Patel. “Building relationships across multiple tiers has been something of a nightmare for international suppliers and one of the biggest problems for wine brand owners is generating trade interest on the ground. Both USATT and iSanté have been working tirelessly to connect the global retail trade, and we believe our partnership is a big step forward. For restaurant owners to finally be able to seamlessly source new products directly from the supplier is huge.”

For restaurant owners and sommeliers, the partnership will allow them to change the way they look at sourcing new brands. Because the USATT direct program is structured in such a way that allows them to work with any international brand, it will also give them a much needed increase in variety to consider.

It doesn’t end there. There are many more reasons for you to attend USA Trade Tasting this year.

The USATT Conference has topics designed specifically to cater to restaurateurs’ and sommeliers’ interests.

In the presentation ‘The New Brand / Craft Phenomenon: An Even Better Future’ by John Beaudette, President and CEO of MHW, Ltd he will talk about the how the new age of the beverage industry affects you. He will focus on how brands and craft beverages are changing the market and can help restaurateurs and sommeliers grow their bottom line.

How to Win Retailers and Influence Them with Effective Merchandising and Programming by Richard Halstead, Chief Operating Officer, Wine Intelligence
is about the merchandising programs that work and work well for retailers, restaurateurs and sommeliers.

Restaurateurs and sommeliers will get the unique opportunity to network, connect and exchange ideas with thousands of beverage professionals in one location.

So don’t wait any longer. Take your networking to the next level at USA Trade Tasting:

Step 1: Watch a videothat shows why you should get involved.

Step 2: Visit the ‘What’s On’ page to see the exciting events and features at the show.

Step 3: Register todayfor your free Trade pass, for a limited time only.


Royal Comfort to debut Chateau Rongzi wines by Iconic Winemaker Jean Claude Berrouet of Petrus fame.
02 February, 2017

On May 16 & 17th, the attendees of the USA Trade Tasting Show will have a unique opportunity to be one of the very first people in the United States to sample these elegant wines. 

Jean Claude Berrouet is known for being a “classicist” winemaker and making wines that are balanced and represent their origins.   With his partnership with the Chateau Rongzi team that has truly been accomplished.  These wines are balanced; pairs very well with a wide range of cuisines and simply delicious!

Jean Claude Berrouet spent a year in the Loess Plateau in Northern China working with the Chateau Rongzi team to ensure that the final product showcased the unique terroir of the region. 

Chateau Rongzi has 14 wine shops as well as numerous retail partners throughout China that have been able to provide these wines to the fast-growing wine consumers in China.   They have chosen to partner with Royal Comfort to debut these fantastic wines in the United States at the USA Trade Tasting Show. This will be a tremendous opportunity for prospective distributors to add these remarkable wines to their portfolio.

About Royal Comfort LLC: Royal Comfort is a wine distributor focusing on China.  The company’s goals are to share the fantastic wines of the Pacific Northwest with the rest of the world as well as bring the uniqueness of China to the US market.  Royal Comfort also believes in educating wine consumers and have led/sponsored numerous classes in China to educate the rapidly growing wine market. 

About Beverage Trade Network:  Beverage Trade Network (BTN) is an online marketing and B2B networking platform servicing suppliers, buyers and beverage professionals in the global beverage industry.  BTN provides business and sourcing tools for industry buyers and brokers as well as an extensive selection of services for suppliers to drive brand awareness and expand distribution.  For more information on BTN, visit their websitewww.beveragetradenetwork.com  

About USA Trade Tasting: USA Trade Tasting (USATT) is an annual trade tasting and business conference, open to trade professionals only, which takes place in New York City, USA. USATT showcases exciting wines, beers and spirits from all over the world to USA importers, wholesalers, distributors, retailers and press.   For more information on attending the USA business conference or how to exhibit at USATT, visit their website www.usatradetasting.com.

Mark Wong

Royal Comfort LLC

(503) 781-1695

markw@royalcomfortdisributors.com


Why Distribution Is So Important in Telling Your Story to the Media
28 January, 2017

At the 2016 USA Trade Testing Conference, a panel of top media insiders from the wine and spirits industry discussed the role of distribution in helping to tell the story of a new or unknown wine brand. In many cases, they say, it’s a Catch-22 situation: it’s difficult to get broad distribution if you don’t have media attention, but you can’t get media attention if you don’t have distribution in place.

 

The consensus opinion is that distribution has to happen first, and then you can reach out to the media to help tell your story. As W.R. Tish of Beverage Media Group points out, if a brand wants to get its story out, it has to have some form of distribution in the marketplace. It just “doesn’t make sense” for a trade media publication to tell your story unless there’s some way to access to the wine within the U.S. marketplace.

 

In other words, if a media publication is going to take the time to learn about you and your brand, it’s going to want a way to introduce its readers to your products. David Ransom of The Tasting Panel and The SOMM Journal echoes this point, emphasizing that “you don’t have to be in all 50 states, but you do have to be in the major markets.” That means a presence in major markets like New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Seattle.

 

That’s especially true for wine brands reaching out to a national media publication. If you’re targeting a purely regional publication, then you may only need to have access to a few key distributors in your region or areas. However, if you’re telling your story to a national publication – or to an international publication, then it’s vital to have distribution in place.

 

As Felicity Carter of Meininger’s Wine Business International points out, if you are trying hard to get publicity, but don’t have any distribution, then it’s “a waste of money.” As she notes, it’s “absolutely critical” to have that distribution already set up, especially if you are trying to reach a very sophisticated international audience.

 

To a certain extent, you have to view this from the perspective of the publication’s readers. If they are reading about a compelling wine brand, the first thing they are going to do is find out how they can purchase it to taste for themselves. However, if they go to their favorite wine store or check out online stores, they are going to be frustrated if they can’t find it.

 

Continue Reading:Why Distribution Is So Important in Telling Your Story to the Media

 


Get Ready for USA Trade Tasting 2017
23 December, 2016

usatt1If you’re hoping to grow your beverage brand by breaking into the U.S. market, your mission is twofold. First: get your product in front of distributors, retailers, and importers. Second: learn as much as you possibly can to fine-tune your marketing strategy, tweak your product and packaging, and craft your communication to importers and distributors.

 

The United States Trade Tasting Conference provides a platform for you to do it all. Held May 16th and 17th, 2017 at the Metropolitan Pavilion in New York City, the show will bring together wineries, breweries, and distilleries with small- and medium-sized importers, retailers and distributors from the tri-state area, as well as press professionals. Brands that are hoping to grow their distribution in the U.S. will have a platform to show off their product, as well as network with others in the wine, beer, and spirits industry.

Brought to you by the Beverage Trade Network, the USATT 2017 will also feature talks by influential industry heavy-hitters, making it a great way to soak up knowledge from those who have figured out the formula for success in the beverage industry. From a lineup of presentations given by industry leaders at the conference to a Q & A session with experienced mentors, USATT is ideal for those who are serious about growing their brand.

 

Looking Back at 2016…

 

usatt

 

The inaugural USA Trade Tasting Conference in 2016 was an immense success. It featured 180 exhibitors that included organizations from around the world. Wine brands from France, Italy, Australia, Portugal, and other leading wine-growing countries were featured. Attendees also got to taste and experience an assortment of spirits, craft beer, and cider brands. The response was immense, with over 2,000 people in attendance.

 

“We are extremely pleased with the response we’ve received from the exhibitor’s at USATT’s inaugural event,” said Sid Patel, CEO of Beverage Trade Network and Director of USA Trade Tasting. “The quality of the exhibitors and the satisfaction of the visitors has set the bar extremely high for years to come.”

 

In addition to giving beverage brands the ability to exhibit their products and network, USATT 2016 featured the wildly popular Brand Pitch Sessions, which gave importers and distributors the chance to experience emerging brands that are entirely new to the U.S. market.

 

Attendees were also able to attend master classes on topics such as whisky, the wines of South Africa, as well as one presented by the New York Wines Organization.

 

Topping it all off was the BTN Educational Conference. Chock full of presentations by experts in beverage sales, distribution, and marketing, the conference hosted a wealth of information for companies determined to grow their brands.

 

…And Forward to 2017

The United States Trade Tasting Conference 2017 promises to be two days of learning experiences, buying, selling, networking with industry peers, and having fun. Here’s an overview of what you can expect from USATT 2017.

 

Grand Tasting

The best way to introduce your product to buyers is by giving them a taste, so a presence at the USATT Grand Tasting is a must. Conference attendees will meet beverage innovators and get the chance to taste products from 132 tasting stations. Each setup includes all you need to conduct a tasting; simply bring your product, sample cups, a roll-up banner, and marketing materials to make your table your own. More details about the Grand Tasting are available here

 

Unique and Innovative Products Pavilion

UIPPHow will buyers in the U.S. market react to your new product? The Unique and Innovative Products Pavilion gives you the opportunity to find out. This new area at the show provides a platform for suppliers to get market feedback on their branded alcoholic beverage products.

 

New York is an ideal test market for innovative new products and an excellent way to asses buyer interest. On the flip side, it’s also a fantastic opportunity for buyers to be the first ones to discover interesting new products and bring them to their customers. Learn more about the Unique and Innovative Products Pavilion here

 

 

 

Conference

 

USATT is about more than just putting your product out there; it’s also about learning and gaining valuable insight from industry leaders.The USA Trade Tasting Educational Conference features presentations on things like marketing, sales and distribution.From growing your brand to crafting the perfect marketing strategy, the content presented here will inspire you and help you see things from a new perspective. It will also give you the chance to network and exchange ideas with others in the industry. Follow this link to find out more about the USATT Educational Conference.

 

USATT Show Deals

USATT Show Deals are the two-day only discounts from USATT Exhibitors for attendees of the show from the beverage industry. These are buying opportunities for distributors, importers, retailers and brokers to get real savings with specials and deals offered only at USATT 2017. These offers are limited to USA Trade Tasting attendees and can be redeemed on the trade show floor, 11:00am – 6:00pm on May 16 and May 17, 2017.

 

Office Hours 

usattofficehours

 

USATT’s Office Hours is a Q & A session with speakers and mentors who can give you valuable advice on how to best market your new brand. They’ll help you understand things from the perspective of importers and distributors, explaining expectations for new brands and how you can best make an impression during your introductory communication with them. Learning from experienced mentors who can show you the ropes and help you avoid pitfalls is priceless when you’re starting out in the beverage industry. Let them show you the path to success.

 

This year’s Office Hours session will be moderated by Steve Ray, who has more than twenty years of experience in the beverage industry. He is the President of Bevology, a marketing consulting company that specializes in wine and spirits. For more information on the Office Hours session and Steve Ray, click here.

Register Now to be a Part of USATT 2017!

If you’re a domestic or international winery, a craft brewery, or a distillery who would like to meet with and get your product in front of U.S. distributors, retailers, and representatives from the press, USATT is the ideal opportunity for you to do so. It’s also an invaluable source of beverage industry education that can help you create a strategy to get ahead and grow your brand faster. Whether you wish to trade, network, or educate yourself, check out the USATT website for more details on attending and exhibiting.

 

usatt_offer

 

 

 

 

 

   

 

 


Suppliers Tool Kit: Must Have Support Tools For Your Importers and Distributors
17 December, 2016

The following are some basic tools that every distributor would find useful weapons in the on-going battle to gain territory in on- and off-premise markets

Distributor Support Tools for Beverage Business

In an ultra-competitive wine and spirits market in the U.S., distributors need effective support tools from importers to help ensure that their brands can get new product placements and retain them on retailer shelves and restaurant lists over time. The following are some basic tools that every distributor would find useful weapons in the on-going battle to gain territory in on- and off-premise markets.

Price Sheet

This should be a complete listing of wholesale pricing to on- and off-premise accounts, frontline (one case) to deepest and best deal, which is usually a ten-case price. Sometimes, value wines will have several levels of deeper deals, like a 28-case (half pallet) or 56-case (full pallet) price. Frequently, top-level wines will either have only a frontline price or one level of discount, a two- or three-case deal. Typically, these will be wines imported in limited quantity, like Grand Cru Burgundies, First Growth Bordeaux or Cult Cabernets.

Continue Reading : Suppliers Tool Kit: Must Have Support Tools For Your Importers and Distributors

 

 


Hot Wine Categories for the 2016 Holiday Season in the USA
18 November, 2016

Which wine categories are perennial crowd pleasers and which others are becoming favorites for the upcoming Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Eve day? Here are some of the wine categories that wine bloggers, critics and sommeliers are choosing this holiday season.
 
Category #1: Riesling

Hot wine categoryWine CategoriesA number of top sommeliers are recommending Rieslings for the holidays. For example, Katie Spigner of The Catbird Seat in Nashville recommends the Dr. Von Bassermann-Jordan Trocken Riesling from Pfalz, Germany. At just $17, it’s an affordable, versatile Riesling that you can take anywhere, mostly because it will pair with both heavier and lighter dishes.
And just because many of the best Rieslings are from Germany doesn’t mean that the U.S. doesn’t offer a number of top wines in this category. One Riesling selected by Gayot.com as one of the best wines for the holidays is Brooks Winery Tethys Riesling from the Williamette Valley, Oregon. It’s pure “liquid gold” that’s both rich and fruity.


Category #2: Wines from Sicily


When you think of Italian wines, you probably don’t think of Sicily. But the wine-growing region near Mt. Etna now produces some stellar wines. According to Jack Mason, sommelier at Marta in New York City, one Sicilian wine worth trying for the holidays is the 2012 Sciaranuova from Passopisciario. At $60, the wine is similar to a premier cru red Burgundy at a slightly more affordable price. Plus, there’s a great story behind the wine – it’s grown at a height of over 850 meters from 80-year-old vines.

 

Continue Reading: Hot Wine Categories for the 2016 Holiday Season in the USA


Register Before 10th Nov at USA Trade Tasting and Get a FREE BTN Annual membership ($249) + SAVE $500
05 November, 2016

Looking To Grow Distribution in USA?


Then get involved with the USA Trade Tasting 17. Book your exhibitor spot by November 10 and get early bird pricing benefits plus BTN membership valued at $249 included in your exhibitor pricing.


Your BTN membership will give you full access to all the BTN articles, webinars, buying leads and consultants.
USA Trade Tasting (USATT) is an annual trade only event in New York city helping producers connect with wine, beer, spirits importers, distributors, retailers and press of USA. Meet Importers, State Distributors, Retailers and Press of USA in New York City.

usatt_offer


Only 3 Days Left To SAVE $900 & Get Early Bird Rates For USA Trade Tasting
28 October, 2016

Book your Exhibitor Spot by October 31 and Get 1 Complimentary Conference Ticket valued at $400 included + Save $500 in Exhibitor fees. Get Your Best Pricing Now.

If you are looking to grow your distribution in US market, USA Trade Tasting is the perfect platform to help you connect with state distributors, importers and retailers of USA. The event is B2B ONLY helping brands connect with buyers of USA.

The fair will be backed by the USATT Conference, the comprehensive educational convention where influential market-leaders offer key strategic insights useful to up-and-coming brand owners and vetted industry experts alike.

WHAT'S ON AT USATT
—Trade Floor
—Conference Sessions
—Workshops and Masterclasses

LIMITED EXHIBITOR SPOTS LEFT
The event will be limited to 130 exhibitors. Book your spot by Oct 31 and get complimentary conference ticket included + save with early bird pricing.

Register Hereto reserve your spot.

Leran more on how USATT can help you grow your distribution here

usatt


How to Disrupt the US Drinks Market With Non-Traditional Marketing
22 October, 2016

drinks

Practical advice on 4 strategies to capitalize on emerging trends in the American wine and spirits business:

In conversation with Steve Raye, President of PR and marketing firm Bevology Inc that helps brands enter and grow in the US market, we discover how young millennials are affecting and changing the wine market with current behavioral trends and how to follow suit.

Young millennials are completely changing the rules of the marketing game for wine importers and distributors. What are these changing consumer trends?

• They are driving a trade-up to higher priced wines, with the most growth in the $12 - $15 and $15 - $20 segments.
• They behave very differently from previous generations
– Seek out what’s new and different (to them)
• Moscato, Prosecco, Red Blends
– Very open to imported brands, and particularly New World wines.
• They don’t get their information from magazines, they get it on their smartphones and from online resources and their social networks.

As opposed to the common strain of thought, millennials are not focused on entry-level wines. They want to drink good quality wine that is rated well and are prepared to pay higher prices for it. This is a sweet spot for producers where they can really make some margins.

The encouraging news is that millennials are a lot more willing to try and experiment with new brands and varietals. Gone are the days when a supplier or an importer with a relatively unknown product stood little or no chance of gaining traction in the U.S. market. That’s because millennials don’t put as much stock in the value of “experts” – they’d rather trust the opinions of their friends and peers on social media. And that also makes them much more accepting of wines like Moscato, Prosecco and red blends that experts may not cover. If their friends are “liking” it on Facebook, they might just consider buying it.

Now that they have become the largest wine-consuming cohort in the world, these 77 million millennials are forcing importers and distributors to re-think their traditional marketing strategies.

As Steve Raye suggests, the way young millennials learn about wine and then purchase this wine is fundamentally different from how Baby Boomers learn about wine and then purchase it. That’s disconcerting for long-time industry veterans, who may be scrambling to adjust to the new innovations of the social media and mobile worlds, but also exhilarating.

Continue Reading: How to Disrupt the US Drinks Market With Non-Traditional Marketing


BTN Interview The World’s Best Sommelier on What Makes a Great Profitable Wine List
14 October, 2016

Arvid Rosengren – recently crowned the world’s No. 1 Sommelier has worked hard to get here, bettering himself continually with theoretical learning and blind tastings. If you think it is easy to become a sommelier and rank the first in the world at that, think again! It involves naming cryptic grapes that make up a Bulgarian wine, naming Germany’s wine regions in reverse-size order and not the least – pleasing your customers’ requests, especially in delicate situations.

In an interview with Decanter magazine, he mentioned that one of the important lessons he has learnt as a sommelier is to be humble and listen to his guests. And humble he has stayed. Arvid, born in Sweden, lives in SoHo and works as a Wine Director at Charlie Bird, which he describes as having a “fun and friendly atmosphere”, just his kind of place. Here, they wear sneakers with button-downs, listen to hip-hop and drink old wines.

One of the most important tasks for a wine director is creating and managing a restaurant's wine list. But what sets apart a just-ok list from a great one? How does a wine director go about choosing wines and making an incredible list, one that also works on the bottom-line?

BTN catches up with Arvid Rosengren for his insights on how he does this successfully for Charlie Bird.

Charlie_bird

BTN: Does a more comprehensive wine list and giving more options to the restaurant-goer generate more wine sales? At the same time does this create inventory issues for the restaurant?

AR: It's a balance issue. It certainly depends on the size of the restaurant and turnover of inventory of course, but I prefer working with a small-mid size wine list, something in the realm of 80-200 wines, enough to make it diverse and interesting, but not so huge that it overwhelms and even scares guests off.

BTN: What factors do you consider to ensure that the wine list is increasing profits for the restaurant? Should a restaurant constantly look to increase profit margins as well?

AR: I prefer to focus on profit over percentages, moving through the expensive segments of inventory and reinvesting for the future (maturing wine offsite that can later be sold more profitably). Hence, pricing of wines is on a completely individual basis. Also, restaurants have to realize that guest are savvier these days, with multiple tools (apps, websites etc.) at their fingerprints to figure out what "fair" pricing it. Overpricing and catering to suckers simply isn't going to work for much longer.

BTN: Staff training: how do you do this and how is this connected with sales?

AR: We tend to do this on a very organic and individual base, focusing on those employees that show true interest and dedication. Since we always have sommeliers on the floor, there is no need for a server to know all that much. If they want to, we support them and do not discourage them from making sales.

Continue Reading: BTN Interview The World’s Best Sommelier on What Makes a Great Profitable Wine List


How To Grow Your Blog: Tips For Wineries, Distilleries and Breweries
08 October, 2016

Looking to grow your blog? Looking to convert your visitors into buyers? Here are the right steps you can take to make your blog a greater success.

First and foremost, it is important to understand that successful brands have distinct traits that allow them to set themselves apart from the rest. Under the beers, wines and spirits umbrella competition has never been fiercer. That’s why it’s vital to your brand to assess what makes you different from everyone else out there.

There are a number of steps you can take to make your blog a greter success..

1. Consumer Knowledge.

Successful brands have a deep understanding of their target demographics, what they’re interested in, what they like, what they dislike, the best style of communication to use with them and the best medium to reach them through.  Use this knowledge to craft both your products and your content to appeal to their tastes.Here is an example of how Flawless wines uses its content to engage specifically with chefs and sommeliers.

image

2. Uniqueness


You don’t need to invent a new type of alcohol in order to be unique. You could use unique packaging whether it is the label or the container, original content or a unique offering that you may have in your product range. It could be a unique flavor or perhaps you follow an unconventional production method. You may choose to provide a brand promise of some description, or you have another niche selling point.  Use your USP to tell your brand’s story on your blog, to build it’s appeal, to stand out from the crowd and to carve a lasting impression on the reader’s mind.


Here is one great example of how Mirabeau Wines created a unique content strategy that was different from common wine blog content. First, they set up the groundwork for a successful campaign with a strong story that the universal wine lover could associate with – one about a family, a dream and the devotion to quality wine. They used their family's new adventure into the world of wine making as their main pivot to the marketing campaign while also highlighting their ambition to produce one of the top Rosés in Provence.

Continue Reading : How To Grow Your Blog: Tips For Wineries, Distilleries and Breweries

 


Marketing Manifesto for Wine and Spirits
24 September, 2016

Here’s a distilled version of things I’ve learned to be true in marketing wines and spirits in the U.S

1. Distribution: It’s not about placements it’s about RE-placements

  • Distribution on-and off-premise is a good absolute number, but the ratio of total distribution to number of accounts that have reordered gives more insight into how the brand is really doing.
  • Reorder rates: This is the key metric which tells you whether the product is moving at the point of consumer purchase.


Tips: if you run a distribution-build program with anything less than 3 bottles per placement minimum, you might be doing yourself more harm than good…generating distribution that won’t move.


2. Don’t market to empty shelves

Before you start consumer promotions, make sure you’ve developed sufficient distribution such that consumers can actually buy what you are promoting.

Tips: You must have a where-to-buy function on your Facebook page and website. That does double duty…it not only allows your consumers to actually buy the product you’re promoting, but it also is a powerful sales tool to let retailers know you’re helping to drive traffic to their store/bar/restaurant. 2) Always target and work with at least one aggressive e-commerce retailer in every market… It will allow you to sell your products to consumers in states where you don’t have a distributor on board.

3. Get it in, and then Get it OUT

Building distribution is one thing, but it has little value if you haven’t coupled that with consumer marketing and promotion to move the product through and generate reorders at retail. Tip: in today’s hyper-competitive environment you need to prove your case commercially by yourself before you can convince others that it will sell through for them.

4. Help the importer and distributor do their jobs:

  • Tell the trade what you’re going to be doing via trade advertising, PR and newsletters
  • Drive consumer demand via advertising, promotion, social media etc all.


Tip: Add a trade component to all consumer promotions so that the on and off premise accounts you have distribution in recognize you’re the one sending them customers and helping grow their revenue and margins.

5. Target Audience:

You can’t be all things to all people. Determine your target audience and focus on it precisely, comprehensively, consistently and relentlessly. Rinse and repeat.

Tip: it’s just as important to determine who’s NOT your audience as well as who is.

6. Triage by “Must,” “Should,” and “Could.”

It’s easy to be seduced by great ideas, but it’s your job to recognize that great ideas are only great if they are on-strategy. We like to break things into three categories to really simplify decision-making:

  • What Must we do?: Things that absolutely, positively have to be done; without them nothing else will work.
  • What Should we do?: Things that are on-strategy and will help the brand, but only to be funded after insuring that all the “Musts” are funded and fielded effectively.
  • What Could we do? Usually these fall into the category of unsolicited offers for sponsorships, events etc. We recommend you consider these only after all the Musts and the most cost-effective “Shoulds” are taken care of.


Tip:  Make sure your strategies mesh with target audience behavior. You must use different tools to reach Millennials vs. Boomers.

Read more : Marketing Manifesto for Wine and Spirits


20 Hot Wine Apps and Website in USA that Wineries Can Leverage Upon
17 September, 2016

For a winery, the ability to leverage websites and apps to sell wines is like a dream come true. Not only can winery grow their sales but those channels also allow winery to support their distribution system by getting their wines to more consumers and channels where traditional distribution is not there. Here is a list wine websites and apps that wineries can leverage from:

Snooth Wine Pro :

The Snooth Wine Pro appis a companion to Snooth.com which is the world’s largest wine website that will change the way you experience the world of wine. Snap a picture of a wine label and we’ll find it in our extensive database of over 1 million wine records. Find your notes, along with critics’ scores, other wine lovers’ ratings, and price listings from local retailers. The app will automatically sync all your data to Snooth.com for easy access wherever you are. This app is highly rated and very easy to use. You can take a picture of a wine and compare prices, quality over 12,000 merchants worldwide.

AGWine:

AG Wine app– Wine Apps is rated number 1 for wine education by FOOD & WINE magazine. Approach Guides takes an in depth looks at a wine region’s grapes, appellations, and vintages to help you discover wines that meet your preferences. Approach Guides is the only app recommended for casual wine drinkers and professionals. Approach Guides is a source of clear, unbiased information that helps them understand, appreciate, and discover new wines. AG wine is a premium app for learning about wine.

Drync:


With the help of Drync app – Wine Apps you can shop, browse, scan and learn about wine. Drync is having more choices of wine the any other app have. With the help of this app you can find wine by style, region and grapes. You can also get expert advice and recommendation from Drync team. You can everyday see the new wine which are adding and rating of it. You can also add your own comments, reviews and tasting notes. This app also helps you with the shipping of wine at your home.

Continue Reading: 20 Hot Wine Apps and Website in USA that Wineries Can Leverage Upon


Five Factors That Help A Sales Rep Decide to Move On
09 September, 2016

One of the biggest challenges that small and medium sized importers and distributors have is retaining their sales reps. In this article, BTN highlights 5 main factors that you can work on to retain your sales reps.

five factors

Today’s job market for the wine trade is bustling. With plenty of competition, there are both plenty of new positions and sales reps to fill them. Sales reps work in a territory that may be in a competitive major market, in one of the country’s perpetually sprawling suburbs, or in a secondary market whose reputation is on the rise. If the rep’s company does not give the rep proper tools to compete, or does business in a manner that’s stuck in the old ways, or is inefficient in automating key processes, it can have a negative impact on the rep.

Sales have enough challenges, reps don’t want to also fight against the way their company does business just to make a sale. After two to three years of hard work for a small or medium-sized importer or distributor, some sales reps look for better opportunities with potential for strong monthly sales. Sales reps want long-term potential and a solid career path.

Here are some factors that contribute to helping sales reps decide to move on:

1 Collecting Checks and Not Being Focused

Some importers and distributors ask sales reps to collect checks. It’s not best practice to make a sales rep responsible for collecting checks. As with professional services, it’s better to keep clear separation between seller/provider and collector. This protects the sales rep from being perceived as “the bad guy” and encourages customer accounts to form a relationship with a number of people at the importer or distributor, not just one. A rep retrieving a check should always try to leverage a commitment for a meeting in return for the favor, but often this isn’t possible. Collecting checks is precious time spent on activity that is not sales related. Good sales reps can’t afford to waste time, their most valuable resource. By definition, each workday is non-renewable, a one-time opportunity. Any good company knows this. Effective sales reps must focus on developing and implementing a strategic plan to establish as many strong growth-potential accounts as possible. All activity outside this parameter should be seen as unnecessary.

2 It’s Faster and More Efficient on the Web

Smart, aggressive and younger-thinking importers and distributors are taking advantage of the innovative thinking behind services now available on the Internet to claim a larger market share. Sevenfifty.com has a range of tools that makes a sales reps life much easier. Using this vendor, reps can make up tasting sheets for sales meetings, keep records of which products they’ve tasted at which accounts, and send links to sell sheets on producers and specific wines. Some importers and distributors still producing static printed materials continue to struggle. Web vendors like Paypal can handle invoice payment quickly and efficiently. It’s unnecessary to mail a check and wait longer for arrival. Similarly, a wire transfer, ACH transfer, or direct deposit into an importer/distributor checking account can quickly pay a past due invoice. Companies that continue to rely on “snail mail” put sales reps at a disadvantage because the rep must wait until payment is received and processed to sell to the account with the past due invoice.

Continue Reading: Five Factors That Help A Sales Rep Decide to Move On


A Community Of Beer, Spirits and Wine Importers and Distributors Announced
03 September, 2016

Welcome to Beer, Spirits and Wine Importers and Distributors community group. This is a group where you can ask any questions about sales, marketing and distribution about the US market and we will try and answer that for you and involve experts to help answer that question. We also aim to connect you all with each other so you can network and grow. Please don’t promote your brands or services, lets try and ask questions or share some insights or information that you think will be beneficial to other members. Thank you and hope we all can stay connected here.

With the launch of office hours at USA Trade Tasting, we will bring forward the questions and discussions of the facebook group at the conference.

 
USATT’s Office Hours sessions give you a chance to talk one-on-one with speakers and mentors. We bring in dozens of experts so you can get targeted advice on everything from sales and distribution to operations and management.


Get the conversation started and ask your beer, spirits and wine importers or distribution business question here.

 

Learn More: A Community Of Beer, Spirits and Wine Importers and Distributors Announced

USATT

 


5 Must-haves On Every Wine List
26 August, 2016

Sometimes, the most challenging task as a sommelier is being asked to design a small wine list.

Trying to come up with a ‘complete’ list of wines with only 10 or 15 labels is significantly harder than compiling a list of one hundred labels.

s

When designing a small list, it is vital that the entire floor staff is well-versed with each wine and able to speak about them to diners accurately and passionately. A small list also means that that the staff can taste each wine (which is something that might not always possible with a larger list) and training your staff on the high notes of the winery’s story as well as the tasting experience should be a priority. You want to ensure that there is something there for everybody, which often means including a variety of styles in both value and icon categories, so use the feedback of your staff to evaluate your selection accordingly.

The low cost of inventory, flexibility to list a few ‘quirky’ wines and the ability to make changes easily when a suppliers’ stock (inevitably) runs out are also some very important advantage of keeping a small list. With the advent of wine preservation systems like Coravin and Enomatic, the possibility of serving each wine by the glass can also be considered.

Here are 5 styles that should be present on every small wine list.

1. Bubbly: Good quality sparkling wine. It makes a great aperitif and gives an option for diners looking for a celebratory drink. If possible, try to list a non-Champagne sparkling wine by the (full) bottle and a half-bottle of true Champagne.

2. The good all-rounder: A crisp, dry, largely neutral white with refreshing acidity. Muscadet, dry Riesling, Pinot Grigio are good examples. This wine appeals to lovers of light, dry whites. The style is quite easy to pair with a variety of foods.

3. Something for the wine geek: A complex, earthy, light to medium-bodied red wine - Pinot Noir, Rioja (or New World Tempranillo), Chianti or Valpolicella. These styles can be depended on to deliver a quality offering and often have a broad appeal because they are not heavily oaked, overly spicy or over-burdened by big, chewy tannins.

Read More: 5 Must-haves On Every Wine List


Challenges Of Wine and Spirits Wholesalers
20 August, 2016

What are the 10 biggest challenges that Spirits, Beer or Wine Distributors face on daily basis?

 

1. Sales Team:

 

Hiring is one of the biggest challenges that a new wine distributor or even an old one faces. Lot of wine companies would want to hire the sales team on a commission basis and that does not bring a strong commitment from the sales team. The main reason is that sales people do not make enough money in selling a new wine portfolio, they need good brands to help them get more sales and again it comes back to building a wine portfolio that is also a good sell.

 

If your wines are NOT moving, your sales reps will leave eventually as they need to make money. Thus your focus should not only be in making sure your wine distribution business is profitable but also that your sales reps are hitting their numbers. If they are happy, they will stay. If they stay, your retail accounts will get good service. If your retail accounts get good service, they will give you a chance and buy your ‘unknown’ brands.

 

2. Accounts Receivable:

 

AR has become a problem for wine distributors. In their start up months, many owners will surely face the heat and do ‘deals’ and give better terms to their buyers. This results in bad AR management and also affects your reputation. The retail community will soon realize that you are offering great terms and that you will do anything to get a sale. Beware:this will hit you hard on your face. Always grow on the right principles — it is vital.

 

Your sales team must understand that rules are rules and your retailers must know that once they buy it is their product and they must pay within 30 days. Your focus as a distributor should be to make sure that either your accounts staff or you call them on the 31st day reminding them about their dues.

 

AR is a slow killer. Things will look good when you are making numbers, but if you find yourself in a position where you are not paying your sales reps on time or even your wine suppliers on time, that is a problem.

 

Join us at wholesalers office hours and get your whitepaper on what are the 10 challenges that wholesalers face and how to overcome them.

 

Learn how other wholesalers tackle the issues at USATT’s office hours. USATT’s distributor office hours will be limited to 200 seats only. Wine, Beer and Spirits wholesalers / distributors are encouraged to reserve the seat asap. RSVP now to get early bird pricing for office hour sessions.Biggest Challenges For Spirits, Beer and Wine Distributors

Learn More : Challenges Of Wine and Spirits Wholesalers

 


US Beverage Alcohol Trends
12 August, 2016

US Alocohol trends

 

The IWSR’s recently released 2016 US Beverage Alcohol Review shows gains across the beer, wine and spirits categories led by brand innovations and premium pricing. The US consumer is drinking across all three categories based on consumption occasion, and suppliers are struggling to stay relevant, especially with the rise of craft brands and legal-drinking-age Millennials.

BEER

Growth in the imported, craft and FAB segments resulted in a modest gain of 0.4% in the overall beer category in 2015, ending the year at 247,300 hectolitres (or 202.5m barrels). The categories with the largest share were Domestic Lights (43.6%), Domestic Regular (23%), Imported beer (15.1%) and Craft (11%). Looking back five years tells a different story; in 2010, Domestic Lights were 6.7 percentage points higher (50.3%), Domestic Regular held 1.8 more percentage points (24.8%), while Imported beer had 2.1 fewer percentage points (13%) and Craft’s share of the beer industry was 4.9 points lower (6.1%).

The Domestic Regular beer category experienced its fourth year of consecutive declines in 2015 as the category fell by -3.2% to 56,800 hectolitres. The Domestic Light beer category continued to struggle with recapturing lost consumer attention last year as the category lost -2.4% of its volume to end 2015 at 107,800 hectolitres. The top four leading beer brands all posted declines in 2015: Bud Light (-2.5%), Coors Light (-2.3%), Budweiser (-2.9%) and Miller Light (-1.3%).

The Imported beer segment advanced volumes by 6.9% in 2015, ending the year at 37,300 hectolitres. The top five leading brands (Corona Extra, Modelo Especial, Heineken, Stella Artois and Dos Equis) make up nearly 70% of the category and each increased volumes last year on an average growth rate of 10.6%. Mexican imports showed tremendous growth in 2015, led Constellation Brands’ Modelo Especial (+19.2%), Corona Extra (+8.5%), Corona Light (+7.4%) and Pacifico (+4.9%). Heineken’s Dos Equis grew 8.7% and Tecate Light was up 42.3%.

CIDER

The US cider category grew double digits once again in 2015, albeit at a slower rate than previous years. The 14.7% advancement to 2,600 hectolitres, although significant, was a far cry from the 64% growth the category experienced in 2014 and 74% growth in 2013. From a brand perspective, Angry Orchard remained the category leader in 2015 with a share of 51.4% cider in the US.

WINE

The category increased 1% in 2015 to end the year at 351.6m nine-litre cases, keeping up the momentum of over two decades of continual growth. Imported wine accounted for 26% of overall wine sales, while domestic wine was 74%. Four of the top five fastest-growing wine brands are owned by E&J Gallo (Barefoot, Dark Horse, Liberty Creek and Apothic), and along with DFV-owned Bota Box, the top five brands comprised 28.3m nine-litre cases, up 15.8% between 2014 and 2015.

In 2005 premium-and-above segments for still wine held a 13.3% share of the category. That share has increased year over year, with the exception of a slight decrease during the recession, to end 2015 with a 20.7% share of the category. During that same time period 31.6m nine-litre cases were added to the premium-and-above segments. This proves that premiumisation is alive and well in the still light wine category and consumers are trading up.

Still light wine comprises over 90% of the overall wine category at 317.1m nine-litre cases. From a brand perspective, the leading domestic still light wine brand, Franzia, decreased modestly last year, falling -0.3% to 25.1m nine-litre cases. The remaining top five brands – Barefoot, Carlo Rossi, Woodbridge and Sutter Home – all posted mixed results. Collectively, the five leading brands added 1.4m nine-litre cases. On the imported still light wine side, leading brand Yellow Tail decreased volumes by -3% last year. Cavit, Concha y Toro, Riunite and Fish Eye round out the top five and, collectively, these leading brands lost -1.8% share last year. Imported brands that posted increases included Lindemans (+6.9%), Kim Crawford (+17.2%), Ruffino (+12.4%), Oyster Bay (+22.9%), Roscato (+45.7%), Castello del Poggio (+18.9%) and Nobilo (+11.7%). Total sales of imported still light wines increased by 2.3% in 2015 to reach 80.6m nine-litre cases.

Rosé wines held a 16% share of the still wine category last year and were within two-tenths of a percentage point over the last five years. Rosé wines have increased their growth rate from posting a gain of 0.2% in 2014 to a 1.9% growth rate in 2015, ending last year with 50.7m nine-litre cases.

Sparkling wine continued to outperform the overall industry last year by posting a gain of 6.2% to 20.6m nine-litre cases. The 6.2% gain in 2015 was significant in comparison to the 3.7% growth rate posted a year earlier. Among the top five leading brands of domestic sparkling wine, four of the five posted increases on an average growth rate of 6.2%, which translated into the addition of 410,000 nine-litre cases. The leading domestic sparkler, André, increased volumes by 4.1% in 2015 to end the year with 2.3m nine-litre cases. The prosecco category was a mere 63,000 nine-litre cases in 2005, which held a 0.5% share. Prosecco has since grown at an annual compound growth rate (CAGR) of 43.5%, ending 2015 up nearly 30% and holding a 11.9% share of the sparkling wine category. Spanish cava has also increased, although not at a comparative rate to prosecco. Cava held a 7.5% share of sparkling wines in 2005 and that increased to an 8.8% share last year on a 5.3% CAGR.

Sangria ended 2015 with an increase of 12.7% to 1.7m nine-litre cases. Imported sangria offerings accounted for 70.1% of sales and increased sales volumes by 15% last year. Domestic sangrias held the remaining 29.1% of the category and increased at a rate of 7.8%. Though a handful of sangria brands have been around for years, a flurry of new entrants over the last two years – e.g. Beso del Sol, Mija and Loleo – are quickly expanding trial and purchase. Rice-based sake posted gain of 2.5% last year to end 2015 with 2.5m nine-litre cases, while holding a 27.8% share of the other wine category. Rice-based wines have grown at a CAGR of 3.5% since 2005 by adding 737,000 nine-litre cases to the industry. Domestic sake brands hold the lion’s share of the category with 78.3% of sales.

The fortified wine category lost -3.8% of its overall volume last year, ending 2015 with 4.2m nine-litre cases. In 2005, sherry held a 32.3% share of the fortified category, which has since increased to 35% last year. Similarly, port wine’s share went from 18.1% in 2005 to a 25.1% share last year. Light aperitifs haven’t been able to post an increase in years, and last year was no exception as the category fell by -4.3% to 1.5m nine-litre cases. The light aperitif category (including vermouths) ended 2015 with a 0.4% share. Imported vermouths declined at a rate of -6.2%, while domestic vermouths fell by -2.5%. Last year the vermouth and aperitif subsegments each declined by -4.4% and -2.7% respectively. Vermouth holds the lion’s share of the category and ended last year with 92.7%, but aperitifs are the segment gaining share, going from 6.6% in 2005 to 7.3% in 2015.

SPIRITS

The distilled spirits industry continued its year-over-year growth in 2015, marking 19 straight years of volume gains.  The distilled spirits industry ended last year with a total of 221.6m nine-litre cases through the addition of 7.4m cases, up 28.7% from 10 years ago.

Over the last 10 years some spirits categories have experienced unprecedented growth. Between 2005 and 2015, Bourbon whiskey volumes grew over 56% to reach 14.8m nine-litre cases; Irish whiskey grew 409% to reach 3.1m nine-litre cases; vodka grew 52.8% to reach 71.3m nine-litre cases; tequila grew 64.8% to reach 15.2m nine-litre cases; and mezcal grew 279% to reach 110,000 nine-litre cases.

In 2015 total US whiskey advanced by 4.6% with the addition of 1.2m nine-litre cases. Total Canadian whisky volumes grew by 9.8% (or 1.9m nine-litre cases) to end 2015 with a total of 21.6m nine-litre cases. Scotch whisky volumes advanced by a modest 0.3% to end 2015 with a total of 8.2m nine-litre cases and a 3.7% share of the overall spirits industry.  Irish whiskey’s surge has been not only unprecedented but unrelenting as the category increased by 19% last year to end 2015 surpassing the 3m nine-litre-case mark.  Japanese and other whisk(e)y category volumes grew by 54.3% to end 2015 with a total of 27,000 nine-litre cases. Overall gin volumes declined by -1.7% (or -167,000 nine-litre cases) to end 2015 down to 9.9m nine-litre cases. Vodka gained 735,000 nine-litre cases in 2015 on a 1% increase that brought the total category volume up to 71.3m nine-litre cases.  The rum category decreased by -2.7% in 2015 to end the year with 22.1m nine-litre cases. The tequila category shows no signs of slowing down and its most recent advancement of 5.2% surpassed the 15m nine-litre-case mark. Brandies and Cognacs capitalised on their impressive 2014 growth rate of 4.9% by posting a 5.6% increase last year. The all-encompassing cordials/liqueurs category decreased by -2.1% last year, ending 2015 with a total of 21.6m nine-litre cases.

Continue Reading : US Beverage Alcohol Trends


An insider's guide to the US bulk wine market
06 August, 2016

Although the US is the world’s biggest importer of bulk wine in terms of value, the market is surprisingly opaque. The key to understanding it, says Sid Patel, is knowing about the three different ways bulk wine is traded.

f

 

Original article first was published in Meininger's Wine Business International on August 3, 2016.

Although the US is the world’s biggest importer of bulk wine in terms of value*, the market is surprisingly opaque.

Tim Hanni MW, a wine educator and consultant, says the challenge for international producers who want to enter the US market is “learning the intricacies of how bulk wine business is transacted”. Hanni MW, who has helped to establish the USA’s first bulk wine trade fair, adds that it’s critical to establish “a network of connections to the brokers, buyers and sellers.”

The process starts with understanding how the US bulk wine market operates.

What is bulk wine?

Bulk wine is defined as wine that is shipped in containers (ISO tanks, Flexitanks etc), rather than in bottles or smaller packaging. Some organizations describe any wine that’s shipped in containers larger than two litres as bulk wine but, strictly speaking, bulk wine is wine that’s shipped in large containers and then repackaged at its destination.

Buyers can include wineries, importers, exporters or bottling facilities. Retail stores can also be significant bulk buyers, particularly if they’re selling ‘private label’ wines – the home brand wines created and sold by many liquor retail chains, supermarkets and grocery chain stores. The main advantage that private label wine offers retail chains is that it gives them control over the product, and eliminates the price competition from other retailers. After all, if they’re the only ones selling that brand of wine, then they don’t face pressure to discount it. (More about Bulk Wine logistics)

Bulk wine is typically traded in the US in one of three ways.

Tier One

The first and most important tier of the US bulk wine trade belongs to wine negociants or brokers. Turrentine Brokerage, Mancuso Wine Brokerage and The Ciatti Company, all based in California, are leading names in this space. Such brokers offer services ranging from grape and bulk wine brokerage to global bulk wine trading, evaluations and strategic branding. It’s not surprising that San Francisco is the hub of the bulk wine business, both domestically and internationally, given that it’s both within reach of more than 4,000 Californian wineries, as well as being a significant entry point to the US.

Brokerage firms may also offer ‘services as contract manufacturers or private label makers, a part of the business known as ‘custom crush’. This involves a buyer stating the profile of the wine required, which is then made to order by a winery. The buyer usually provides cartons and labels and the winery produces the finished goods.

The brokerage firms offer a great starting point for international bulk producers seeking to enter the US market, given their experience, knowledge and connections.


Read More: An insider's guide to the US bulk wine market


15 Tips On Securing Distribution: How to Make Your Brand a Winner
30 July, 2016

Securing Distribution means understanding your potential partner's market and prepping your brands to succeed. Learn from the expert that meets almost one new distributor a day on how to find beer, spirits or wine distributor partner.

df

 

As you are planning your next meeting with your distributors, be sure to go over your checklist and do a thorough review of your accounts. Every meeting counts and making the most of them means knowing what they are looking for. Do everything you can to make your beverage as desirable as possible and project confidence in your product's ability to succeed (or continue to succeed) in your target markets. Here are a few 'must-know' tips to help get your products into the portfolios that matter most:

1.) Use referrals

When contacting distributors for the first time--if you can't get a referral, use a success story - distributors love to bet on "winners!"

2.) Good strategic fit/explore niches

While the brand owner may think you have the greatest opportunity for success, the distributor may not see the strategic fit. Try to find a niche that is not covered by the distributor's current portfolio.

3.) Brands need to "be wanted"

Distributors will work harder and do a better job if they "want you," rather than you "wanting them."

4.) Try to be "first in."

If you are the 3rd Argentine Wine or the 4th Vodka, your chance of success in that house is far less than being first.

5.) Build your brand within a Network

Selecting a beer house (A-B or M-C) for new wine & spirits and/or selecting a wine & spirits house for new craft beers (Wirtz or Glazers) can lead to better results due to FOCUS, time, energy and share-of-mind.

6.) Self-distribution is an option

If you can't find a distributor who will work your brand, then consider doing it yourself.

7.) Work your brand once you've landed

Just shipping the brand into the warehouse does not guarantee success. With so many brands in any given house, you need to work every market with the sales force--once per quarter is a minimum visit. In core markets, once per month is a good visit schedule. Make sure you get to retail--don't spend your entire time in the office--sales are generated on the street.

8.) Product quality is paramount to your brand's success

If your product quality is inconsistent, the consumer will tell you and your hard work of gaining distribution will be for naught. Get it right the first time, especially with the amount of new craft brewers, wineries and craft spirits companies coming out with new products.

9.) Keep the brand moving at retail.

Develop marketing and sales promotion programs that directly impact the product and assist the sales force in gaining distribution. These can be price discounts, refunds/IRC's, display enhancers, advertising/social media, on package promotions, continuity programs, sales/trip incentives and consumer value-added promotions (where legal).

 

Read more : 15 Tips On Securing Distribution: How to Make Your Brand a Winner


How US Importers Can Develop Strong Relationships With Their Distributors
23 July, 2016

Building new distribution partnerships is a comprehensive process and success is based on a mutual understanding of both of your long-term goals

x

 

In today's hyper-competitive market, distributors are pitched hundreds of new products every week and it can very difficult for importers to secure distribution for a new brand if they don't already have an established relationship with a distributor's buyer. Due to higher average suggested retail prices because of added transportation and warehousing costs, this can be an especially complex issue.

At the heart of their business, distributors are never looking for low-volume, high-priced brands with little turn-over which, unfortunately for small and medium sized importers, can often be the case for many of the SKUs in their portfolio. Although differentiation is usually an important factor in a distributor's general sourcing rubric, the negative supply issues that come with an exclusive, hard-to-find brand often outweigh the benefits.

To make matter worse, the number of national wineries, breweries and distilleries whose products are available across the country is staggering and every year there are thousands of new brands being created (as well as discontinued!) inside the USA. 
Last year, domestic beer accounted for 85.7% of the category while domestic wine and spirits accounted for 76.7% and 58% of their categories, respectively, with total retail sales totaling $212 Billion (Beer $103B, Spirits $78B, Wine $31B).

The potential for astronomical sales figures for new international brands is a big attraction, but national sales still hold a large majority. Part of this large divide stems from the difficult nature of the three tier distribution system in the USA that many foreign brand owners are unaware of. Another large factor is the recent "local artisan" movement that has taken over almost every alcoholic beverage category. Local brand owners are generally dedicated to building their local markets through active marketing and hand-selling and expanding to neighboring territories can be considerably easier.

Although all importers have a fundamental understanding of their market, but it is difficult for them to convince their supply partners of the importance of a 'hands-on' approach to sales, both to their distributors and to the retailers. The complexity of the US distribution system and the cost of market visits can often dissuade international wineries, breweries and distilleries from taking their US business venture as seriously as they should and it is too often the case that they blame their importers for an unsuccessful US Market launch.

As an importer looking to build distribution for your brands, you'll need to have a thorough understanding of you and your distributor's market and be able to clearly communicate the foreseeable challenges with both your distributor and your supplier. Even if your supplier is unable to provide the marketing support that you know will be necessary to get the brand off-the-ground, you'll need to be able to allocate a proper budget to developing successful programming for your brands. There is much more to the US wine, beer and spirits import business than simply offering a unique portfolio.

Building new distribution partnerships is a comprehensive process and success is based on a mutual understanding of both of your long-term goals. In order to be successful, you need to think and act like a distributor - as much as you want to be in the import business, you have to also think of yourself as in the distribution business.

Know Your Retailer's Customer

You can't expect your distributor to be interested in your imported wine, beer and spirits if your core demographic hasn't even heard of them. Develop marketing campaigns and launch them in your market before you start talking with your distributor. Social media, word-of-mouth, event sponsorship, direct marketing - whatever it is, build the hype up and make sure your distributor has heard of your product before you pitch it to them.

If you don't have a strong marketing budget, then allocate some of the cost into your final suggested retail price. It seems that distributor's are looking for more and more margin every day, so make sure structure your pricing to give them their asking share while also saving a strong margin for yourself.

Read More: How US Importers Can Develop Strong Relationships With Their Distributors


Tips to Developing Successful In-Store Wine Tasting Programs
15 July, 2016

Increasing depletion rates by using in-store wine tastings to educate your consumers and hand sell your brands is one of the best ways to spend your marketing dollars.

The beverage industry is becoming increasingly saturated with new wine brands from around the world. Whether its trending varietals or labels designed specifically to a new market, the industry continues to evolve and companies continue to add to the endless selection available to consumers.

No matter how innovative you get with traditional marketing, a major rule of thumb for today’s industry is that the majority of your marketing budget should be focused on programs that ensure depletion rates at the retail level. In-store tastings are one of the best tools for you to achieve this goal.

Helping retailers sell your brand guarantees your retail shelf placement and creates strong relationships that you can leverage as you grow your distribution network. Establishing your wines as fast moving, top sellers at the retail level will grow your company’s reputation as an industry staple that distributors and retailers will actually want in their portfolios.

Here are some tips on developing a successful In-Store tasting program:

The Sensory Experience

The five senses have long been the gateway to decision making over the logical mind. In the case of wine, aroma and taste lead the way. What better way to stimulate a prospect's senses than by giving them a delicious and pleasing experience to draw them in. Berries, chocolate, oak, apples, butter, vanilla, marmalade, rose, tobacco, almonds, silky, and cinnamon - the list of inviting adjectives goes on and on.

Use the strengths of your wine in clever marketing ploys, like bringing fresh samples of chocolate and cinnamon for them to identify the aroma of your wine with.

Memory by association is a powerful marketing instrument. Use your imagination and bring all five senses alive at your display so your visitors leave with personal experiences that they will remember.

First-Hand Evaluation

People love to make choices. It makes them feel smart and in control. Having a variety of wines to choose from provides your visitors with every opportunity to decide what they love and what they don’t.

If your visitor already has a favorite varietal, then focus on one of your wines that is similar or of that particular type and ask them their opinion. Make them feel like they are spot on with their remarks and lead them with encouraging conversation.

If they are experimental in nature and want to try new types of wine, then offering a variety of labels also gives them the perfect opportunity to learn as they taste. Wines are always assessed more objectively when presented alongside other wines. Ensuring that the prospect takes home exactly what they like best is the perfect situation for creating a future dedicated wine buyer.

Read More: Tips to Developing Successful In-Store Wine Tasting Programs


How To Design Your Sales Incentive Programs
09 July, 2016

BTN covers how wineries, breweries, distilleries and importers can design their incentive programs for distributor's sales reps and retailers.

1                                                                                                                        Sales and incentives go hand in hand in any industry and environment. On the get go it is important to understand that this is an integral part of your product launch and to keep your brand thriving in the market. It is what keeps sales representatives and ultimately the distributor interested and motivated in moving your product.

First: The Legal Stuff

In some states in the US, sales incentives are a norm whereas in others statutory regulations prohibit the use of incentives. Make sure that you are not stepping over the law when offering incentives to your distributor.

Second: Your Margins

Before going into the nitty-gritty of offering sales incentives, work backward to see the margins you have for your brand. Never offer incentives that do not work for you. If you cannot afford it, it is not an offer you can extend.

Some producers have lower priced products which may not have high enough margins. Sales incentives on these should be designed by volume. Some producers have a portfolio of products with some higher value products mixed in with ‘loss leaders’.

One has to take into account the mathematics of their brands before designing a program. For example, if offering $10 per case is going to put you in the negative then you will have to think of a different incentive to offer. If a trip to a South African winery is more than you can account for, then you have to get creative and come up with more affordable experience based offers that are still attractive to the sales person or retailer.

Step 1: Designing a Sales Incentive Program

Discuss the incentives you plan to offer during launch and thereafter with your distributor. This will keep expectations clear on both sides. It will also ensure that higher incentives being offered at launch are not seen as precedents for the year to follow.

The sales incentives you offer should be measurable and achievable to hold value. If the offer is convoluted, one will not bother to understand it. Keep it simple, straightforward and worthwhile for you and the distributor or salesperson.

The offer should also be relevant to the person or organization for it to be effective. If the sales incentive per case you are offering is much lower than the other products in the distributor’s portfolio, your offer will mostly be overlooked. You will have to design a different offer that is just as if not more compelling than others. Similarly, offers for off and on premise accounts should be designed as such because the quantities cleared by on-premise accounts are vastly lower but their value is measured in brand placement, value created and the focused time with the consumer. Design most offers to be of a shorter term to keep them interesting and introduce new offers throughout the year. An offer that runs for a longer duration could be one with a more substantial prize.

Read more : How To Design Your Sales Incentive Programs


Exhibitor registrations now open for the International Bulk Wine and Spirits Show
02 July, 2016

The International Bulk Wine and Spirits Show (IBWSS) is an annual trade show and conference, open to trade professionals only, which takes place in San Francisco, CA. IBWSS exhibitors are wineries and distilleries looking to sell bulk wine and spirits, producers and negociants who offer contract manufacturing / private label programs and wineries / distilleries / importers who have one time excess stock to clear. Looking to grow your Bulk Wine, Bulk Spirits, Contract Bottling or Private Label Business? Become an Exhibitor at IBWSS and Grow.

What's on at IBWSS

1. IBWSS Trade Floor
IBWSS exhibitors are wineries and distilleries looking to sell bulk wine and spirits, producers and negociants who offer contract manufacturing / private label programs and wineries / distilleries / importers who have one time excess stock to clear. IBWSS buyers are other wineries and distilleries looking to meet up their demand, Importers, Retailers and Distributors looking for private label programs, negociants who are looking to meet the growers and producers

2. IBWSS Blending Laboratory 
Streamlining the sourcing process for bulk buyers at trade shows, the IBWSS Laboratory will give visitors access to a modern lab on the tradeshow floor. The specialized area will allow buyers and sellers to taste, blend and analyze products in a professional lab atmosphere.

3. IBWSS Conference Sessions 
Learn from some of the most influential professionals in the beverage industry at the IBWSS educational conference. These presentations from industry leaders on today's leading ideas on marketing, sales and distribution will challenge and inspire you to grow your private label, bulk wine and bulk spirits business. The conference will have 16 TED-Style talks where speakers over 2 days will give you insight into what strategies and standards the industry's top thinkers are using to shape the marketplace around you.

4. IBWSS Workshops and Masterclasses 
Get advise from the experts in a highly personalized workshop-style class. There will be 4 masterclasses planned between 2 days. Each masterclass is an hour long and will have a workshop style theme where buyers will learn about various regions and blending techniques. A panel of industry experts (winemakers, sommeliers, importers, educators) will be on hand to shed light on the grape varieties, regions and personalities behind whats in your glass.

WHERE AND WHEN
July 26–27, 2017 — South San Francisco Conference Center

IBWSS exhibitors are wineries and distilleries looking to sell bulk wine and spirits, producers and negociants who offer contract manufacturing or private label programs, and wineries, distilleries and importers who have one-time excess stock to clear. IBWSS buyers are wineries and distilleries looking to meet their demand, importers, retailers and distributors looking for private label programs, and negociants who are looking to meet new growers and producers. Please contact">Malvika@ibwsshow.com for exhibitor information or visit www.ibwsshow.com to learn more on how to exhibit.


Key Considerations Regarding the Logistics of Bulk Wine Trade
25 June, 2016

This article presents the main characteristics of a shipping method increasingly chosen by producers and importers around the world that is trading between 1.5 and 2 billion liters of wine each year.

Bulk Wine

After a successful grape harvest, wine producers around the world have to analyze all the possible logistics of transportation alternatives to export their products overseas. Wine can be either bottled at the winery of source, or sent abroad in a bulk tank for its subsequent packaging. At first this might sound like an easy task, but in reality there are many aspects to be taken into account. This article presents the most import features about the logistics of bulk wine trade, a phenomenon that had been rising from 560 million to 1.24 billion liters in a decade, according to Rabobank.

  1. It’s all about the bulk tank

When looking to an alternative way to exporting wine in a bottle, there is only one method available in the trade market: bulk tank. Indeed, there are two different kinds of bulk tanks: ISO tanks, which are reusable steel tanks; and Flexitanks, which are disposable plastic bags that are fitted inside a standard 20 ft. (6.25m) container.

ISO tanks are stainless steel vessels that fit directly onto standard trucks and can readily be transferred to rail or sea transport. These kinds of bulk tanks have a capacity of 26,000 liters; plus they are reusable and robust, since they can also be used to transport hazardous materials.

Flexitanks are flexible bags that are fitted into a standard container and have a capacity of 24,000 liters. Usually Flexitanks are used only once, although they can be re-used. The bags’ components might vary, depending on the product being transported. The latest systems are constructed of polyethylene with a barrier material of ethylene vinyl alcohol (EVOH) copolymer in order to hold wine without impairing its quality. Nowadays these bags offer a very low oxygen migration rate and are an effective barrier to the organic materials (such as naphthalene) that can taint wine.

Read More: Key Considerations Regarding the Logistics of Bulk Wine Trade


Tips for Beverage Distributors on Reducing Supply Chain Costs
18 June, 2016

Information for wine, beer and spirit distributors on how to increase operational efficiency and reduce costs.

Tips for Beverage Distributors on Reducing Supply Chain Costs

As craft breweries, wineries and distilleries continue to produce a staggering amount of innovative products, controlling expenses as you grow your portfolio is important to ensuring sustainable growth for your distribution company. Understanding the dynamic of fluctuating fuel costs and increasingly narrow margins is just the beginning of developing a successful plan to reduce preventable costs. Many supply chain issues start before the truck even arrives at the warehouse.

Whether you are looking to upgrade your logistics software or simply want to make your distribution business more efficient, these tips will help you prioritize your tasks and set attainable benchmarks to help moderate inefficiency.

1. Reduce Variability

The more effective your order fulfilment process, the more confident your partners will be. As you develop your sales network, make sure to service each account on a regular basis and understand what their top selling brands are so that you are always ready for their next order. Often, inventory confusions leads to needless supply orders from retailers who want to protect against any out-of-stocks of their most popular brands.

Give your suppliers ample warning for pick-ups so you can plan your fleet schedule accordingly. Determining the patterns of your partners is a quick and easy fix to keeping your fuel and freights costs down.

Excel sheets just don’t suffice any more. Take the time to find a beverage distribution logistics software that fits the needs and budget of your business. The longer you wait, the harder it will be to compete with larger, fully integrated distribution companies who understand the importance of streamlined logistic processes.

2. Consolidate Orders

Once you’ve maximized your ability to service turnaround times, consolidate similar orders from neighboring accounts. Segment both your suppliers and your retailers, as an accurate understanding of all of your accounts can greatly cut wastefulness. Keeping traffic down means less overall fuel costs, employee hours and truck maintenance fees and consolidating orders also means extra time for extra orders.

Even though consolidated pick-ups and deliveries can do wonders for your overall efficiency, don’t forget to double check your orders. The last thing you want is to get a truck load of misguided stock delivered back to the warehouse at the end of the day or unnecessary trips to unprepared suppliers.

Read More: Tips for Beverage Distributors on Reducing Supply Chain Costs


Beverage Trade Network Announces International Bulk Wine and Spirits Show in 2017
03 June, 2016

Logo 2 Over

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beverage Trade Network is pleased to announce the launch of the International Bulk Wine and Spirits Show (IBWSS) in San Francisco on July 26-27, 2017.

IBWSS will give supermarkets, retailers, restaurants, wineries, distilleries and other buyers a premiere international platform to source bulk wine and spirits and meet private label suppliers.

In addition to a wide range of programs running throughout the fair, the trade show will also feature a business conference dedicated to the private label and bulk wine and spirit business.  With in-depth market studies and instructional seminars from some of the industry’s biggest names, the central part of the conference’s remit is to encourage sustainable growth and profitability in the bulk wine and spirit sector.

IBWSS exhibitors are wineries and distilleries looking to sell bulk wine and spirits, producers and negociants who offer contract manufacturing or private label programs, and wineries, distilleries and importers who have one-time excess stock to clear.

IBWSS buyers are wineries and distilleries looking to meet their demand, importers, retailers and distributors looking for private label programs, and negociants who are looking to meet new growers and producers.

“The bulk segment holds the largest market share in the wine and spirits industry,” said Sid Patel, CEO of Beverage Trade Network.  “Bulk trading is an age-old trade between producers, but we are now seeing the business take on a very impressive position across the industry. The International Bulk Wine and Spirits Show aims to give the bulk trade a truly dynamic trading platform where buyers can confidently conduct business with the world’s most reputable suppliers.”

As the go-to shipping gateway on the Pacific seaboard and home to the majority of wineries in the USA, San Francisco is positioned perfectly for the fair. The city has long acted as the USA’s trading post between the northern and southern hemispheres.  With the launch of IBWSS, international bulk suppliers from some of the world’s most important markets will have unprecedented access to the US market.

One-Stop Sourcing Solutions in the IBWSS Laboratory

Streamlining the sourcing process for bulk buyers at trade shows, the IBWSS Laboratory will give visitors access to a modern lab on the tradeshow floor.  The specialized area will allow buyers and sellers to taste, blend and analyze products in a professional lab atmosphere.

Registration for The International Bulk Wine and Spirits Show will open to all international suppliers on July 1, 2016.  For more information about visiting or exhibiting at the fair, please contact zach@beveragetradenetwork.com

About Beverage Trade Network:  Beverage Trade Network (BTN) is a leading online marketing and B2B networking platform servicing suppliers, buyers and beverage professionals in the global beverage industry.  BTN provides a selection of sourcing solutions for importers and distributors as well as an extensive range of marketing and distribution services for international suppliers.  BTN also runs a line-up of b2b trade shows around the world.  For more information about BTN, please visit www.beveragetradenetwork.com

About The International Bulk Wine and Spirits Show: The International Bulk Wine and Spirits Show (IBWSS) is an annual trade show and conference, open to trade professionals only, which takes place in San Francisco, CA. IBWSS exhibitors are wineries and distilleries looking to sell bulk wine and spirits, producers and negociants who offer contract manufacturing / private label programs and wineries / distilleries / importers who have one time excess stock to clear. IBWSS buyers are other wineries and distilleries looking to meet up their demand, Importers, Retailers and Distributors looking for private label programs, negociants who are looking to meet the growers and producers. For more information on attending or to register as an exhibitor at USATT, please contact zach@beveragetradenetwork.com


USA Trade Tasting Launches ‘USATT Stories’ Competition
25 May, 2016

USA Trade Tasting’s develops ‘USATT Stories’ as a cross-platform competition modernizing pre-event brand promotion.

 

USATT’s new initiative features fully integrated social components in an innovative competition developed to promote exhibiting international wineries, breweries and distilleries to the US industry.

 

The top fifty exhibitor’s USATT Stories will be showcased throughout the trade show with feature adverts displayed on the trade floor. The exhibitor with the highest shared USATT Story across all social media platforms will receive a full page advert in the official USATT program.

 

“Our goal with USATT Stories is to provide exhibitors with the ability to voice their brand story to the US audience,” said Sid Patel, CEO of Beverage Trade Network. “The campaign is particularly useful for brand owners looking for a viable solution to extend their reach in the USA. With the platform, brand owners will now be able to develop brand recognition across the US market well in advance of the trade show by leveraging the strengths of our media network.”

Continue readingUSA Trade Tasting Launches ‘USATT Stories’ Competition

 

 


Get Ready for USATT 2017 – Early Registration Now Available Online
21 May, 2016

USA Trade Tasting (USATT) is an annual trade only event in New York city helping producers connect with wine, beer, spirits importers, distributors, retailers and press of USA. Meet Importers, State Distributors, Retailers and Press of USA in New York City. You must book by May 31 to secure the offer.

WHY BOOK BY May 31, 2016?

-Get super early bird pricing. $1800. (savings of $900). Prices go up from June 1, 2016.
-Get BTN annual membership valued at $249 starting from your booking date. (For example if you reserved today, your BTN membership will start from today for next 12 months).
-Get full refund if you change your mind before Oct 30.
-Pay only 25% today to reserve your spot and deal.

WHY EXHIBIT?

If you are a wine, beer or spirits producer or an USA importer looking to grow, USATT is the perfect platform to help you connect with state distributors, importers and retailers in USA. The event is themed such that all trade attendees are open for business. The event is B2B ONLY with the sole purpose for exhibiting brands to connect with new buyers and vice-versa.

WHO SHOULD EXHIBIT?

Domestic and International Wineries, Breweries, Distilleries looking to meet with Importers, Distributors, Retailers and Press of USA. If you are a US importer and looking to meet other state distributors and retailers, you qualify to exhibit.

WHO ARE THE VISITORS / BUYERS?

Wine, Beer and Spirits Importers, Distributors, Retailers, Chains and Press of USA.

WHEN AND WHERE?

  • Buyers Trade Tasting  – May 16-17, 2017 – Metropolitan Pavilion, New York City
  • Keynote Speakers & Educational Conference – May 16-17, 2017 – Metropolitan Pavilion, New York City

LIMITED BOOTH AVAILABILITY
The event will offer 160 Tasting Stations, so space is limited. Exhibitors are encouraged to reserve space early as tables are expected to sell out quickly.

SET UP
The trade tasting is a trestle table set up, you will not pay anything extra for chairs and tables and wifi. Your pricing overs ALL costs associated with the show. You are required to bring in one roll-up banner only and can put marketing material on your table. USATT will provide you with the below.
Tasting Table
White Tablecloth & Skirting
2 Chairs + Ice Bucket + Spittoon
For questions - email info@usatradetasting.com


How Wineries Can Network and Leverage Connections at Trade Events and Conferences
11 May, 2016

The most direct way to measure your ROI on your trade show investment is to monitor the number of meetings you get before, during and after the event.

Trade Show Tips

Finding ways to generate interest in your brands at a trade show goes beyond just posting to your Facebook and LinkedIn that you will be present and are open for business.   Here is a guide to what you should be focusing on as you prepare, attend and wind-down from a trade event.

Pre-Event

In order to fully take advantage of the time you spend at trade shows, it is important to promote the fact that you will be attending the event.  Create excitement and start prospecting.  Show the trade you are investing in their market and that you are ready to do what it takes to generate a successful sales network.

Request visitor lists (if they will give them to you) from the event organizer and start networking way in advance.  If you can’t get a list from the organizers, actively seek out information on who is attending through social networks, phone and email.  Some of the best resources are trade based networks, where you can network directly with buyers looking for brands just like yours.  Get them interested in your brand and tell them you will are attending the event.  Ask for meetings from key accounts before, during or after the show.

You should also educate yourself about exactly what your potential distributors and importers want to hear from you.  Knowing what to include in your sell sheets, how to deliver your pitch, what margins they are expecting and what to cover in your distribution agreements is a very important part of the business. The moment you arrive in the city you should have your calendar filled with meetings.  It’s not rocket science: the more meetings you have and the better prepared you are for them, the easier it will be to land a new resale partner.

One of the most dynamic online trade resources for small and medium sized breweries to network with importers and buyers and learn about best practices in sales, distribution and marketing is the Beverage Trade Network Academy.  With hundreds of ‘how-to’ articles, webinars and videos, their Academy is one of the leading educational resources in the industry.  They also host the USA Trade Tasting Conference in New York City every year.  The conference hosts prominent figures as they explore the most successful sales and distribution strategies used in the US market today.

At the event

When you are at your booth, you should always try and understand your visitor and talk about them, not you. It is important to connect on a personal level.  Craft a few 30 second pitches that you can deliver after you speak to them about their background.

Your pitch should accurately describe how your brand is positioned to succeed in their market and your focus should be on getting a sit-down meeting with them in the near feature.

A good way to approach your event participation is to prepare your pitch around a door opener SKU for which you can really tell your story.  It should be at very good price point for their market, highly awarded and highlight your unique selling proposition.  Don’t try and sell all of your brands at once.

Talk to visitors about how you are there to invest in the market and help them support the brand with market work and store tastings to grow sales.  Offer to buy them lunch and ask for a sit down meeting.

Have a trade packet that includes point of sale examples, pictures of case-displays, and testimonials of proven history from other importers and distributors.

It’s also good practice to stay active on social media throughout the event to try and drive traffic to your booth as well as to connect with recent contacts you’ve made.

Remember – for an importer or a distributor, you are just another case to sell. They want to know how much they can make per case and how fast that case is going to move. The bottom line is the ONLY thing distributors are truly worried about.  Your story and marketing is the extra fodder that should fill your pitch.

Post-Event

Don’t forget to follow up with all of your new contacts. Send thank you emails within 48 hours in which you confirm or set up a meeting.  Try and create a funnel where you end up doing 20 meetings at each stage of the event.

Whether it is pre, at or post show, this should result in you sending 10-20 proposals, which will hopefully translate into 5 solid prospects and ultimately one to two sales.

Trade shows are all about networking.  Buyers aren’t likely to taste your product and sign a distribution agreement on the spot.  If you don’t try and set meetings you won’t get anything out of attending!

This information should help you understand how to successfully approach trade shows.  If you want to connect with distributor buyers, retailers, US importers and media and learn about best practices in sales, distribution and marketing, register to exhibit and USA Trade Tasting and conference to connect with thousands of beverage professional at the Metropolitan Pavilion in New York City on May 16-17, 2017.

 

 


Working With Beverage Brokers – The Pros and Cons of Using Agents
10 May, 2016

Utilizing every tool in order to grow your business means exploring multiple routes to market. Often, new territories can feel like they are impossible to penetrate, and even with a distribution agreement in place, it can be extremely hard to sell your wine, beer and spirits to consumers, without having representatives on the ground.

 

Working with a broker can facilitate growth and ensure healthy depletion rates, provided you know the limits of the relationship and work closely with your new representatives.

Time Well Spent is Money Saved

One clear-cut advantage to hiring a broker is that you will not have to employ a full time employee for a territory that might not be profitable to you. The money you save in benefits, salary, and intangibles can be put back into the growth of the business across new markets that will yield better results.

With a proper broker network the time and energy you spend developing new relationships with key accounts can be considerably shortened. What would otherwise be time spent trying to land new accounts can be used to develop marketing programs or growing bigger accounts close to home.

Continue Reading : Working With Beverage Brokers – The Pros and Cons of Using Agents


Guide To Snapchat for the Wine, Beer and Spirit Business
07 May, 2016

 

Snapchat is one of the most popular phone apps available on the market today and is considered by many as poised to become one of the top social platforms. So, how can wine, beer and spirit companies take advantage of the platform

Launched in 2011, Snapchat was designed as a social mobile app on which users could conveniently edit and share photos with amusing captions, drawings and filters. The platform quickly gained notoriety as a go-to app for users looking for a place to casually connect and comment on quirky and entertaining content created for one reason: an instant look into the lives and imagination of others.

 

 

Based on its popularity and evolving line-up of features, the platform has received increased interest from the corporate world. The overall number of users, as well as the increasing range of its core demographic, continues to grow at a torrent pace. No longer is this app being used by the youngest Millennials. The user base is just too big to ignore.

Today, Snapchat is one of the most popular phone apps available on the market today and is considered by many as poised to become one of the top social platforms. Even though the closed API of the app makes tracking the success of marketing campaigns hard, companies continue to pour money into developing new and unique marketing campaigns to be used exclusively for the platform.

So, how can wine, beer and spirit companies take advantage of the platform?

It’s Now or Never

At least that’s advertisers on this platform want you to believe. Urgency is the theme of the day and you see people using it everywhere you look.

Stephen McLuhan’s seemingly age-old adage, “The medium is the message,” is exceptionally true for Snapchat. Luckily for us, it is a simple platform at its core. With very short lifespans for the main body of content, the medium (the sporadic sifting through countless images) and the message (the seven second disappearing act) both inherently feel urgent. It is easy to quickly identify how your messaging should be framed as such.

If you haven’t figured it out yet or are still new to the platform, here is the secret: the short lifespan of the content you post to Snapchat means you need to hit hard and hit often. CTAs should be delivered with quick and exciting messages that really grab the attention of the viewer and prompts them with exclusive or ‘spectacular’ deals.

Now this doesn’t mean you should always be using the “last minute to SAVE” philosophy with every post. If used correctly, this type of promo can work wonders, but just like any other social platform, they should be balanced with an array of engaging content (and even across platforms.)

 

Continue reading -  Guide To Snapchat for the Wine, Beer and Spirit Business

 

 


Looking to meet Wine Distributors and Importers of USA? Grow Your Distribution Here
29 April, 2016

Become an Exhibitor at USA Trade Tasting and Grow.

USATT March 23 - 2016-6

USA Trade Tasting (USATT) is an annual trade only event in New York city helping producers connect with wine, beer, spirits importers, distributors, retailers and press of USA. USATT 2016 was a sold out event, we encourage suppliers to book by April 30,2016 and take advantage of the lowest pricing offer.

WHY BOOK BY APRIL 30, 2016?

  1. Get the lowest pricing. $1800. (savings of $900). Prices go up from May 1, 2016.
  2. Get 1 complimentary conference ticket valued at $600 for all sessions.
  3. Get full refund if you change your mind before Oct 30.
  4. Pay only 25% today to reserve your spot and deal.
  5. Table selection on first come first basis.
  6. Get priority to participate in Brand Pitch sessions (Registrations for 2017 Brand Pitch sessions will open up to 2017 registered exhibitors first)

WHY EXHIBIT?
If you are a wine, beer or spirits producer or an USA importer looking to grow, USATT is the perfect platform to help you connect with state distributors, importers and retailers in USA. The event is themed such that all trade attendees are open for business. The event is B2B ONLY with the sole purpose for exhibiting brands to connect with new buyers and vice-versa.

WHO SHOULD EXHIBIT?
Wineries, Breweries and Distilleries looking to find distributors and importers in USA. USA Importers looking to grow distribution in other states.

WHERE AND WHEN
May 16-17, 2017 – Metropolitan Pavilion, New York City

PRICING
Total Super Early Bird Exhibitor Fee is $1800. Save $900 Plus get 1 conference ticket valued at $600 with it. Pay 25% Now To Book Your Table and Balance by October 31. You must book by April 30.

PAYMENT TERMS

Deposit: 25% due to book your registration before October.
Final Payment: Due October, 2016
*When trade show booths are sold out, a waiting list will be established for the following year.

CANCELLATION  / REFUND POLICY

Exhibitor table cancelled prior to October 30, 2016 are eligible for a full refund, including the deposit. Exhibitor cancelled after this date are not eligible for a credit or refund.

EVENT PRODUCER

USA Trade Tasting is brought to you by Beverage Trade Network, the leading online platform dedicated to connecting the global beverage industry. Beverage Trade Network (BTN) successfully connects wineries, breweries, distilleries and brand owners with international importers, distributors, brokers and beverage industry professionals on a daily basis. Strong partnerships with international and US organizations have helped BTN establish USA Trade Tasting as a premiere sales and marketing event committed to connecting the US beverage industry.

LIMITED BOOTH AVAILABILITY
The event will offer 200 Tasting Stations, so space is limited. Exhibitors are encouraged to reserve space early as tables are expected to sell out quickly.

SET UP
The trade tasting is a trestle table set up, you will not pay anything extra for chairs and tables and wifi. Your pricing overs ALL costs associated with the show. You are required to bring in one roll-up banner only and can put marketing material on your table. USATT will provide you with the below.
Tasting Table
White Tablecloth & Skirting
2 Chairs + Ice Bucket + Spittoon
For questions, please call Sid on +1 (941) 592-9254 or email info@usatradetasting.com

2016 Event Pictures  | Conference Presentations | Brand Pitch Presentations

 


Guide To Snapchat for the Wine, Beer and Spirit Business
29 April, 2016

Snapchat is one of the most popular phone apps available on the market today and is considered by many as poised to become one of the top social platforms. So, how can wine, beer and spirit companies take advantage of the platform?

Snapchat For WineriesLaunched in 2011, Snapchat was designed as a social mobile app on which users could conveniently edit and share photos with amusing captions, drawings and filters. The platform quickly gained notoriety as a go-to app for users looking for a place to casually connect and comment on quirky and entertaining content created for one reason: an instant look into the lives and imagination of others.

Based on its popularity and evolving line-up of features, the platform has received increased interest from the corporate world. The overall number of users, as well as the increasing range of its core demographic, continues to grow at a torrent pace. No longer is this app being used by the youngest Millennials. The user base is just too big to ignore.

Today, Snapchat is one of the most popular phone apps available on the market today and is considered by many as poised to become one of the top social platforms. Even though the closed API of the app makes tracking the success of marketing campaigns hard, companies continue to pour money into developing new and unique marketing campaigns to be used exclusively for the platform.

So, how can wine, beer and spirit companies take advantage of the platform?

It’s Now or Never

At least that’s advertisers on this platform want you to believe. Urgency is the theme of the day and you see people using it everywhere you look.

Stephen McLuhan’s seemingly age-old adage, “The medium is the message,” is exceptionally true for Snapchat. Luckily for us, it is a simple platform at its core. With very short lifespans for the main body of content, the medium (the sporadic sifting through countless images) and the message (the seven second disappearing act) both inherently feel urgent. It is easy to quickly identify how your messaging should be framed as such.

If you haven’t figured it out yet or are still new to the platform, here is the secret: the short lifespan of the content you post to Snapchat means you need to hit hard and hit often. CTAs should be delivered with quick and exciting messages that really grab the attention of the viewer and prompts them with exclusive or ‘spectacular’ deals.

Now this doesn’t mean you should always be using the “last minute to SAVE” philosophy with every post. If used correctly, this type of promo can work wonders, but just like any other social platform, they should be balanced with an array of engaging content (and even across platforms.) Continue reading a complete guide on How wineries can use Snapchat here.

 


USA Trade Tasting 2016 Toasts to Overwhelming Success
22 April, 2016

Global leaders in the beverage trade industry came together this week to sample the best in beer, wine and spirits at USA Trade Tasting (USATT) in New York City.

Over the three-day international trade fair, 180 exhibitors, including industry-leading organizations from a number of popular wine-growing nations such as France, Italy, Germany, Australia, South Africa, and Portugal poured their product, and award-winning spirits, ciders and craft beer companies enjoyed a debut with over 2000 visitors in attendance.

USATT attracted importers, distributers and retailers from over thirty countries and with more than 1000 distinctive SKUs on offer, it’s no wonder they came to the Grand Tasting with serious trade interest, and a willingness from MHW to broker deals on the spot.

USATT Floor

Visitors speak with 180 exhibitors on The USATT Grand Tasting floor.

Sid Patel, the CEO of Beverage Trade Network and Director of USA Trade Tasting was gratified by the resounding success of the event. “We are extremely pleased with the response we’ve received from the exhibitor’s at USATT’s inaugural event. The quality of the exhibitors and the satisfaction of the visitors has set the bar extremely high for years to come.”

USATT March 21 - 2016-5

The highly successful Brand Pitch Sessions showcased up-and-coming brands to prospective new import and distribution partners.

Over the first two days of the event, the USATT Grand Tasting was complemented by a number of innovative campaigns that added a great deal to the variety and tone of the event. These included the Brand Pitch Sessions, which is a networking system designed to match brand owners with appropriate and interested importers and distributors, and a number of masterclasses in The Wines of South Africa, World of Whiskies, and the New York Wines Organization.

USATT March 23 - 2016-1-8

Rob Bradshaw from Cape Classics speaking at the USATT Conference.

image1

Felicity Carter from Meininger’s Wine Business International speaking at the USATT Conference.

USATT March 23 - 2016-1-10

John Beaudette from MHW speaking at the USATT Conference.

On the third day, some of the best known leaders in the industry brought it home by offering key strategic insights for up-and-coming brands, during the much-anticipated BTN Educational Conference. Presentations were structured around a ‘how-to’ tutorial format and included topics around best practices in sales, distribution and marketing; they provided essential take-aways for the day-to-day operation of effective businesses. Notable presentations included: an extensive break-down of international sales planning by Jim Ryan of Constellation; an in-depth market analysis from Danny Brager of Nielsen, and a study regarding the benefits and challenges in establishing a resilient employee base from Josh Wand, of BevForce.

USATT March 21 - 2016-3

Intimate Masterclasses were given by Wines of Australia, Wines of South Africa, Vinhos Verdes and PVI Global.

The USATT was covered by a variety of independent media outlets, as well as the event’s official media sponsors: Beverage Media Group; Food and Beverage Magazine; The SOMM Journal; Meigner’s; The Tasting Panel; Artisan Spirit; Distillery Age; Drinks International; The Beverage Journal; Distillery Trail; Microshiner; and Wine & Craft Beverage World.

image2

John Beaudette from MHW is interviewed on the current state of the US wine market in the Press Area 

The event was organized by www.BeverageTradeNetwork.com, the world’s leading online platform for connecting importers, distributors and retailers with suppliers from around the world. “Results from this year’s show clearly demonstrate that the trade show blueprint for networking solutions developed by BTN, works inside the constraints of the three-tiered system, while opening the door to better business, said industry veteran Steve Raye, President of Bevology Consulting.

Next year’s USA Trade Tasting will take place on May 16 & 17, 2017 at the Metropolitan Pavilion in New York. For more information on USATT 2017, please visit www.usatradetasting.com, or contact Beverage Trade Network: (e) info@beveragetradenetwork.com (t) +1.941.592.9254.


10 Tips to Designing the Perfect Trade Advert
19 April, 2016

From promises of profit maximization and the timing of your campaign to sample designs of your programming and merchandising, there are a lot of things to consider when designing your new ad.

Photo for: 10 Tips to Designing the Perfect Trade Advert

Crafting a trade advert that resonates with decision makers can often be the difference between landing new accounts and a fledgling quarter of stagnant sales. From promises of profit maximization and the timing of your campaign to sample designs of your programming and merchandising, there are a lot of things to consider when designing your new ad.  Read the Full Article on Beverage Trade Network!

Trade adverts that successfully penetrate the psyche of readers are those that showcase a clear understanding of what it is your re-sale partners are really looking for. They need to go over and above traditional marketing with campaigns that include clever taglines and bold branding while also incorporating communication that incites the reader into taking you on as an important supplier.

Using the right combination of exceptional design and direct messaging in your advertisement will prompt readers into following your call-to-action and is the best chance at successfully growing your sales with new and established trade partners.

Here are ten tips to help you design your next trade advert:

1. Sample Store Display

A good way to promote your business savvy in a trade advert is to showcase a sample store display that you are ready to erect in your new accounts. Your ad should include a small outline of a modern floor display that is seasonally accurate and that retailers will feel gives added value to their floor space.

It is essential that you showcase your company as an innovative and progressive thinking supplier, but you don’t want to overdo-it with complex instalments that can’t fit into traditional retail store programs.

2. Seasonal Timing

As mentioned above, timing is very important. Make sure you update your trade adverts so that they reflect upcoming holidays and seasonal trends. If you are a summertime brand, then you need to be designing your advert well in advance of the vacation period and getting it into the right trade channels as buyers start picking the summer brands they are going to push (and before they go on holiday!) Utilize your brand’s lighter side and get behind upcoming sporting events, lake and beach culture, BBQ season and anything else that resonates with your brand.

No matter when you decide to start your campaign, create your design to reflect the strengths of your brand for the upcoming quarter. If you are targeting the October, November, December sales season, then highlight your holiday packaging and promotions early on. If you are running a summer campaign, then showcase your depletion programs like discount neck talkers and case discounts and get them out in the mid-spring issues. You want to ensure that you will be able to execute your sales strategy through the coming season – so start your promotion early!

3. Appropriate Imaging to Brand

Perhaps more important than timing is to make sure your brand is well represented by the images you choose to use [... Read More]

Visit the Source Article Here!


USA Trade Tasting Is More Than Just a Business Conference
09 March, 2016

Cider and Music Big Part of USATT Conference.

On March 23, top thinkers and influential beverage professionals will be meeting in New York City at the USA Trade Tasting Conference for a day of insightful presentations and ‘How-To’ seminars on sales, distribution and management. [See Full Schedule Here]

Music on the Main Stage

steph_kenna

Not only is the conference schedule filled with a premiere line-up of speakers, but Steph Kenna, one of Broadway’s top up-and-coming musicians, will be playing on the main stage during our complimentary lunch at the USA Trade Tasting Conference.

Sit Down Service During the Conference.

virtue_cider

It gets even better…Virtue Cider will also be serving a sit-down service of their premium cider to guests as they take-in long time industry veteran Adam Lambert’s presentation, ‘How to Build a National Brand.’

Don’t miss the last chance to sign-up to learn and network with some of the industry’s brightest minds at the USATT Conference.  Sign-up today and reserve your spot at the USATT Conference.

Only A Few Seats Left!

conference


Vinho Verde Masterclass at USATT in NYC with Mollie Battenhouse MW
03 March, 2016

Join Mollie Battenhouse MW as she pours some of Portugal’s finest wines from Vinho Verde.

The Vinho Verde Masterclass at USATT has just been announced.  It will be held on the 21st of March 2016 from 11:30am to 12:30pm.

USATT Masterclass with Vinho Verde

This masterclass is designed to explore a wide range of offerings and showcase the strengths of a region that is quickly gaining notoriety in the wine world for much more than their exciting whites and subtle rosés.

Mollie Battenhouse is heavily versed in the most interesting information coming out of  Portugall and will be giving visitors some truly insightful knowledge as you follow along with a glass in your hand.

Hailing from the North-Eastern region of Portugal, Vinho Verde is known for  the beautiful union of the lvarinho, Arinto Avesso, Azal, Loureiro and Trajadura variteals that come together for their “young” wines.  Come explore the full range of Vinho Verde’s offering and immerse yourself in the luring world of Portuguese wine heritage.

Importers and Distributors are invited to register now for their spot at the Vinho Verde Masterclass at USA Trade Tasting on March 21 at 11:30 am at the Metropolitan Pavilion in NYC. REGISTER NOW.

USATT Visitor Registration

 


USATT IS THE MUST ATTEND EVENT FOR IMPORTERS AND DISTRIBUTORS IN 2016.
16 February, 2016

USA Trade Tasting

1. Event For Importers, Distributors and Producers To Learn about Sales
Whether you are a craft distillery, craft brewery or a boutique winery that’s just starting out, or work in sales at an importer/distributor or at an established beverage company, or simply wish to expand your skill set and gain new perspective, USATT Conference is a must attend event.
2. Meet The World In NYC
180 Exhibitors coming to NYC from all over the world and USA. These brands are ready to grow in the US market. Meet them and find your next winning brand here.
3. Like To Sit Down and Get Pitched? 
The ‘Brand Pitch Area’ is a unique match making service being offered at USA Trade Tasting that puts brand owners in front of 120 qualified buyers ready to source new brands. The initiative will be taking place over four different meetings on March 21st and 22nd. See the agenda.
4. Still Into Scotland? The Rise Of World Whisky Is Here
Explore the alluring world of single malt whiskies at the exclusive masterclass from award winning importer PVI Global at USA Trade Tasting. Learn more.
5. Scaling Your Sales Team For Success
Are you getting ready to expand your winery, brewery or distillery? Here are some great tips on putting a winning sales team together from USA Trade Tasting Conference speaker Josh Wand, Founder & Motivator in Chief of boutique recruiting and staffing agency BevForce.Whether you are acting as your beverage company’s sales manager or have a full sales department, your leadership team must be your company’s best asset.  Building a sales team equipped to take on the competitive US beverage industry starts with understanding that that your sales department is just one of the many departments that makes up your business. Learn more.


Exhibitor Registrations for USA Trade Tasting 2016 Officially Sold Out
12 January, 2016

New York, NY. January 10, 2016 – USA Trade Tasting is pleased to announce that registrations for the Grand Tasting are officially sold out. Occupying both floors of the celebrated Metropolitan Pavilion in New York City on March 21-23, the event will host 160 exhibitors who will showcase wine, beer and spirits brands from more than 20 countries including USA.

USA importers and distributors looking to source new international brands for their portfolio will find this event of particular interest.  With masterclasses on a wide variety of categories and regions, in addition to the traditional trade tasting hall, the grand tasting is set to give US buyers access to one of the largest forums for international beverage representatives.

Major international organizations will be in attendance, including Wines of South Africa, Wines of Australia, Wines of Chile, Wines of Portugal, New York Wines as well as hundreds of private groups and independent beer brands and craft spirit brands. 

“We are extremely pleased by the overwhelming response we’ve received for USATT” said Sid Patel, CEO of USA Trade Tasting and Beverage Trade Network.  “With the last few exhibitor registrations coming in at the end in December, we’ve officially sold out.  We couldn’t have asked for a better caliber of suppliers for this year’s event. More importantly suppliers exhibiting understand the dynamics of USA market and are ready to support their new distributor and importer partners”

The grand tasting will also include the event’s Brand Pitch Sessions, a unique match making service being offered at USA Trade Tasting.  The initiative will partner importers and distributors with suppliers who closely match their buying requirements.

USA Trade Tasting will conclude with the Business Conference on March 23, 2016.  The conference will consist of TED-Style talks with industry leaders speaking on best practices being used in the import and distribution industry.

Tickets for USA Trade Tasting (trade only) can now be reserved online at reduced rates:http://usatradetasting.com/en/attend-grand-tasting-126.htm

For more information on attending USA Trade Tasting, please contact Beverage Trade Network. Telephone: +1 (941) 592-9254. Email: info@usatradetasting.com.  Visit our website:www.usatradetasting.com.  Subscribe to our Blog: www.usatradetasting.com/blog.  Follow us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/usatradetasting

About USA Trade Tasting: USA Trade Tasting (USATT) is an annual trade tasting and business conference, open to trade professionals only, which takes place on March 21-23, 2016, at the Metropolitan Pavilion, in New York City, USA. USATT showcases exciting wines, beers and spirits from all over the world to USA importers, wholesalers, distributors, retailers and press.

USATT Registration

 


Meet the Beverage World in New York City
23 December, 2015

This March 21-23, 2016, USA Trade Tasting will be hosting beverage professionals from around the world.

This March 21-23, 2016, USA Trade Tasting will be hosting beverage professionals from around the world. The must attend event for international wine, beer and spirits representatives doing business in the USA will showcase 200 exhibitors and 1000 brands from over 36 countries at the Grand Tasting, feature in-depth masterclasses from leading organizations, and attract over 2,000 trade visitors. 

USA Trade Tasting is a trade only event where agents from international distributors, retails, restaurants, night clubs, bars, hotels, importers and media houses gather to meet new contacts, source innovative brands and explore the most recent opportunities in the US market.

USA Trade Tasting Registration

In addition to the Grand Tasting and Masterclass presentations, a new match-making platform modeled loosely after the concept behind the popular TV show ‘Shark Tank’ called Brand Pitch Sessions will be launched pairing innovative labels with industry buyers. Select brand owners will be given the chance to pitch a room full of buyers whose requirements closely match the presenter’s brands profile.

The Educational Conference on the final day of the event is a full day forum with a schedule of presentations specifically designed to address issues beverage professionals face in their day-to-day operations. Applicable, ‘How-To’ seminars on best practices being used by some the industry’s brightest minds will give attendees real insight into market strategy in sales, distribution, legal issues and marketing.

For more information about visiting USA Trade Tasting, please visit their official website: http://www.usatradetasting.com


Scaling Your Sales Team For Success
29 November, 2015

The organizational design of your company is one of the most important factors that influences the functional energy of your sales force.

Josh_BevForce

Here are some great tips on putting a winning sales team together from USA Trade Tasting Conference speaker Josh Wand, Founder & Motivator in Chief of boutique recruiting and staffing agency BevForce.

Are you getting ready to expand your winery, brewery or distillery?

Whether you are acting as your beverage company’s sales manager or have a full sales department, your leadership team must be your company’s best asset.  Building a sales team equipped to take on the competitive US beverage industry starts with understanding that that your sales department is just one of the many departments that makes up your business.

When you are preparing for growth inside your company you should be thinking about how you can put together a synergistic business plan that incorporates every department (marketing, sales, finance, operations, human resources) as your scale each part of your business...Continue reading “Scaling Your Sales Team For Success” »

Come learn from Josh at the USATT Conference as he expands on how to ensure that you and your leadership team are allocating the right resources to your hiring process and his inside tips into building a Successful Sales Team.

USA_Trade_Tasting_Conference1-935x1024


Participate at USATT as a Visitor or a Supplier
20 November, 2015

USA Trade Tasting attendees and suppliers can participate at the event and grow their beverage businesses in many different ways.

As an exhibitor, importer, distributor, retailer, media or beverage company representative, there is something special waiting for you at USA Trade Tasting:

  • Attend the Grand Tasting on March 21st and 22nd, 2016;
  • Learn from industry vets at the Educational Conference on March 23rd, 2016;
  • Taste category leaders in full hour Masterclasses;
  • Source New Brands during Brand Pitch Sessions;
  • Sample New York International Wine and Spirit Award Winners;
  • Network with speakers and visitors after the Conference.

Attend USA Trade Tastingand network with thousands of industry peers looking to grow their businesses.

The Grand Tasting 

The Grand Tasting is an annual alcoholic beverage trade tasting promoting sustainable growth in the independent beverage industry by helping wineries, breweries, distilleries, importers, distributors, retailers and beverage companies learn, source and grow.

Exhibit your brand at USA Trade Tasting and get in front of USA’s leading importers, important distributors, high-profile retail merchants, and influential media executives.

Grand Tasting hall space has been expanded to accommodate wait list. Book Your Table Now. Only few spots left.

The Educational Conference

Learn from some of the most influential professionals in the beverage industry at the USA Trade Tasting educational conference on 23rd March, 2016. These presentations from industry leaders on today’s leading ideas on marketing, sales and distribution will challenge and inspire you to grow your beverage company.

The conference will have TED-Style talks where speakers will profile the strategies and standards top industry thinkers are using to shape the marketplace around you.

The educational conference is a full day experience that brings together thousands of beverage professionals from around the world.

Get $100 back with code GROW2016 on USATT Conference Ticket. Ends NOV 30. Register Now.

The Masterclasses

Get advise from the experts in highly personalized workshop classes while exploring a broad range of trending brand names.

Learn about exciting offerings of the most popular varietals from one of the most explosive regions today: Cabernet Sauvignon; Chardonnay; Chenin Blanc; Méthode Cap Classique (MCC); Pinot Noir; Pinotage; Sauvignon Blanc; Shiraz; and more, at the Wines of South Africa Masterclass.

Taste a wide range of award winning international single malt whiskies profiles that have won the praise of critics around the world at the World of Whiskies Masterclass.

USATT’s full hour Masterclasses from leading organizations will be featured throughout the Grand Tasting on March 21st and 22nd.

Attendance is offered on a first come, first serve basis.  Reserve your spot today.

The Brand Pitch Sessions

The ‘Brand Pitch Area’ is a unique match making service being offered at USA Trade Tasting that puts brand owners in front of 30 qualified buyers ready to source new brands. The initiative will be taking place over eight different meetings on March 21st and 22nd.

Watch four presentations on Brands that meet your portfolio needs. Samples, Sales Literature, Marketing Budgets – Everything you want to know, right at your fingertips.

Only 30 Spots for Importers and Distributors.  Reserve your seat today.

Closing Ceremony

Network with Conference speakers and attendees. Come taste award winning wines and spirits from the New York Wine and Spirits Competition during the closing ceremonies.

The last hour of USA Trade Tasting will be dedicated to solidifying new unions and giving visitors the chance to ask questions to the speakers of this year’s Conference.

Register for USA Trade Tasting today and come network with beverage representatives from around the world.


How to Sell in the Tri-State Area
16 November, 2015

Getting your wines into key accounts across the Tri-State market is a great way to substantially increase sales.  Here are some tips on what it takes to land and service new accouts in NYC and beyond.

TheSalesRep

From highly sought-after accounts to small mom-and-pop bottle shops, every buyer profile is different and each can offer unique opportunities.  In order to nurture a healthy partnership from the beginning, it is important understand how to cater your pitch and subsequently service every buyer`s specific needs.

USA Trade Tasting will be hosting Sales Reps from international wine, beer and spirit companies and we want to give them the best chance at successfully generating new accounts with importers, distributors and retailers from around the USA.  

Beverage Trade Network interviews trade veteran Bryan Melo, NY/NJ Villa Maria Estate Brand Ambassador at Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, on essential sales strategies for wine representatives working the Tri-State area.

BTN: Many buyers in the tri-state area don’t know much about, or care about wine. How do you sell to these people?

First, recognize that your sales pitch to a customer is not about you, your story, or your winery. It doesn’t matter who you think you are- It is always, 100% about the customer and creating value for their business. To think otherwise is to provide a disservice to the customer and creates a bad name for sales people in our industry.

New_yorkThat being said, to remain in business your prospect needs to purchase wine from somebody- so with the right sales pitch that relates to them & their business, you can create a win-win scenario. As a reference point, keep the following facts in mind about operating in competitive markets such as NYC:

1) Retail shops and restaurants pay monthly rents that can range from US $20k for a space the size of a hotel room to $100k and beyond depending on the size & location of their establishment.
2) In order to make a profit they need to focus on bringing customers in the door, managing profit margins, and tracking average customer purchase values; not necessarily investing 10 years of education into viticulture and winemaking.
3) All stores have extremely limited shelf & storage space, which means it’s a difficult task for them to offer a wide variety of products and prices while still working in successful profit margins for the shop.
4) This right here is the golden nugget which all wineries need to understand—-Every winery in the world wants to be sold in NYC. Buyers & shop owners have sales people come into their store from the moment they unlock the door in the morning until the store closes at night, they hear all kinds of sales pitches- including the good, bad and ugly.

BTN: What does this mean for brand reps? What can they do to cater to the buyer?

Sometimes, a brand will get sold based on the wine’s story and the quality of the wine. Other times, it’s a matter of finding the right product for the right store at the right price. If you prospect is more of a “business person” then a “wine person” take a walk around your prospects store- take a quick mental survey of the category of wine you are trying to sell to him/her. How many competitive wines are there? All at the same price point? Are there notable packaging differences between your item and the competitor? Does your product offer the ability for a higher profit margin? Are you offering something the customer doesn’t already have? or are you adding to their inventory problem? Remember that “cases sold” to us is “money spent” to them.

Once you have all of this figured out, create a sales pitch that will actually relate to the person you are speaking to instead of reciting the same message they hear from every winery representative about how old the winery is, how great the viticulture is, etc. etc.

If your buyer says no- accept it and respect it. It’s not always a permanent no, it could just be a “not now”. As previously mentioned, space is an issue, cash flow is an issue. Follow up respectfully and you will earn your buyers respect. Don’t get too concerned with short term wins. It’s better to sell 100 cases over the course of a year then 1 case today. Play the long game and you will always come out on top.

BTN: What can reps expect when they are out in the field?

Expect buyers from all walks of life, who may or may not speak English as a second or third language. Some may taste, some may not.

NYC & the tri-state area is home to a mix of people from all walks of life. Some people get into the wine business because they are truly passionate about wine. Many others open wine & liquor shops because they see the business as a retail opportunity and a way to make a living. Many of the most successful retail and restaurant locations are owned by immigrants from around the world who speak English as a second or third language & some from religions that forbid the consumption of alcohol altogether. Does this make pitching a new product difficult? Sometimes, but this is NYC we’re talking about– and immigration is what makes our city beautiful.

usatt_visitor

Remember, the pitch is not about you- it’s about them. If your customer is not interested in wine, or chooses not to drink, why bore them with the same cookie cutter sales pitch you give everyone? Find out how your product will add value to their business. Does it have a calling in the neighborhood via local restaurants? Are you willing to do in store tastings? Do they currently not list anything like your product? Do you have attractive POS material that will trigger a consumer purchase? Are you currently running any marketing campaigns that will reach their customer base? If you can’t speak to this, what do you plan on saying?

BTN: How can brand reps differentiate the labels they represent from those of the competition?

Trade Lunches, Winemaker Visits & other traditional “brand building” activities.

Remember, every winery in the world wants to be sold in NYC. Every winery spends a great deal of money on trade events for buyers to attend as well as sending winemakers to the market (flights, hotels, meals, etc.) What this results in is a constant daily flow of out of town visitors in the market as well as never ending events for buyers to attend. Because both are in such constant abundance, they lose their individual value.

Beer_KegBelieve it or not, it is often difficult to get an appointment with a buyer when you tell them a winemaker is coming with you. Many buyers specifically request to not have any out of town visitors brought to their store because they are not interested in hearing the same script they hear daily. Often times, the buyer will be doing a sales rep a favor by taking time of their day to attend your event or meeting with you and your winemaker.

In some ways, our industry needs to remain open minded about new channels of brand building. In some cases, a $5000 wine maker visit for a day of short meetings can be used in new, untried ways to build a following.

For example, for a fraction of the cost of a visit, your winery can run a social media marketing campaign where a winemaker tracks the harvest process via video feeds and constant updates, engaging with consumers & trade people daily to build loyal brand followers who will in turn request your product at a local store, resulting in the same end goal.

Don’t overlook the fact that buyers themselves spend lots of their personal time on social media, so why not try to engage your winemakers directly with local trade people digitally to build some sort of following instead of one (expensive) 10 minute meeting per year? Imagine how a trade buyer would feel about your brand if they have an ongoing twitter relationship with your winemaker, where they communicate with each other and are comfortable asking questions freely?

Depending on your brand, winemaker visits & trade events may work, or they may not. Choose wisely how you spend your marketing dollars.

BTN: What should Reps do when preparing to talk with distributors?

When looking for distribution in NY, ask yourself if you would rather be a big fish in a small pond or a small fish in a very big pond. Both have their advantages and their disadvantages, however what’s right for your brand is ultimately a decision you need to make for yourself. When dealing with distributors of all sizes, remember this:

1. Your distributor doesn’t work for you, so don’t expect them to. They have their own business to run with goals aside from your brand. Demanding 100% of their attention is a great way to ruin your relationship.
2. The job of a (good) distributor sales rep is flat out hard. It is high stress, long hours, and involves pressure to constantly keep everyone happy. Find the delicate balance of holding accountability while maintaining positive relationships with everyone.
3. Remember to teach people how to sell your brand. It’s one thing to tell them all about the winery, its history and the “story”. But it’s a whole different ball game if you can teach them what actually will sell the brand to a customer.

What competitive products should they look for? What kind of store/restaurant does best with the category? What are common objections that the sales rep should look out for? How should they handle these objections before they come up? By doing so, you build confidence in the sales person that it’s an easy sale to make, and in turn they will feel more comfortable presenting the brand to a customer. ALWAYS remember to add value. Remember that the key to success in the 3 tier system is teamwork, not delegation.

What are your top tips on succesfully calling on new accounts in highly competitive markets?

Pricing

Keep your quantities low on a new product. Retailers & Restauranteurs generally don’t like the idea of buying 50 cases of a product they have never heard about just to be price competitive with other stores. If your customer runs out, they can buy more. Moving inventory from your distributor’s warehouse to a retailer’s back room is not growing a brand.

Inventory

Don’t run out. Ever. End of story.

“Famous” & “sought after” accounts 
Times_Square
Remember that when dealing with famous restaurants, high volume famous wine shops, and seasonal markets such as the Hamptons there is a direct correlation between the fame of the establishment and the difficulty of making a sale there. These types of placements take time, lots of cold calls, lots of follow up, lots of emails & lots of rejection. Sometimes they prove worthwhile with volume, other times they result in one of your wines being added to the wine list and sitting there for over a year. Prioritize what matters most to your brand, and choose how to spend your time wisely.

Pro-tips to always teach new reps

1. Inclement weather can be your best friend. It’s amazing how few people you will see working the field on days of heavy rain or snow. If you’re tough enough to handle it, you can have some great days selling when everyone else is “working from home.”

2. First impressions matter in NYC. Dress well if you want to be taken seriously. Shoes included.

3. Put away the big 12 bottle rolling wine bag. Pick 4 bottles per day, carry them in a smaller bag that’s easier to take up a flight of stairs. You’ll be thanking the stars halfway through the day. Keep shelf talkers, tape, chill packs, business cards, pricing books and some water for yourself in your wine bag.

4. Lastly, don’t take yourself too seriously. You will get rejected in the worst of ways… and it will suck. NYC is cold. But it’s not your fault some people don’t know how to be civil. Remember it’s a game of odds. A tough rejection just means you are getting closer to your next big sale. Keep at it.

(All opinions and observations expressed in this interview are entirely those of Bryan Melo and do not necessarily reflect those of Villa Maria or Ste. Michelle Wine Estates in any way.)

Are you a wine importer, retailer or distributor looking to connect with new accounts and develop your sales network in the USA?  

Register for USA Trade Tasting and network with thousands of beverage professionals and learn about best practices used in sales, distribution and marketing from leading market makers at the USA Educational Conference.

Contact_us

 

How to get editors interested in your wine, beer or spirits brand story
26 October, 2015

BTN gets insight from some of the leading editors in the beverage industry on what editor’s look for when selecting their next story. Here’s what they had to say:

How to pitch your brand to press

1. Nathan Gogoll – Magazine Editor at The Australian & New Zealand Grapegrower & Winemaker

Don’t pay a marketing agency to blast your latest news to every single journalist on their contact list. Instead, just target publications you think the story has the best fit with. (Journalists and editors love an exclusive, so consider just sending the news to one publication)

Keep your release short and make yourself available for follow-up interviews. Have a selection of high-resolution current photos on offer.

2. Sarah Lewis – Managing Editor at Hardie Grant Media

The key to securing coverage is tailoring your pitch to the specific title/editor – do your research to ensure you’re connecting with the right person and that the concept is relevant to their audience. We receive so many pitches on a daily basis and the ones that stand out are well conceived and personally written (not a cut-and-paste job that you’ve sent to 10 other editors).

And if you are going to cut and paste, be sure to change the salutation and title! I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve received pitches with the competitor’s name in the body of the email… “We think such and such would be a great fit for [enter key competitor here].” Instant delete.

Where possible, include links to previous articles or posts that best demonstrate your skills and point of view.

Finally, follow up with a phone call. This can be as simple as saying you just wanted to check they received your pitch, and asking if you can provide any extra info at this stage. Don’t be pushy or presumptuous, but do put a voice to the name.

3. Annette Shailer – Editor at Beer & Brewer

In this day and age high quality images are vital to gaining coverage in the print and online, so it’s important to invest in these.

In regards to the content, it’s nice to hear about the people behind the brews as well as the flavour profile. A human interest angle usually resonates well with the audience and don’t forget images of the people are just as important as the brewery and bottle shots are.

Finally, a couple of killer quotes from the brewer or owner go a long way, especially if they’re talking about something they are passionate about that’s a bit different and quirky.

4. Keith Wallace – Author and ‘Wine Blog Awards’ Winner for “Best Wine Reviews 2014”

I take interest in stories that have a narrative beyond the usual press release. For real traction, the story has to be newsworthy outside of the beverage trade. Compelling human-interest stories attract a larger audience, especially if they include a degree of conflict. Be willing to get dangerous!

For instance, the Wine School of Philadelphia got significant national attention a few years ago for “Sommelier Smackdown” after the WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) sued for trademark violation. ” It was a scary situation, but it also was a funny story. It ended up landing the school in every major newspapers in the country, and a few magazines, too. The willingness to turn a dark chapter in the school’s interest into the humorous “wrestlers versus sommeliers” storyline actually solidified the school’s reputation and nearly doubled enrollment.

5. Anna Warwick – Currently Asia Pacific Freelance Editor

Be aware that media are constantly looking for new material so if you can make a contact and make it easy for them to access your ideas, that’s the way forward. Put some thought into the point of difference of your angle and really sell – as in put some real heart into your idea or suggestion.

If you have facts to put across make them dot points.
If you have a personality to interview give a brief bio and interesting quote.

Make your emails short and to the point. Send quality emails over quantity. Send a few punchy ideas rather than stacks of emails. If you have the advertising schedules for that publication you will get an idea of how far ahead of print times you need to get material to editors. Make your ideas seasonal and relevant to current events/topics.

6. Meridith May – Publisher/Editorial Director at The Tasting Panel Magazine &The SOMM Journal

Got an interesting pitch? Instead of a page-long email which no one wants to read, start with a phone call – yes, a phone call. I may not have time to hear the whole thing, but a personal touch is still appreciated.

Let me know you’re taking the time because you want that story in MY magazine, not just throwing it out anywhere to see who’ll respond.

7. Tips from Beverage Trade Network

Education is one of the best ways to inspire great columns. Giving editors a story that actually provides insightful content to their readers is to truly show them that you have something special to offer to their publication.

There are millions of brands around the world who claim that they are the next big story. They assert that they are unique, that they are on the leading edge of innovation, or that their story is simply too exciting to pass up. Whatever the reason, they seem to think that media companies should actually consider their self-absorbed stories for their next piece.

Instead, talk about how you have triumphed over your latest setback and give tips on how you did it. Let down your guard and be honest about what it means to be in business. For example, instead of talking about how great your latest PR stunt was, give your readers a behind-the-scenes look at what you went through to get it done. Talk about your employees and how they had to work day in and day out even though you know they’ve been going through personal struggles of their own.

Don’t exclaim your brilliance, explain your method. Find what truly makes your company (or your brand) special and examine the parts as you dissect it piece by piece. Once you have all the pieces of the puzzle in front of you, touch on the brilliance of each brush stroke of the painting as you narrate the practice of putting it all back together again.

The above article will help you establish a strong overview on how you can plan your PR strategy and send your story to press and media. We welcome you to join Felicity Carter, editor of Meininger’s Wine Business International in New York (USATT Conference) when she talks about ‘How to pitch your brand to press – the do´s and the dont´s’.

Please use coupon code ‘GROW2016‘ to save $100 by booking your seat before November 30.

conf-offer

Join us in New York City at the USATT Conference to get in-depth insight into top sales, distribution and marketing techniques being used in the wine, beer and spirits industry (See Full List Of Speakers).  

About Felicity Carter:

Felicity CarterFelicity Carter is editor-in-chief of Meininger’s Wine Business International, the world’s only global, English language wine business magazine. Published in Germany, it has subscribers in more than 40 countries.

She regularly presents on the global wine trade at international events, including WineFuture Hong Kong, ProWein and the LIWF, among others. She has judged at Concours Mondial, Mundus Vini and BioFach in Germany, along with competitions in Bordeaux, Portugal, Georgia and Australia. She is also on the international panel of the Gourmet Traveller Wine, Restaurant Wine List of the Year awards in Australia. She previously wrote about wine and business for Australian publications, including The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.

Felicity will take on the stage at USA Trade Tasting Conference in New York when she will talk on ‘Top Ten Dos and Don’ts of Getting Media’s Coverage’.

Recent talk given by Felicity at Digital Wine Communications Conference:

buyer3

 

Looking to grow distribution in USA?
18 October, 2015

USA Trade Tasting

If you are looking to meet state distributors or importers in USA, you have come to the right place.

USA Trade Tasting (USATT) is an annual adult beverage trade specialist trade tasting and business conference for importers and distributors to come and learn about distribution and importing business. Meet Importers and state distributors on 21-22 March in New York city and grow your distribution in USA.

Learn from some of the most influential professionals in the beverage industry at the USA Trade Tasting educational conference on 23rd March, 2016. These presentations from industry leaders on today’s leading ideas on marketing, sales and distribution will challenge and inspire you to grow your beverage company.

There are three parts to the program:.

  • Grand Tasting: A tasting of wines from a wide range of countries, regions, producers and importers: Italy, Spain, Australia, France, Germany, South Africa. Slovenia is coming as is Sweden (presenting a cider). There will be a parallel track of masterclasses on the wines of Australia, South Africa, Chile and New York State..
  • Conference Day: A separate full day of presentations where you will learn about sales, marketing and distribution in the USA market. Panels and discussions on the critical issues and changes taking place in our industry. Some high-profile names will be speaking including Danny Brager of Nielsen, Jim Ryan of Constellation, Rob Bradshaw of Cape Classics, Josh Wand of Bev Force, Marcy Whitman of Palm Bay, Scott Ades of Winebow, John Beaudette of MHW. All about ‘how to do it’ content. (View speakers)
  • Shark Tank in a bottle: Our industry’s very own riff on Shark Tank where four different–and very lucky–producers will get 15 minutes to pitch their products to interested importers and distributors.

What you get in your exhibitor registration (If booked by Oct 31):.

  • Exhibitor table at the Grand Tasting on 21-22 March, 2016 where you will meet importers, distributors, press and retailers of USA.
  • 1 Ticket to a full day conference on March 23, 2016 to help you learn and grow your distribution or import business.
  • Extensive networking opportunities: Meet key consultants and brokers.
  • Breakfast & Lunch included on Conference Day.

USATT is 95% solid out and only few spots are left. Exhibit now and grow your distribution in 2016.

Metropolitan Pavilion www.usatradetasting.com | info@usatradetasting.com

London Wine Fair Partners with Beverage Trade Network to Help US Producers Export to UK
07 October, 2015

Registrations to the joint-program for US brands looking to export to the UK are now open.


New York, NY October 7, 2015- The partnership between London Wine Fair and Beverage Trade Network establishes a clear path to the UK market for US wine brands.

By taking advantage of the new partnership, participating brands exhibiting at LWF can generate a large network of distribution contacts across the UK and Europe before, during and after the London Wine Fair. Registrations to the joint-program for US brands looking to export to the UK are now open.

Ties between Beverage Trade Network (BTN) and the London Wine Fair (LWF) have created a convincing business link to UK market opportunities. The recent announcement re-affirms the importance of the relationship and nurtures strong trade opportunities between the two countries.

“The new partnership with the London Wine Fair was initiated to help US wineries develop a clear market entry plan into an increasingly inviting market,” said Sid Patel, the CEO of BTN. “We’ve enjoyed working with LWF this past year and are excited to help US brands find their place in the UK.

The UK market has seen tremendous consolidation in the past decade and competition across retail channels is very high. International wine brands are encouraged to develop a focused route to market in order to successfully penetrate new accounts.

The creation of a dynamic platform dedicated to giving international brands the necessary building blocks to build a successful entry strategy will leverage the strengths of both organizations. The collaboration between LWF and BTN is particularly useful for US wineries looking to expand into the UK.

The London Wine Fair is one of the world’s largest wine events and is covered by some of the industry’s biggest names in media. With over 11,000 trade visitors a year coming for three days of content on best practices in the UK, trade tastings of world class wine, and meetings with industry leaders, the fair is a must-attend annual event for wine brands looking to create a network of influential contacts.

All US brands who want to export to the UK can take advantage of the new partnership. Brand distribution activity and sell sheet information of companies taking part in the program will be uploaded onto BTN to allow users the ability to reach out to global buyers.

Participating brands will have access to a wide network of contacts and be able to share trade focused information geared towards potential importers and distributors. They will also be given Premium membership and be able to access BTN’s large resource of webinars and articles on developing successful business practices.

BTN’s team will be assisting participants of the program with hands on help at the London Wine Fair event itself and across BTN’s social media channels.

To register for London Wine Fair, please contact Bob Davidson | (P) +44 (0) 20 7973 4668 (E)r.davidson@hgluk.com

For more information on the partnership and how to take advantage of the services being offered to US wineries by BTN at London Wine Fair, please contact Zach Milne-Haverty | (P) +1 (941) 592-9254 (E)Zach@beveragetradenetwork.com

About London Wine Fair: The London Wine Fair welcomes over 11,000 wine trade professionals every year. Our visitor audience is drawn from the restaurant and bar trade, independent retail and regional wholesale, and from the convenience and multiple retailers. In addition to retailers, we welcome the trade press, importers and recognized trade professionals from all support services to the wine trade.

About Beverage Trade Network: Beverage Trade Network (BTN) is an online marketing and B2B networking platform servicing suppliers, buyers and beverage professionals in the global beverage industry. BTN provides business and sourcing tools for industry buyers and brokers as well as an extensive selection of services for suppliers to drive brand awareness and expand distribution. For more information on BTN please visit their website www.beveragetradenetwork.com


VIP Buyer Invite to USATT (Free VIP Conference Tickets Worth $700+ )
27 September, 2015

USA Trade Tasting would like to formally invite buying representatives from wholesalers, distributors, or importers to register for your official VIP Buyer Invite.

USATT_Invite_form_header_0915_1b (2)

USA Trade Tasting is an annual grand tasting and business conference happening in New York City at the Metropolitan Center on March 21-23, 2016.

The VIP Buyer Program is a special package designed specifically for buyers from around the country.  Please register your interest for the program HERE.

As a registered representative of the VIP Buyer Program, we are happy to offer you the following, free of cost:

• Tasting pass to meet producers from around the world at the Grand Tasting event on March 21 & 22, 2016.
• Reserved seating in Brand Pitch sessions where specialist producers present their brands to you.
• Reserved seating in Masterclasses from Wine Australia, Wines of South Africa, Wines of Chile, Wines of New York and more.
• Receive 2 VIP Tickets to a full day conference on March 23, 2016 to help you learn and grow your distribution or import business. Front 4 rows. Meet and network with speakers.
• Extensive networking opportunities: Meet key press members and retailers. Official blog post on USATT Blog about your business to help you get some buzz.
• Breakfast & Lunch included on Conference Day.

Click Here to RSVP NOW. This VIP Buyer Program invite is for the first 200 Importers and Distributors from the USA.

Buyer_Invite


USATT 95% Sold Out. Only a Few Spots Left
04 September, 2015

USA Trade Tasting Exhibitor Registrations have sold fast.  With only a few spots left, now is the last chance for wineries to register for USATT.

USATT

Sign up to exhibit at USA Trade Tasting to expand your distribution across the US.

Get in front of USA's leading importers, important distributors, high-profile retail merchants, and influential media executives.

The event is B2B ONLY with the sole purpose for exhibiting brands to connect with new buyers and vice-versa.

Buyers Trade Tasting – March 21-22, 2016 - Metropolitan Pavilion, New York City

For more information on exhibiting at USATT, please visit:
http://usatradetasting.com/en/become-an-exhibitor-30.htm


Learn about sales, marketing and distribution at USATT Conference
22 August, 2015

 

12 Bold Talks to coach you – 12 Key Note Speakers to train you – 2 Days to inspire and educate.

usatt-speaker

Learn from some of the most influential professionals in the beverage industry at the USA Trade Tasting educational conference on 21-22 March, 2016. These presentations from industry leaders on today’s leading ideas on marketing, sales and distribution will challenge and inspire you to grow your beverage company.

Featuring 12 key note presentations and 12 bold talks between 2 days, the conference is set to give you insight into what strategies and standards the industry’s top thinkers are using to shape the marketplace around you.

The educational conference is a full day experience that brings together thousands of beverage professionals from around the world. The event takes place on 21-22 March, 2016, New York, USA.

What is USA Trade Tasting Educational Conference?

In 4 years BTN has grown from 400 to over 9000 members from more than 50 countries. Our goal is to empower small to medium wineries, breweries, distilleries, importers and distributors with the necessary tools and educational resources for sustainable growth in sales and distribution.

Featuring 12 key note presentations and 12 bold talks between 2 days, the conference is set to give professional insight into what strategies and standards the industry’s top thinkers are using to shape the marketplace around you. The educational conference is a full day experience that brings together thousands of beverage professionals from around the world. The event takes place on 21-22 March, 2016, New York, USA.

Who are the Speakers?

Ranging from brand builders to marketing guru’s, the educational conference is hosting remarkable experts who exhibit a truly heightened knowledge of the industry to give our visitors a clear understanding of the real life challenges that face them in the marketplace. View All Speakers

USATT special pricing

 


An Economical Way to Showcase Your Wines to USA Buyers
08 August, 2015

The Pavillion

Capped at 100 SKU’s between wines, spirits and beer, The Pavilion is a perfect area for small producers to get their brands out to the trade. Interstate producers looking to get in front of USA importers, distributors and retailers can find ‘The Pavilion’ a good way to find a distributor or expand current distribution. Your brands will be on display for both days at USA Trade Tasting.

Please note: Pavilion is a separate feature than you being an Exhibitor. (Suppliers are not permitted in ‘The Pavilion area’. USATT staff will pour your brands and generate leads for you. It is a great way to showcase your brands to the buyers if you cannot make it or if you are already an USATT exhibitor and need addition exposure.)

The Pavilion is also a very economical approach for overseas suppliers to send samples and have USATT manage the brands. USATT will also assist overseas suppliers interested to find importers in USA.

Entrance to ‘The Pavilion’ will only be available to those with proven buying power and journalists.

Cost to enter (Total 2 Days)

  • $165 per SKU – (Now – Sept 30)
  • $200 per SKU (Oct 1 – Dec 31)
  • $250 per SKU (Jan 1 – Jan 31)

Your brand will be showcased with your brand sheet which will include estimated retail price, brand pitch, technical info and your contact details. Buyers interested will also fill out a sample request form which will be then forwarded to you. No extra costs. USATT expects atleast 1000 buyers (retailers, distributors and importers) between 2 days.

Eventbrite - 2016 USA Trade Tasting The Pavilion Section Submission (New York)

Frequently Asked Questions.

1) Can I get discount for multiple entries?

No, sorry space is very limited. We encourage you to submit in early bird to get the best pricing.

2) How many bottles are needed, Where to send and when.

6 bottles per sku. We will use 3 bottles per city. We will send the sample instruction once you register. For overseas suppliers, we will need to get TTB approval for your labels before you ship samples. USATT will assist you in shipping of samples. Overseas suppliers, if you still have any questions, please email sid@usatradetasting.com for more information on how to send samples.

3) Who are the buyers?

Buyers are US retailers, distributors, importers and press. Thus enter your brands if you are looking to expand and grow in USA.

4) What is the deadline?

Entries are open till we reach 100 skus. Only 100 skus between wine, beer, spirits and ciders will be accepted. Enter now to secure your spot.

Please contact us on +1 901 BTN LIVE or email sid@usatradetasting.com if you have any questions.

USA TRADE TASTING


How to Take Your Beverage Brand Global with Social
02 August, 2015

Almost every winery, brewery and distillery has incorporated a social aspect to their marketing strategy. Are you successfully using your platforms to grow your company?

A ‘Social Business’ is one that fully integrates their social campaign into the everyday functions of the company. From sales reps and marketing departments to the growers, distillers and bottling crew – every employee and department of the company is ‘plugged-in’ and actively sharing their story to the company’s community of peers and followers in an attempt to create a unique experience that provides genuine value to everybody.

Besides all the feel good updates, happy customers and passionate employees that have become characteristic of business oriented social media, the end game that makes a ‘social business’ so valuable is that every company platform creates a dynamic forum that can be used by management in a variety of different of ways.

Understanding the value of a ‘Social Business’

Brand Perception

As your digital footprint increases, your brand recognition will also increase and the content you produce will grow to be a direct reflection on your brand, so keep the subject of your published material in line with your company’s branding. This doesn’t mean that you can only post about beer if you are a brewery, but make sure that what you are posting reflects the overall philosophy of your company.

Until about a decade ago, customer engagement was a personal event which took months, or even years, to establish. With social, engagement between you and your consumers is almost instantaneous and cultivating their positive feedback is important to the overall perception of your brand. A few comments such as, “I love this picture,” or “I just tried this on the weekend, it was delicious!” that get good visibility can quickly lend your brand the influence it needs to leverage its position as a market maker. This modern medium of live feed testimonials inherently increases brand value, so long as the content is good and the feedback is positive.


Retweeting praise can generate good brand perception.

The same approach should be applied when selecting accounts that your company and its employees choose to align themselves with. Finding influential social trailblazers and involving yourself in their communities can greatly increase your reputation for being an industry leader, but he opposite is also true. Letting your employees (or even yourself) take to enjoying risqué social feeds on company accounts can negatively affect your brand’s image, so pick and choose those that your company decides to follow and re-circulate content from carefully.

Understanding the Core Consumer

In its rawest form, the feedback that is generated through content response is data that can be analyzed to give brand owners an accurate description of their core consumers. This information is priceless in that it generates a constant, relatively unbiased, update on your company’s performance from the consumer’s perspective.Google Analytics, Link Patrol, Clicky, KISSMetrics, Woopra (to name just a few) - the various data analysis tools that are available today can provide in-depth metrics on some really significant events.

For brands looking to expand, deploying out-of-market social campaigns is a fundamental strategy to evaluate the initial response and gauge the amount the level of commitment that will be necessary to successfully penetrate consumer psyche. 

Creating posts that resonate closely with your branding develops strong brand recognition.

As your data sets increase across multiple populations and platforms, they will give you a detailed picture of your core consumer and let you explore new sales and marketing processes that work in direct correlation with their tendencies.

Click Here to read the rest of How To Take Your Beverage Brand Global with Social


4 Unique Things about USA Trade Tasting
25 July, 2015

USA Trade Tasting is being launched in New York City with an explicit focus to match international and national wineries, distilleries and breweries with state distributors and establish a dynamic business conference to educate the international beer, craft beer, cider, and wine and spirits industry on best practices in sales, distribution and marketing.

At its core, the event aims to drive deeper engagement between producers and buyers.  Besides hosting two full days of key note speakers scheduled to educate visitors with penetrating insight into tangible successful market strategy, USATT will also be providing unique platforms to help suppliers understand and service the needs of US distribution partners.

WORKSHOP FOR INTERNATIONAL BRANDS

Learn how to be successful in the USA

All overseas suppliers will be trained on the intricacies of the US market. Suppliers will be provided with a detailed analysis via a series of workshops that will cover a range of subjects from supporting your importer to getting the right pricing for the market.

Logistic Solutions for International Brands

Get into the USA hassle-free

‘USATT Direct’ is a solution that USATT will offer alongside the compliance and logistic infrastructure of MHW – one of USA’s premiere adult beverage import and distribution companies.  All international brands looking to enter the USA are invited to work with MHW and get their brands into the USA.

Toolsofthetrade
Click To Get Your Free Whitepaper!

PITCH YOUR BRAND TO DISTRIBUTORS READY TO DO BUSINESS

We want you to put your brand in the spotlight.

‘USATT Solutions’ is a unique match making service being offered at USA Trade Tasting that puts brand owners in front of 30 qualified buyers ready to source new brands.  The initiative will be taking place over eight different meetings on March 21st and 22nd.

Each 1-hr meeting will be hosted by 4 brand owners who will pitch their products to pre-screened distributors and importers whose buying requirements closely match the categories, varieties and packaging of the presenting brands.

THE USA TRADE TASTING CONFERENCE

Foresight. Ambition. Dedication. Education.

All throughout the two days of trade tastings, USATT will be host to an in-depth conference element where industry leading figures will speak on sales and distribution.

Learn from some of the most influential professionals in the beverage industry at the USA Trade Tasting educational conference on 21-22 March, 2016. These presentations from industry leaders on today's principal marketing, sales and distribution strategy will challenge and inspire you to grow your beverage company.

USATT special pricing

USA Trade Tasting (USATT) is an annual trade only event in New York city helping producers connect with wine, beer, spirits importers, distributors, retailers and press of USA. Learn more here…


Tradeshow Tips: How to Convert Distributor, Wholesaler and Retailer Visits into Purchase Orders.
19 July, 2015

Even though tradeshows are based on face-to-face interactions and can be much more valuable to building brand recognition and expanding distribution than less personal campaigns like email, phone and social media, there is a lot of energy that goes into planning a successful tradeshow. No matter how funny or beautiful your team members are, you will be sorely disappointed if you think that standing behind a booth and handing out samples is all you have to do to be remembered.

Modern day tradeshow marketing and lead generation needs to be comprehensive and utilize all available tools and resources available. Pre, live and post event social media presence, targeted email campaigns, pre-scheduled meetings, focused communication programs, purposeful sales literature - these arejust a few of the ways which you can generate leads at a tradeshow. The real trick is how to successfully follow up on the leads you generate.

Getting your winery, brewery or distillery ready for a tradeshow means preparing your team with a clear mission, communicating your message across multiple channels and developing proper training programs on how to convert leads into buyers. Here is a clear outline on how you can prepare for your next tradeshow. 

Pre-Event

Prepare your Communication

The first step to determining how to best present your company at your next tradeshow is to list your strengths, determine your goals and develop messages that will resonate with your targeted customers. Whether you are attending the tradeshow to build recognition or find new distribution partners, you need to strike a chord of high notes that your brand truly represents. Some good company traits that trade will focus on are:

• Superior account services and programs;
• Up-front cost savings;
• Premium ranges;
• Competitive Pricing;
• Large marketing budget;
• Designer packaging;
• Experienced staff and reps who understands successful distribution strategy;
• Large local sales network of loyal customers.

These strengths can demonstrate that your beverage company is set above the competition and should be bundled into easy to understand language which can be delivered effortlessly across multiple channels by your team members. Here are a few ideas to keep your message simple:

• Use customer testimonials;
• Write a list of short catch phrases and short description sentences to give to your team;
• Design strategy flow charts based on potential visitor profiles (buyer, media, consumer, potential partners, etc.)

rain your team

Take your catch phrases, flow charts and visitor profiles and train your team on how to fluidly handle the various scenarios that they will be presented with. You want your team to be able to seamlessly pitch your product. They should understand how to listen and ask questions so that they frequently find themselves able to offer your product as the best option to fill a gap in your buyer’s portfolio.

Propagate your Message

Once you have given your team the proper attention and outlined your game plan, work with them to develop multiple ways in which to communicate your brand strengths. Develop social, email, phone and traditional

 marketing campaigns dedicated to your trade show attendance. The earlier you start and the further you push your message, the easier it will be for you to hammer home your sales pitch when you are talking with visitors at your booth. Do your background research on who it is you want to connect with at the event and why.

Social - Research and connect with as many attendees as you can. Buyers, VIPs, media, fellow and competing brands – these are the accounts you need to be following and interacting with so that you can stay informed and network properly leading up to the event. Keep yourself top-of-mind with engaging content and soft reminders of what you have to offer your potential partners and customers.

Email – Target important visitors that you will benefit speaking with at your tradeshow and send them personalized emails inviting them to meetings at your booth during the trade show and dinners and events after trade show hours.

Phone – Sometimes phone calls are just the personal touch that is needed to secure a meeting with a VIP, so gauge your list of important visitors accordingly. Some of them might be email friendly, some not, but whatever the case be ready to call on your most important prospects and extend an invitation for them to meet with you (incentives work best.)

Traditional Marketing...

To Learn more about what do do before, during and after the event tandincrease your chances at converting retailer, distributor and wholesaler leads at your next trade show please, please visit BTN to read the full article full free here.


Beyond 1,000 Cases: How To Guarantee Repeat Sales
11 July, 2015

How wineries can develop their sales process to encourage repeat sales and consistent orders.

Repeat Wine Sales

“Farming vs. Hunting”

The best way to make a customer buy again, after the first 1,000 case sale, is to understand that farming -- not hunting -- is the world we live in now. Farming is focused on nurturing your customer through a caring relationship. Hunting is trying closing your deal too soon and this approach erodes customer loyalty.

Instead of focusing on the next sale, focus on deepening the customer relationship first by organizing conversations on the social networks they use -- whether it's Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest.

For example, start following your customers on Twitter and use the platform to engage in conversations that are independent of what you're trying to sell them. Observe what they like, then ask them meaningful questions about what they like.

Using the wine business as an example, let’s say that you're a Pinot Noir drinker. By communicating with you on Twitter or Facebook, we’re able to learn that in addition to wine, you're also a football fanatic, regular cupcake eater, and new gardener. The next time you tweet or post about making cupcakes, we can suggest pairing your cupcakes with a new dessert Riesling in stock, that's similar in taste to another Riesling you mentioned last month.

There are many lessons learned by sales executives all over the world: here are just a few of them on how to turn a one-time buyer into a repeat buyer.

1. Appointment Setting

Appointment setting is vital in any business because it is a guarantee of more 'face time' and affords the opportunity to up-sell or provide follow-up and repeated services. Appointment setting accomplishes many things such as establishing a relationship with your client, but it also is a tried and true marketing skill because most people live busy lives and having a committed date means your chances of following up with those clients are pretty good. Be on time and don’t miss the date. 

2. Send Letters

No customer ever wants to feel like a number which is why another savvy marketing technique utilized is sending letters to current customers. These letters can be simply drafted and are a way of saying to your customer, “We appreciate your business."

3. Send Postcards

Postcards will always get noticed for technical and logical reasons, at very low cost. They are colorful and therefore are attractive to the eye and they are made of sturdier material which people automatically respond to. Even in the Internet, past paced era, people want something tangible and it is harder to forget a postcard that they may put on their refrigerator than an email that may be quickly deleted.

4. Offer a Customer Loyalty Program

Loyalty programs are invaluable when it comes to maintaining customers. Consumers shop according to their own individual habits and they have money to spend; however, ignoring the fact that those customers also want to feel appreciated as well as obtain some extras for being a loyal and valued customer can be detrimental to your business and relationship.

Loyalty programs can include things like discounted prices on a follow-up service or partnering with another likeminded company and offering piggyback services and discounts. Many companies such as grocery stores for example also offer point systems. With each purchase a customer earns X amount of points and then can redeem those points at a later date for other services, freebies or discounts. Dave Skogen, Founder of Festival Foods in DePere, WI, calls this their “Boomerang Theory: Bring Their Customers Back Time After Time”

5. Send Emails Using an Email Bounce-back Marketing Program

Email marketing is one of the most successful and yet often misused forms of advertising. If done correctly, it is a pivotal way to keep customers informed, tracking your customers and promoting current and upcoming services or products. It is always best to refer to an email marketing program rather than going at it alone. These programs will ensure that addresses are typed correctly, your business's call of action is defined and clearly explains things like opt-in options so customers are more likely to get on board. Business will “bounce-back” to you.

To read the rest of the article and the final 5 tips on How To Guarantee Repeat Sales, please CLICK HERE.


Register for Free and Reserve your Spot in this week's webinar.
29 June, 2015

Register and Join this week's Webinar for Free: An Insider’s Look: The Challenges of the Wine Import Business

poster for An Insider’s Look: The Challenges of the Wine Import Business

Deborah’s inspirational story of founding an independent, female owned wine import company in the early 90s explores the difficulties of starting an import business, finding the right distribution partners and developing unknown international brands into national staples across the USA.

Deborah’s Coaching Session is set to give you an in-depth look at How to successfully import and market wines in the USA. 

Click Here to Register for her Free Webinar Today!


Free Webinar on Brand Development for US Wineries
29 May, 2015

Are you looking to learn how to sell your wines long-term in the US Market? Do you want advice from an industry professional with decades of experience in brand activation, distribution and market development?

Steven_Raye-1

Join well-known wine industry consultant Steve Raye for his BTN Coaching Session’s seminar on “The US Market: Disrupting the System:” June 3, 2015 at 12:30 pm EST.  He will be helping brands understand how to enter and grow in the US market with hands-on advice in this special Webinar in anticipation of his Keynote speech at USA Trade Tasting.

As a recognized thought leader in the wine industry, Steve is a frequent speaker at international events and conferences and also a founder of the US Drinks Conference. In Raye’s BTN Coaching Session, he will be addressing his audience with an insider’s view on the following:

How to think differently and ‘Zag’ when every one else ‘Zigs';
Innovative e-commerce strategies;
Leveraging content population as a strategy to talk with prospects at the precise moment in time they’re interested in your brand;
Optimizing social media effectiveness

The workshop led by Steve will give you practical advice on how to find the right partners in the US. Register your spot in Steve Raye’s Coaching Session. (CLICK HERE)

 

 

Can't make it to the Webinar on Wednesday?  Why not plan on joining Steve and eleven more Industry Pros at USA Trade Tasting Conference in New York City next March. The Early Bird Special is still in effect. Get your  USA Trade Tasting Conference Tickets Today and receive two tickets for the price of one.

2FOR1

 


Coaching Sessions Webinar Platform Set to Launch for the Beverage Trade
18 May, 2015

New Webinar Platform is designed to teach wine, beer and spirit companies about best practices being used by leading professionals in sales, distribution and marketing.

Beverage Trade Network’s new webinar platform ‘Coaching Sessions’ is going live on May 27, 2015. The weekly webinars are being hosted by industry experts who will be covering a wide range of topics including sales, distribution, marketing, international market reports, international trade law and operations.

The platform is designed to facilitate peer-to-peer knowledge sharing and attendees will be able to log-on from anywhere in the world to benefit from the open social forum.

“With BTN Academy’s new ‘Coaching Sessions’ feature, we have created an effective and affordable solution for anybody in the beverage trade looking to learn from top consultants,” commented Zach Milne-Haverty, COO of Beverage Trade Network. “The innovative medium provides an invaluable educational tool that is widely missing from the business-to-business side of the industry.”

Particularly well suited to beer, wine and spirit distributors, importers, brand owners and their representatives, the weekly webinar ‘Coaching Sessions’ are live every Wednesday at 12:30pm EDT. Attendee interaction and collaboration is encouraged during the webinar sessions and there will be scheduled Q&A sessions with the coaches. The webinars will be recorded and available for review to all users on Beverage Trade Network’s website after the live event.

Attendance to BTN’s upcoming webinar schedule is open to all visitors who register their interest by visiting the following Coaching Session outlines:

Brian Rosen. Knowing your Accounts: How to Maximize your Relationships

Brian D Rosen is a lifelong entrepreneur, writer, speaker, columnist and retailer and has been named “Retailer of the Year” three times, Forbes “Best of the Web” two times, Chicago’s Favorite Place to Shop Three times, Shop.net ECOMM leader, 40 under 40 Award Winner and more.

Be inspired by Brian on how to properly manage your key accounts to boost sales and expand distribution. WED, MAY 27, 12:30 PM EDT (CLICK HERE)

Steve Raye. US Wine Market: Disrupting the System. 

Steve is a recognized thought-leader in the wine industry and frequent speaker at industry conferences in the US and around the world and writes a popular industry blog BATChat. He is also one of the founders and organizers of the U.S. Drinks Conference, an annual international symposium.

Learn from Steve on how to enter the market with Non-traditional marketing strategies and gain a competitive edge. WED, JUNE 3, 12:30 PM EDT (CLICK HERE)

Sid Patel: Setting Up a Winning Sales Process for Your Winery.

There’s been a lot of talk in the last decade about bottleneck problems, where there are hundreds if not thousands of suppliers pitching the same importer or distributor. So why do some brands still win? Today, a streamlined sales process is vital and success comes from understanding how the process has evolved.

Get insights from the CEO and Founder of BeverageTradeNetwork.com on how to streamline your sales process and grow your distribution. WED, JUNE 10, 7:00 PM EDT (CLICK HERE)

Deborah Gray. An Insider’s Look: The Challenges of the Wine Import Business.

Deborah M. Gray, an Australian native and entrepreneur, founded her U.S. wine importing company, The Australian Wine Connection, in 1992 at a time when women wine business owners were scarce and knowledge of Australian wine was almost nonexistent in the U.S.

Gain inside insight from wine importer Deborah Gray and understand the resources needed to face the challenges of the international wine market. WED, JUNE 17, 12:30 PM EDT (CLICK HERE)

About Beverage Trade Network.
BeverageTradeNetwork.com connects the beverage alcohol industry by bringing wineries, breweries, distilleries, beverage brand owners, importers, distributors, wine brokers, beer brokers and other beverage professionals together with in depth studies on Marketing, Distribution, and Sales. The platform also provides an un-paralleled, multi-tier networking service to help brands grows their distribution sales and buyers expand their portfolios. Learn more by visiting www.beveragetradenetwork.com

For more information about Beverage Trade Network and BTN Coaching Sessions, please email info@beveragetradenetwork.com


USA Trade Tasting Early Bird Exhibitor Pricing – ENDS MAY 31. Register Now.
08 May, 2015

Exhibit. Connect. Ignite Your Brand.

Usa Trade Tasting

USA Trade Tasting (USATT) is an annual adult beverage trade specialist trade tasting and business conference being launched in order to promote sustainable growth in the independent beverage industry by helping boutique wineries, craft breweries, craft distilleries, importers, distributors, retailers and beverage companies learn, source and grow.

Exhibit your brand at USA Trade Tasting (USATT) and get in front of USA’s leading importers, important distributors, high-profile retail merchants, and influential media executives.

The event is themed such that all trade attendees are open for business. The event isB2B ONLY with the sole purpose for exhibiting brands to connect with new buyers and vice-versa.

A separate meeting area has been allocated where exhibitors can conduct face to face meetings (30 min sessions) with potential buyers. USA TT will provide an event organizer tool that exhibitors can use to book and view their schedule of meetings.

WHO SHOULD EXHIBIT?

Wineries, Breweries and Distilleries looking to find distributors and importers in USA. If you are an overseas supplier, USATT can assist you getting TTB (COLA) waiver approvals for trade show samples. Please email sid@usatradetasting.com for more details.

USA Importers looking to grow distribution can also exhibit at USA TT in order to expand distribution in other states and meet key retail buyers of USA.

WHERE AND WHEN

  • Buyers Trade Tasting  – March 21-22, 2016 – Metropolitan Pavilion, New York City
  • Keynote Speakers & Educational Conference – March 21-22, 2016 – Metropolitan Pavilion, New York City

Here is the RECAP of the deal (ends MAY 31, 2015):
Exhibitors who book by MAY 31 will get special benefits (below): Early Bird Pricing of $1800. You only pay 25% right now to book. Balance due Oct 30, 2015.

  • Pre-Brand Awareness For Your Brand. Be Included In our marketing, blogs and various other channels where we will promote the event including branding on the trade tasting floor itself.
  • Early bird exhibitors will get priority in their stand selection process on first come basis. Floor play layouts will be emailed to early bird exhibitors before they are mailed out to late exhibitors.
  • Meeting area for Early Bird Exhibitors. Conduct your sit down tasting / face to face meetings with your prospects.
  • Get BTN annual membership for 2016. Valued $399. Access all BTN Academy articles, consultants and buying leads all year round. (http://beveragetradenetwork.com/en/btn-premium-advantage-470.htm)
  • $200 saving on your exhibitor registration fee (normally $2000 – yours $1800).
  • It’s OK if you change your mind. We understand it is early and your plans may change. 100% of your money will be refunded if you changed your mind by Oct 31.

So if you are still thinking and looking to grow distribution, go ahead and book your space now.
http://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/2016-usa-trade-tasting-exhibitor-registration-portal-tickets-16166850485?aff=erellivorg

Take advantage of this offer now before it expires.

newbanner


How to Sell Import Wine in the US Market
02 May, 2015

Some great tips on selling boutique wine in the Three Tier System.

How_To_Sell_Import_Wine_in_USAThe most important aspect of selling imported wine is creating a market for your offering. Before you can be successful, you must be able to separate yourself from memorable experiences at the winery from the reality of selling wine as a commodityin a highly competitive market place. As you consider your marketing strategy, the necessary budget and licensing requirements to market your imported wines, you’ll also need to understand how to find the right distribution partners for your brands.

Copa Fina Wine Imports is an importer and distributor of limited production wines from South America with a portfolio representing some exciting boutique wineries from Argentina and Chile. With a keen eye for value offerings and exceptional quality, they focus on family owned and operated projects that practice sustainable or organic farming and have limited distribution in the United States. I caught up with Michelle Yong and asked her about her top tips on sales and distribution of boutique wines in the US market.

BTN: Working with a boutique marketing budget, sometimes it can be hard to develop successful marketing campaigns. What marketing strategies have you found to be the most successful in promoting your portfolio and why?

Michelle: It is tough to execute any type of marketing at an import company dedicated to showcasing boutique wines like those we represent. When we first started we began with a one-page portfolio and in order to promote our wines we had to market ourselves as being true experts in our category.

As South American wine specialists, we spend a lot of time educating ourselves, our team and our customers in each and every single wine we represent. We take annual team trips to visit our wineries so we can touch the soil, taste the grapes, walk through the wineries, dine with the winemakers in their homes and really engulf ourselves in the wine and culture.

Once we have developed a strong understanding of the product we are representing we can go forward and create a market for the brand by targeting the right consumer base and retail partners in our home territory. Using this strategy, our sales team are not your usual sales representatives, but act as brand ambassadors for these wineries with whom they have developed close and personal relationships.

In a more traditional marketing sense, we try and take advantage of social media and use Facebook to keep our organic followers engaged with interesting content. By combining our expertise and passion for the product with the advantages of modern communication, we are able to give our partners and customers a unique look into the beauty of South American wine. We try and create the same atmosphere and romance around our wines that we experience when we visit our partner wineries so that our retailers feel like they are carrying something truly special.

BTN: What kind of distribution channels work best for unique offerings?

Sell_boutique_wine_in_USAMichelle: We focus on small production wines - most of our wineries have an annual production rate of 100,000-200,000 bottles (versus millions of bottles produced at some of the larger wineries.) We focus on the exclusivity of our offerings so that customers know that they can’t find our wines everywhere. In today’s competitive environment, most of our customers love that they can offer their patrons something distinctive.

We are also very selective in terms of distribution. In California, we sell directly to restaurants and wine bars. Our out of state distribution partners also focus on the same type of distribution strategy. That means that the exclusivity factor that we try and achieve can be used to compel a lot of clients into moving over to our selection.

We focus our distribution strategy in on premise accounts because it allows us to really showcase our wines. Once we’ve generated enough interest in our unique offerings from the bottom tier (the consumer) through our key accounts and marketing, new accounts are always happy to work with us because they know how hard we work to make our wines a consumer favourite.  

BTN: What types of events, programs and partnerships work well to develop brand awareness and why?

Michelle: For us, brand awareness is first driven by brand loyalty. So many of our new sales opportunities are now a result of pure word-of-mouth or simple networking. And how we deliver brand loyalty is pretty simple: over-deliver on quality and over-deliver on service. Standards in this industry for customer service are appallingly low. It’s not hard, but it does take dedication and a finer sense of personal and brand integrity.

That said, we try to engage with our customers however we can! When our winemakers come visit, it is all about events, events, events - any chance we can get for our customers to develop a direct relationship with our winemakers and winery owners is a huge step towards boosting an an account. We also host staff trainings, educational seminars, and ad-hoc tastings to help promote our customers’ familiarity with our wines.

BTN: What are your top 5 tips for boutique brand owners to develop a successful marketing and distribution plan?

Import_and_boutique_wine_USA

1. Have laser focus! Choose one target instead of five. You don’t have the time or resources to be scattered, so find partners that you want to work with and build that relationship. This takes time and energy, but it’s well worth the investment.

Touch on every part of the supply chain to make sure you are still representing the same philosophies you initially invested in and that your retail and distribution partners are still as passionate about them as you are.

2. WRITE. EVERYTHING. DOWN. Contact management software can be both free and incredibly leveraging (we use Asana & love it!). CRM is ESSENTIAL. Find the product that works best for you and use it with every task.

3. You can accomplish a lot with very little. You don’t need a lot of money or 100 people on your staff to get everything done…. don’t over-invest too early. Hard work, a quality product and passion will take you a long way. Once you’ve established a 12-month budget that is tried-and-true, then it’s time to look at expanding your portfolio.

4. Develop relationships with your partners. A strong partnership is the best form of marketing. If your retailers are also the same people you go out for dinner with when you are visiting their hometown, then you can bet that they are pushing your wines onto their consumers. The more a retailer or distributor knows about your product, the easier it is for them to be passionate about it.

You should also target retailers and distributors that you see are spirited individuals that believe in finding special offerings and are hardworking. You can find every type of salesperson in the industry, so don’t get stuck working with the loafers and greasers.

5. Sick to your guns - don’t compromise on quality or your standards for the quick/easy sale. We have found that the longer road is usually the most fruitful. This means going the extra mile to find a new on-premise account that is willing to put your low velocity, premium wines on their wine list instead of selling it through discount channels to try and close out your supply. Sometimes all it takes is that last sales call at the end of the day to get the account you need, so keep your head up and believe in yourself and your products!


Get Your USA Trade Tasting Early Bird Tickets Today!
07 April, 2015

Exhibit. Connect. Ignite your Brand.

USA_Trade_Tasting

USA Trade Tasting (USATT) is an annual adult beverage trade specialist trade tasting and business conference being launched in order to promote sustainable growth in the independent beverage industry by helping botique wineries, craft breweries, craft distilleries, importers, distributors, retailers and beverage companies learn, source and grow.

Exhibit your brand at USA Trade Tasting (USA TT) and get in front of USA's leading importers, important distributors, high-profile retail merchants, and influential media executives.

WHY EXHIBIT?

If you are a wine, beer or spirits producer or an USA importer/distributor looking to grow, USA TT is the perfect platform to help you connect with new distributors and retailers in USA.

The event is themed such that all trade attendees are open for business. The event is B2B ONLY with the sole purpose for exhibiting brands to connect with new buyers and vice-versa.

A separate meeting area has been allocated where exhibitors can conduct face to face meetings (30 min sessions) with potential buyers. USA TT will provide an event organizer tool that exhibitors can use to book and view their schedule of meetings.

WHO SHOULD EXHIBIT?

Wineries, Breweries and Distilleries looking to find distributors and importers in USA. If you are an overseas supplier, USA TT can assist you getting TTB (COLA) waiver approvals for trade show samples.

USA Importers looking to grow distribution can also exhibit at USA TT in order to expand distribution in other states and meet key retail buyers of USA.

WHERE AND WHEN

  • Buyers Trade Tasting – March 21-22, 2016 - Metropolitan Pavilion, New York City
  • Keynote Speakers & Educational Conference – March 21-22, 2016 - Metropolitan Pavilion, New York City

EVENT PRODUCER

USA Trade Tasting is brought to you by Beverage Trade Network, the leading online platform dedicated to connecting the global beverage industry.

Beverage Trade Network (BTN) successfully connects wineries, breweries, distilleries and brand owners with international importers, distributors, brokers and beverage industry professionals on a daily basis.

Working with 9000 members, Beverage Trade Network is positioned perfectly to head up the initiative.

Strong partnerships with international and US organizations have helped BTN establish USA Trade Tasting as a premiere sales and marketing event committed to connecting the US beverage industry.

LIMITED BOOTH AVAILABILITY

The inaugural event will offer 200 Tasting Stations, so space is limited. Exhibitors are encouraged to reserve space early as tables are expected to sell out quickly. All Founding Exhibitors will be given priority registration and booth selection at future BTN events. Early exhibitor entries will also get VIP seating for the keynote conference. (on a first-come, first-serve basis)

Early Bird Exhibitor Pricing - $1800 (Book now and Save $740. Only 25% down payment required to reserve.)

Early Bird Pricing ends April 30, 2015. Includes:

  • Buyers Trade Tasting – March 21-22, 2016 - Metropolitan Pavilion, New York City
  • 2 day conference pass valued at $540
  • $200 discount on regular exhibitor fee.
  • USA Trade Tasting will create pre-buzz on your brand via its distribution networks like blogs and social media. Includes one interview with the brand maker.

Payment Terms:

  • Deposit: 25% due with registration.
    Final Payment: Due October, 2015

*When trade show booths are sold out, a waiting list will be established for the following year.
** Multiple Table Stands (2-3) Receive 10% Booth Discount.
***Booth Sharing Fee = $100.00

All Tasting Table Stands Include

  • Tasting Table
  • Signage
  • White Tablecloth & Skirting
  • 2 Chairs, Small Garbage Can
  • Free WiFi Internet Access

Book Your Table Now (With Only 25% Deposit Now).


Free Admission to NY Intl Wine Comp with Exhibitor's Pass to USA Trade Tasting
25 March, 2015

 

Australia Trade Tasting

USATT partners NYIWC

Exhibiting Wineries (By 15 April) To Get Complimentory Entry Into NYIWC

USA Trade Tasting Exhibitors (USATT) who register before April 15, 2015, will get one free entry into the New York International Wine Competition (NYIWC).

New York International Wine Competition must receive samples of your wines by 30 April. On your exhibitor registration with USATT, we will send you information on how to submit your wines.

Register Now: With NYIWC Submission deadlines coming up fast and USATT’s early bird offer about to expire, the new partnership between the two organizations is a great way to get your brand rated in USA and pitch potential importers and distributors.

Speakers line up: USATT is excited to announce that Brian Rosen has been added as a keynote speaker at the USA Trade Tasting and Conference.

 

Register today for USA Trade Tasting Conference and get your $280 Early Bird registration price -- only valid until March 31, 2015.

Special note: BTN will assist with TTB and COLA waivers to get your samples into USA.
(email us for further details at sid@usatradetasting.com) www.usatradetasting.com | info@usatradetasting.com  


Overcoming the Top 10 Objections from Beverage Retailers
09 March, 2015

How to field top 10 objections you'll hear from retailers when you pitch your wines.

Photo for: Overcoming the Top 10 Objections from Beverage Retailers

Choosing your words carefully and understanding how to manipulate a room full of people can go a long way, but sometimes strong personal just aren’t enough. Convincing retailers to carry your product means fielding countless questions and overcoming reservations about your brand.

Being able to manage objections in a sales meeting is a skill that is absolutely necessary in the beverage industry. 
Some major objections that you are bound to come up against will be regarding your bottle price, the retailer’s resistance to change, their trust in you as a supplier and your product’s success, any promises they’ve made with other brands and their need to consult with the rest of the team before taking on your product.

Let’s take a look at how you can plan ahead and be prepared to handle any situation:

Price

What your retailer might say: “Similar competing brands are selling for less.” Or “Your bottle price is too high. I don’t think we can make money on your brand.”

You are guaranteed to come up against retailers who need help justifying the price on your product and you should be ready to negotiate, no matter what. A lot of retailers will say that price is a factor even when they are ready to sign you on, just to see if you’ll drop your price.

Plan your strategy before you go into your meeting. Visit your retailer’s top stores, look at your competition’s shelf prices and price your brands accordingly. You want to go in with a strong offer that you know is competitive, but also gives you room to negotiate. If they want you to drop your prices then try and negotiate more stores, premium shelf space, better credit terms or promotional opportunities. Know your bottom line. If you can’t afford to supply your beverages for their offer price then walk away.

Resistance to Change

What your retailer might say: “We don’t sell much of your category, so we’ll have to pass.”

Whether you are representing a new craft beer or a big name liquor company, sometimes retailers just don’t specialize in your type of beverage. If you’ve done your background research you shouldn’t be in this position and the retailer might just be using this as an excuse because he wasn’t sold on your pitch.

Start by sharing research you’ve done on the growth of your category. Talk about how the trend is developing, give them a look at how the industry has performed in the last five years and project numbers that show a healthy future for your project. As you build your case, mention your competition and point out reasons why your brand is better positioned to succeed.

What your retailer might say: “That rack is reserved for xyz distributor and I am locked into their program for next 12 months.”

When you are trying to negotiate good shelf space, sometimes you’ll come up against road blocks that seem like they might be impossible to overcome. A retailer’s prime real estate is usually reserved for their key suppliers and it’s hard to convince them that your product is worth the risk. See if they are open to giving you alternative shelf space where you think can succeed in showcasing your brand and ask them if they are open to giving you the chance to prove yourself. Don’t over reach, but if you are confident and have the resources to offer good support programs then tell them that you think you can outsell the distributor’s products and earn your spot on their top shelf.

Keeping up communication lines, asking for up to date depletion reports and providing solid support programs will prove to your retailer that you are dedicated to making your beverage worth their top retail spot.

What the retailer might say: “I can only replace your brand with XYZ brand, and I still have stock left to sell.”

You can Read the full article here


Beverage Trade Network Announces the Launch of USA Trade Tasting in New York
09 March, 2015

exhibit your winery,brewery or distilleryBeverage Trade Network is excited to announce the 2016 USA Trade Tasting on March 14 and 15 at the Metropolitan Pavilion in New York City. USA Trade Tasting is an annual adult beverage trade tasting and business conference promoting sustainable growth in the US beverage industry by bringing wineries, breweries, distilleries, importers, wholesalers, retailers and beverage media companies together in order to learn, source and grow.

USA Trade Tasting is a unique two day B2B trade only business conference and trade tasting that features presentations from industry leaders on today's leading ideas on marketing, sales and distribution developed to challenge and inspire beverage professionals. In order to maintain a high caliber group of visitors, only industry importers, distributors, retailers and media have been invited as guests to the tasting event.

National and international brand owners, beverage consultants, and international beverage professionals planning on expanding or already doing business in the United States are invited to exhibit and network with buyers looking to expand their portfolios.

With an exciting list of speakers scheduled for USA Trade Tasting who will provide attendees with tremendous knowledge, insights, and lessons learned, the goal is to provide a comprehensive overview of the US market to attendees using real case histories of brands and the challenges they’ve faced on the road to success in America, as told by both sides.

Scheduled speakers include:

  • Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey – founders of Barefoot Wines, the world's top selling wine brand, pioneers of “Worthy Cause Marketing” and authors of numerous books on sales and distribution strategy.
  • Lewis Perdue: Editor and Publisher of Wine Industry Insight whose daily News Fetch executive email briefing enjoys the largest subscribership (22,000+) in the North American wine industry. Lew is currently developing Tribes, (at recommendationinsights.com) a patent-pending recommendation algorithm that is far more accurate than any other in use for wine, music, books, movies and other products "of taste."
  • Brian Rosen: Known as the “Retailers Consultant” he brings years of experience as CEO of his own 100M company and his skills as Partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers. His passion and ability to think like a consumer while bringing practical real world experience to his clients make him a must at any retail convention, corporate retreat and expo.
  • Josh Wand:  Founder & Motivator in Chief of BevForce, a boutique recruiting and staffing agency that specializes in hiring strategies and organizational design for beverage companies. Wand developed BevForce to provide the beverage industry with a full-service hiring and job search platform that connects good people to great jobs.

 

  • Steve Raye, Managing Partner of Brand Action Team, a marketing and sales consulting company that specializes in helping export brands develop innovative strategies to enter and grow in the US.

International attendees will find this conference particularly useful in identifying prospective industry partners who have a thorough grounding on what’s needed to be successful in the US.

USA Trade Tasting gives VIP guests, exhibitors and visitors a unique chance to network and connect in a business forum dedicated to helping educate beverage professionals and promote sustainable growth in the independent adult beverage industry.  The event is expected to draw more than 300 exhibitors and 1000 attendees from around the world.                                                    

About Beverage Trade Network:  Beverage Trade Network (BTN) is an online marketing and B2B networking platform servicing suppliers, buyers and beverage professionals in the global beverage industry.  BTN provides business and sourcing tools for industry buyers and brokers as well as an extensive selection of services for suppliers to drive brand awareness and expand distribution.  For more information on BTN please visit their website www.beveragetradenetwork.com

About USA Trade Tasting: USA Trade Tasting is an annual trade tasting and business conference, open to trade professionals only, which takes place in New York, NY, USA. USA Trade Tasting showcases exciting wines, beers and spirits from all over the world to Australian importers, distributors, retailers and press.   For more information on attending the USA Trade Tasting business conference and how to exhibit at USA Trade Tasting please visit their website www.USATradeTasting.com

Trade Tasting for wineries, breweries and distilleries

 


How Barefoot Wines Became the World's Largest Selling Wine Brand
15 January, 2015

BTN Interviews Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey, Founders of Barefoot Wines on Sales, Distribution and Management Skills You Will Need to Succeed in the US Beverage Industry.Photo for: How Barefoot Wines Became the World's Largest Selling Wine Brand

Barefoot Wines started out as a hopeful business idea between an average business couple living in the Sonoma County wine country of California. With little experience in the wine industry, Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey wanted to create a fun, new wine that they could build into a top selling brand across the USA. From their converted laundry room office, they set out with innovative ideas and a willingness to learn from everybody who touched the Barefoot brand.

Michael and Bonnie founded Barefoot in 1986 and it quickly became known as a 'disruptive' label. Against traditional stogy and exclusive wine marketing customs, Barefoot was an award winning, non-vintage brand targeted at the female USA consumer with a simple, easy-to-understand label that was bursting with color and fun. Buyers were hesitant to put in what they were offering.

The industry was very resistant, but Michael and Bonnie were relentless in their pursuit and fulfilled their dream. In 2005 they sold Barefoot, which at the time was one of the USA's top selling brand, to EJ & Gallo. Barefoot has since gone on to become the world's largest wine brand.

We recently sat down with Michael and Bonnie to discuss the strategies they employed to grow the Barefoot brand into a national icon. Below is the first part of a two part interview which examines how they took an idea and developed it into a household national brand. The second installment discusses how they successfully disrupted the US market, their most difficult hurdles and what their top 5 tips are to brand owners.

BTN Interviews Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey, Founders of Barefoot Wines on SalesDistribution and Management Skills You Will Need to Succeed in the US Beverage Industry.

 

BTN: You started out with just an idea for a wine brand - How did you see past all of the hurdles that the US marketplace presents and envision crossing the finish line?

Michael: The first question you should ask yourself is, “what is the finish line?” Our answer to that was acquisition. The whole idea is that you are creating brand equity, whether you know it or not, and someday you are going to monetize on that brand equity. For us, Barefoot was a brand that we felt we would monetize in five years. Of course, it took us almost twenty.

 

BTN: What were your setbacks – why did it take so long if you had such clear idea of what you wanted to do?

Michael: It was because of the hurdles the US marketplace put in front of us. We had no idea the hoops we would have to jump through just to make the brand work.

BTN: What advice can you give brand owners that will help them see a manageable distribution and compliance landscape?

Bonnie: We asked a lot of questions and we hired professionals to get the answers. Compliance was a huge question that we had. Each state has its own laws and that in itself was extremely challenging. Then there is the policies and procedures of each chain and each box store.

We grew slowly and we made sure we were in touch with our compliance consultant that we hired to help us for each state so that we understood the laws we were up against. That involves understanding not just each state’s state liquor laws, but also how you work with your distributors and your retailers. If you don't understand what obligations and restrictions they are under, then there is no way that you are going to know how to work together.

That was always our first goal: we wanted to know how we could work the most efficiently within the channel distribution network of each market we entered. It is too much to go out there and try and do it on your own when you don't understand the basics of how everyone does their job.

Michael: The biggest surprise we had building the Barefoot wine brand was that we were not in the wine business. We were in the distribution management business. We could have been selling hammers! What that meant was that we were basically doing everybody's job all the way down the distribution chain without getting upset about it. We thanked them for the opportunity and recommend them to their bosses! You don't ever want to make any enemies, so even though you feel like you are doing their job you still need to do it graciously.

When I say doing somebody else's job, I'm talking about things like making sure your brand is being represented by the distributor's sales reps, which means you have to personally make all the new presentations to every account you are selling in every city and in every state (or your winery’s representative does). You don't want to go into the USA without representatives you trust that can shoulder some of that heavy burden if you are unable to do this personally.

You also have to have a very watchful eye and be extremely vigilant because even though you get the placement at a retailer for the distributor's sales person, they will not get the re-order for you. They will let it run out and then pitch some other product that they are being asked to promote. They will even be glad that your product sold out so that there is room in the store for the new product that they may be making a kick-back on.

This is why it is really important to not just reward distributor sales people but to reward them for ongoing, month-after-month, sales. You always want to make incentive programs that reward them for a string of sales.

 

BTN: Where did you look for advice when you needed it most and what did you learn from your advisers?

Bonnie: We got advice from the very top, the very bottom and everybody in between. We asked for advice from everyone that touched our product.

We asked the chain store buyers what it was that they wanted in their stores, where they had room on their shelves, and what kind of products their consumers we most interested in. We asked the warehouses how we could help them to deliver and pick up the right products more efficiently and how we could help them identify the products more easily.

We also got a lot of advice from our own sales people. It's important to understand that your sales people are the ones that are out there in the marketplace. They are the ones that are talking to the distributors, to the retailers and to the consumers on a daily basis. Instead of our marketing department handing our sales people material that they were told to use in the marketplace, we asked our sales people what kind of material they found to be the most successful.

Michael: The only thing that I would add to that is that when you are seeking advice, sometimes you can get it from colleagues. For instance, I used to have to sit in offices and wait for a meeting with a buyer for long periods of time. I would be sitting beside other representatives that were representing other brands and I would talk to them about quirks in that particular chain or box store.

I would ask them questions like, “What was the biggest problem your brand faced getting into this particular store?” The answers were always eye-opening. One time, a gentleman responded, “Well, you better make sure they put the code in right at the back door or when they send it from the warehouse the store will reject it, even though it should be on their inventory list.” After that, I made sure to send my people to make sure the clerk did his job so that our orders would scan properly. The buyer only counts what scans out the front door, not what comes in the back.

 

BTN: How did you sustain constant growth for Barefoot and what tips do you have for owners looking to really expand their brand?

Michael: You have to look at it like an old fashioned, 4-speed stick shift. In first gear, you get a lot of traction but you don't get a lot of speed. You do things in your first stage of your development that you would never do in your second, third or fourth stage. As a matter of fact, allies that you have in your first stage might not be your allies in your subsequent stages.

For instance, in order for us to get established in the United States we would look at a state like Minnesota and we would ask, “How long would it take us to get into all of the chain stores in the state. How much would it cost us to have a rep to police all of this to make it happen?” The answer in Minnesota was four or five years and hundreds of thousands of dollars.

What we did instead was find an independent, who at the time had six stores in the state and was in the college community. We gave them the exclusive on Barefoot and we told them we would give it to them for at least 2 years. We told them that they had to advertise it, stack it to the roof and buy it in full truck loads, or else we were going to take the exclusivity away from them. Our sell was that we were willing to give up the rest of the state so that they could brag about being the only place to get Barefoot.

We did that with independent chain stores to build traction in Minnesota, Massachusetts, Texas and a few other states. It gave us the necessary cash flow to actually hire the reps we needed for statewide expansion. Of course, when we decided to shift into second gear and expand we made our initial distribution partners angry. They were loyal to us and built the brand with us, but our engines were revving high and we needed to hit the clutch.

Once we were in second gear, we would backdoor distributors. In Florida, we went to the big chains there and talked to their buyers about what a great job we were doing in California. Once we got them to agree to a test market we asked them who their favorite distributor was. Once we had that information, we went to the distributor and said, “These are the numbers we are moving in California, we can do the same thing in Florida and the buyer for the largest chain account you guys service has recommended your distributorship to represent our brand. We have a test market coming up – will you help us?” For them, they saw us as found money. They were happy to help us because they wanted to have more influence and shelf space with their important chain account.


We accelerated growth by leading with only one or two SKUs instead of going in with a large offering. We did it deliberately because we would gain a reputation on those SKUs and then the next year we would introduce another SKU as a line extension. It was simple for chains to think of us as only Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc in 1.5 Liter bottles. They were ready to do business and we were bumping along in third gear now. It was easy for them to remember and the message carried quickly. They would say, “I know about Barefoot. It's a magnum brand,” and we would always get into their sets.

We also got partnerships with the chain stores by working with their display layout. We knew that the way they set up their sets was either by varietal type, in which case a new brand would get blasted all over the set and would have no brand awareness, or brand set. We realized we could go in as a 1.5 L bottle, which was brand set. That meant that if we only had two SKUs and only had two faces of SKU, we would have four faces all in one place. That was one of our brand building strategies that really carried us up into fourth gear, and allowed us to cruise across the USA.

This is the first part of a two part interview with Michael and Bonnie about how they built the barefoot brand. The second installment discusses how they successfully disrupted the US market, their most difficult hurdles and what their top 5 tips are to brand owners.


Top 10 Wine Distribution Articles
29 December, 2014

Top 10 Articles On Wine Distribution

 

Here is a list of top 10 wine distribution articles that will help you find wine distributors, and also give you the insights on how to work with your wine distributor partners.

Top 10 Articles On Wine Distribution

  1. Are You Really Ready To Pitch A Wine Distributor: This checklist covers the most important factors that a winery or any wine brand owner needs to look at before approaching a wine distributor.
  2. It is important to understand the business of your customer which in this case is ‘wine distribution business’ Here is an article on understanding their 5 main challenges.
  3. Prepare your wine brand for wine distribution. Finding the right wholesale distributor can help your product business in a big way! They can get your products on the shelves of retailers as well as provide you with many other exciting opportunities. Therefore, it is essential that you prepare your product for distribution success. If your product isn’t ready to go, then you put your business at risk of not generating the sales that you need in order to win! Here is the ultimate guide on how to prepare your brand for wine distribution.
  4. Once you prepare your wine brand, you also need to prepare your pitch and support plan. Securing a wine distributor means understanding your potential partner’s market and prepping your wine brand to succeed. As you prepare to expand, there are many aspects of the industry to examine in order to compete in your target market. Utilizing market research and securing solid distribution gives your team the necessary support for them to succeed.Here are a few must-know tips to help get your wine brand into the your wine distributor’s portfolio.
  5. Once you find your wine distributor partner, you both need to have a wine distribution agreement in place. Here are 5 key points you need to cover in your wine distribution agreement.
  6. Once you get your agreements in place, here is what you should cover with your wine distributor when you meet them in person (you may do the meeting before or at the time you sign your wine distribution agreements). Every distributor is different and every sales meeting is unique. It doesn’t matter if it’s your first elevator pitch or a routine sales meeting, before you enter your distributor’s board room you should be prepared for anything. Sample contracts, order sheet forms, sales literature cheat sheets – these are all essential documents to have on hand, but what else should you carry with you when you are called in for a meeting? Here is a list of 10 must-have documents to have with you for your next meeting with your wine distributor.
  7. Ongoing Support. BTN looks into basic programming and incentives that can be used to drive your brand in the distribution channel. We will see how each incentive can impact your sales and help your customer deplete more stock (be it distributors or retailers). Developing ‘Wine Distributor Programs’ are now an essential step to differentiate your brand(s) from the massive pool of suppliers.A distributor who has been in business for long appreciates the commitment and willingness shown by the supplier irrespective of the sales and that can turn into sales even if you had a slow start. Most suppliers give up on brands that don’t do well in the first round of retail tastings and so does the distributor.
  8. Working with your wine distributor is important to make sure your brand gets attention and also works for your distributor. Market work (working with wine distributor’s sales team and going into retail accounts) is the best support a brand can give. Making effective distributor Sales is all about being prepared. No matter how well your product is doing in a distributor’s portfolio, it is essential to always be at the top of your game. Take care to put as much attention into your sales calls as you once put into your sales pitch.Here is what wine distributors expect from a winery when working the market with their reps.
  9. For the purposes of achieving maximizing your winery’s sales success, both you and your wine distributor will need to work hard at developing and advancing the relationship.  For an effective business partnership with your distributor, some form of measurement will need to be in place with regard to sales. Having a defined set of targets is the best way of doing this.These annual sales targets should be in agreement with the distributor and will need to be reviewed on a regular basis. All of this should be in the distributor territory appointment contract. Review the sales by brand, by SKU, by key market, by key account at the Annual Meeting. If not achieved, develop new programs to help the distributor achieve the goals in the coming year. Here are some tips that will help prepare your annual review meeting with your wine distributor partner.
  10. Beyond selling to your wine distributor. Many wineries and wine brands often wonder how to grow sales. There is a time when you have exhausted all your contacts, your current distributors, and also all your brokers. The question that comes then is “Now what? How can we grow our wine distribution.” If you are looking for Wine Distributors, you don’t need to re-invent the wheel.There are a few traditional techniques that you can use to grow your wine distribution and in the current scenario social media is another powerful medium that can be used. Discover the 6 common wine distribution channels and strategies that you can implement to grow your wine sales.

Early Bird 50% Savings on AuTT Conference Registrations - Presentations from industry leaders
15 December, 2014

Presentations from industry leaders on today's leading ideas on marketing, sales and distribution ready to challenge and inspire you to grow your beverage company.

Conference Registrations are NOW OPEN.

Get Early Bird 50% Savings by Dec 31st. 
Apply Coupon Code: “AUTTDEC” at checkout

RESERVE YOUR VIP SEAT


Australia Trade Tasting

 

12 Bold Talks to coach you.
12 Key Note Speakers to train you.
2 Days to inspire and educate.

Learn from some of the most influential professionals in the beverage industry at the Australia Trade Tasting educational conference on 1st and 2nd September, 2015. These presentations from industry leaders on today's leading ideas on marketing, sales and distribution will challenge and inspire you to grow your beverage company.

Speakers

Conference Registrations are NOW OPEN.

Get Early Bird 50% Savings by Dec 31st. 
Apply Coupon Code: “AUTTDEC” at checkout:



BTN Enterprise is Ready to Take Your Winery to the Next Level.
01 December, 2014

Ignite your brand with BTN Enterprise. Select the market you want to expand in and let us help you grow your Distribution. 

Give us your brand for 3 months and we challenge you that we will beat your own sales process at an unbelievably low price

How it works

Featured Brand page CLICK TO ENLARGE

BTN Creates a Stunning Presentation of Your Brand

We start by creating a stunning presentation for your brand. The artful website is created by our team and acts as an interactive landing page for prospective importers and distributors to explore your brand.

Please click on the below links to see some of our recent examples of Enterprise presentations:
Bird Wines, New Zealand: Birdx Wines wanted to expand its distribution in USA.
ViQua, Malaysia: ViQua wanted to expand its distribution globally with a focus of New Zealand, Australia and USA.
Big Peat, USA: Big Peat was already imported in USA and wanted to expand into other states.
Beelgara Wines, Australia: Beelgara wines is part of Wine Australia Initiative that Beverage Trade Network and Wine Australia USA is working on to help Beelgara grow internationally.

btn enterprise CLICK TO ENLARGE

Your Brand Presentation is Featured on the BTN Member Homepage.

We work on your brand to generate leads from importers and distributors in your target markets.

  • Your brand is featured on BTN main pages (logged-in users screens) on a rotating basis from month to month.
  • Your brands Selling Lead and Feature will be buzzed all year round by the BTN social media team giving you thousands of impressions and increasing your social presence.
  • SEO optimization in google and other search engines - Your featured page will remain on our server for 12 months.
  • Selling Leads management. BTN staff will enter all your wines as selling leads and manage them for 12 months. Your products will be randomly selected to be on the front page of BTN Selling Leads, even after your campaign is done.
  • Your brand information will also be displayed on other platforms like Youtube, Facebook, Tumblr, Google Plus, Slideshare etc.
Featured Brand page CLICK TO ENLARGE

Social Media: BTN will promote your Brand on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Your brand will be promoted infront of our 12000 plus LinkedIn connections, 12000 plus twitter followers and also on other leading platforms like Facebook and Google Plus.

BTN enterprise CLICK TO ENLARGE

Reporting and Lead Management

Get full access to the BTN Enterprise dashboard. Use of the dashboard enables you to:

  • Manage all of your leads
  • View the no. of times your featured presentation is viewed
  • View the no. of times your Selling Leads are viewed
  • Manage all of your CRM notes.

Our goal is to make your experience as easy as possible, so you can measure your brand’s performance and see your ROI first hand. The Enterprise ROI Promise is to get you 20 leads.

 

Give us your brand for 3 months and we challenge you that we will beat your own sales process at an unbelievably low price.

Interested to learn more? Email Us or Call +1 901 BTN LIVE (USA). 9am-6pm Monday-Friday, EST.


Australia Trade Tasting Announces Export Focus Day on US Market
18 November, 2014

Australia Trade Tasting (AuTT) has announced that they will be hosting some of the USA's top market makers as speakers at their educational 'US Focus Day' business conference on September 2, 2015, in Melbourne, Australia. The 'US Focus Day' will highlight sales, distribution and marketing strategies being used by leading market experts in the USA.

AuTT_banner_620x200

National and international brand owners, beverage consultants, and international beverage professionals planning on or already doing business in the United States are invited to come and learn from some of the most exciting minds shaping the US marketplace today.

“We have a stellar list of speakers scheduled for the U.S. focus day who will provide attendees with tremendous knowledge, insights, and lessons learned. Our goal is to provide a comprehensive overview of the US market to attendees using real case histories of Aussie brands and the challenges they’ve faced on the road to success in America, as told by both sides” stated Sid Patel, Executive Director of AuTT and President of the Beverage Trade Network, a global marketplace connecting suppliers, distributors and importers of wines, beers and spirits.

Scheduled speakers include:

  • Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey – founders of Barefoot Wines, the world's top selling wine brand, pioneers of “Worthy Cause Marketing” and authors of numerous books on sales and distribution strategy.

  • Rob Blackwell, CEO of McWilliam’s, Australia’s fourth largest producer who will provide an update on a strategic importer and distributor realignment they are putting in place for their entire range in the US.

  • Brian Rosen, Managing Director of Rosen Retail Method and highly respected and well known retail beverage alcohol expert.

  • John Beaudette: CEO of MHW Ltd., the leading U.S. service provider for export wine, spirit and malt beverage companies. MHW plays a critical role helping exporters navigate the complexities and regulatory procedures for entering the US market.

  • Steve Raye, Managing Partner of Brand Action Team, a marketing and sales consulting company that specializes in helping export brands develop innovative strategies to enter and grow in the US.

     

    Australia Trade Tasting US Conference

     

AuTT gives VIP guests, exhibitors and visitors a unique chance to network and connect in a dynamic business forum dedicated to help educate beverage professionals and promote sustainable growth in the independent Australian adult beverage industry. The event is expected to draw more than 100 exhibitors and 1000 attendees from around the globe.

 

About Beverage Trade Network: Beverage Trade Network (BTN) is an online marketing and B2B networking platform servicing suppliers, buyers and beverage professionals in the global beverage industry.  BTN provides business and sourcing tools for industry buyers and brokers as well as an extensive selection of services for suppliers to drive brand awareness and expand distribution. For more information on BTN please visit their website www.beveragetradenetwork.com

About Australia Trade Tasting: Australia Trade Tasting (AuTT) is an annual trade tasting and business conference, open to trade professionals only, that takes place in Sydney and Melbourne, Australia. AuTT showcases exciting wines, beers and spirits from all over the world to Australian importers, distributors, retailers and press. For more information on attending the AuTT business conference and how to exhibit at AuTT please visit their website www.australiatradetasting.com

More information:
zach@australiatradetasting.com | www.australiatradetasting.com | Speakers

 

 




Barefoot Wine Founders Announced As Keynote Speakers At Australia Trade Tasting
10 November, 2014

Australia Trade Tasting

I don’t know if you are already aware, but we have a great line-up of speakers ready to inspire you to do great things at the Australia Trade Tasting Conference. We believe learning from the world’s most innovative and inspirational people is something special.

That’s why we are thrilled to announce that Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey, two of the most successful wine brand owners of all time, are going to be keynote speakers at the Australia Trade Tasting USA Export Focus Day.

As founders of Barefoot Wines, Michael and Bonnie are perhaps the most prolific wine sales professionals in history. I mean, who else can say that they started out with nothing more than an idea and then went on to build the world’s top selling wine brand? Now that’s something truly special!

GET YOUR EARLY BIRD TICKETS

Whether you admire them for their commitment to fulfilling their dream or for their business savvy, these two are absolute must see key note speakers. Their insight into the US Market is profound. Come get inspired by their path to success and learn what it really means to succeed in the three tier system.

Receiving their tips first hand is one thing, but when you register before November 30, 2014, you’ll also receive priority VIP front-row seating. That means you’ll get to be face to face as they talk about the in’s and out’s of the international beverage business. Take a look for yourself:

Early Bird Pricing Before November 30th


US wineries looking to export to Australia: Here is an event not to be missed.
20 October, 2014

Australia Trade Tasting

Welcome to Australia Trade Tasting

Fueled by the emerging craft beer and spirits categories, Australia has experienced explosive growth in recent years.  Australia Trade Tasting is set to spotlight the industry like never before.

Sneak Preview. Australia Trade Tasting gives buyers the opportunity to consider exciting new wine, beer, and spirit brands looking to grow their distribution.

Feature Presentation. Meet key buyers from leading retailers like Dan Murphy, GraysOnline, VinoMofo, WineStar, Potters, IGA, hundreds of independent merchants, and showcase your brand in front of top importers and distributors.

Tell your story. Get in front of Australia's leading press and famous bloggers.

Get ready to network with industry leaders looking for their next big idea at Australia Trade Tasting.

www.AustraliaTradeTasting.com

Exhibit Your Company And Find The Right Partner For Your Needs.

Australia Trade Tasting Logo

Educational Conference

Foresight. Ambition. Dedication. Education.  

6 Bold Talks to coach you - 6 Key Note Speakers to train you - 1 Day to inspire and educate.

Learn from some of the most influential professionals in the beverage industry at the Australia Trade Tasting educational conference on August 31st, 2015. These presentations from industry leaders on today's leading ideas on marketing, sales and distribution will challenge and inspire you to grow your beverage company.

Visit http://australiatradetasting.com/en/conference-26.htm for more information on the educational conference.


Launching A New Wine Brand Without A Winery?
06 October, 2014

How to navigate legal hurdles when entering the wine industry.


Photo for: Launching New Wine Brand Without A Winery?

Entering the wine industry can be a daunting task even for the most experienced business person. In addition to the costs involved in buying or leasing a winery space, there are state and federal permitting and reporting requirements as well as local land use and zoning regulations to be considered.

There are, however, other ways to be involved in the wine industry without launching a full-blown stand-alone winery. California and a number of other states allow wine entrepreneurs to operate as a “custom crush client,” or what some writers commonly referr to as a “Virtual Winery.” These businesses don’t own a production facility; are not required to own any equipment; and at the end of the day, their only asset is inventory and the wine brand they create. 

In this article we explore some of the key legal and regulatory issues facing “virtual wineries,” including securing the right licenses and permits, and protecting intellectual property. For the sake of simplicity, we have limited the scope of this article to California state law.

 

UNDERSTANDING STATE LICENSES AND FEDERAL PERMITS

The first thing you need to know about “virtual wineries” is that there is no such thing as a “virtual winery” in the alcohol beverage regulatory world. A “winery” is a business that holds the necessary state and federal licenses and permits to produce wine, is responsible for the production activities that take place on the bonded premises, and takes care of all record keeping and reporting to the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (“TTB”). Under California law, wineries are called “winegrowers, and are defined as “any person who has facilities and equipment for the conversion of grapes, berries, or other fruit into wine and is engaged in the production of wine.”

If you don’t have the capital to invest in facilities and equipment, you can still be involved in the supply-side of the wine industry by operating as a custom crush client. The custom crush client contracts with a licensed winery (often referred to as the “host winery”) and has that winery produce wine from the custom crush client’s grapes. The custom crush client can provide some guidance and specifications regarding how it wants its wine made, and is able to avoid a lot of the costly and time consuming activities of a licensed winery, such as owning equipment, maintaining the physical premises, and obtaining land use permits for production facilities. Equally as beneficial, a custom crush client has minimal recordkeeping requirements relative to wineries.

Custom crush clients do not hold a federal bonded winery permit, nor do they hold a state winegrowers license, and therefore are not wineries in the eyes of state and federal regulators. However, if the custom crush client wants to take possession of the wine and sell it, it must obtain the necessary alcohol beverage permits, namely a federal basic wholesaler’s permit as well as any necessary state licenses.

In California, custom crush clients have a few options. First, if they have no intention of selling wine at wholesale to other licenses, but instead wish only to sell direct to consumers, they can obtain a Type 85 Limited Off-Sale retail license. Type 85 license holders are allowed to sell wine directly to California consumers via direct mail, telephone or the internet, and can also ship wine to a limited number of states that allow for direct-to-consumer sales by alcohol beverage retailers.

Alternatively, custom crush clients can sell to California consumers and sell to on- and off-premise accounts at wholesale if they obtain and hold a Type 17 (Wholesaler) and Type 20 (Off-Premise Retailer) license. This is typically referred to as a “17/20” license.

If being a custom crush client is so much better than being a winery, why isn’t everyone doing it? The answer is simple: there are certain key benefits to being a winery. Chief among them is the ability to sell wine directly to consumers in a number of states. Because a custom crush client is not a wine producer, it is treated as a wholesaler or retailer in many states. The number of states that allow retail direct-to-consumer sales is more limited than states that allow winery direct-to-consumer sales. Moreover, in California, custom crush clients are not allowed to have their own tasting rooms, but a winery can.

 

PROTECTING YOUR MOST VALUABLE ASSET: INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

Now you’ve found a custom crush winery to work with, and you’ve secured the proper licensing. Congratulations! But in order to be able to secure a path for growth for your fledgling wine company, you should invest in your intellectual property. If you haven’t protected your brand by conducting a thorough trademark search and filing of a trademark application, you are in jeopardy of losing your investment. (Side note – you don’t need to wait for you TTB/ABC permits and licenses to apply for a trademark).

Step one:

pick a brand that is protectable. All names are not created equal. From a legal standpoint, there is a protectability continuum. On one end of the continuum are brands that are inherently weak or even non-protectable. On the opposite end of the continuum are brands that are strong and protectable.

On the non-protectable end, generic names of a product, e.g., the word “wine” for wine, are not protectable. Similarly, words that describe a feature or characteristic of wines are considered descriptive of wines are also not protectable, e.g., words such as “vineyard,” “estate,” “cellar,” and “redt.” The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will generally request a disclaimer of such descriptive words, which means that others selling wine are free to use the same type of descriptive wording in their brands to describe their beverage. No monopoly for descriptive words is provided under the law.

Moving along the continuum, after generic and descriptive marks follows suggestive marks. Suggestive marks are words that suggest a feature or characteristic of a product or service without describing it. For example, CITIBANK (financial services), 7-ELEVEN (convenience stores), GLACIER (ice) and COOPERTONE (tanning lotion).

At the opposite end of the continuum are coined marks (made-up words) and arbitrary marks. A coined mark is a word that is simply invented, such as KODAK film or EXXON gas. These words do not exist in a dictionary. By contrast, arbitrary marks are existing words (i.e., words that can be found in a dictionary) that are illogically and unpredictably applied to a good or service. Consider the word “apple.” It is a word defined as: (1) the round fruit of a tree of the rose family, which typically has thin red or green skin and crisp flesh. However, when applied to computers, “apple” does not conjure up an image that suggest anything inherent of computers. APPLE is thus a strong protectable brand.

Importantly, we need to translate any foreign wording in a mark into English for registration purposes. If a mark translates into English as an already existing brand, the Trademark Office will not permit registration of such a foreign mark. It is also important to know the English translation so that one will be as happy with the translation as they are with the foreign wording.

Frequently, people want to name their product after themselves, i.e., MANNY’S. While the appeal of using one’s own name may be seductive, it can create protect-ability and enforcement issues as surnames (last names) may be difficult to legally protect. Further, there may be an issue in obtaining consent of living persons, and there is the possibility that other beverage producers share the same last name. The last name of Smith alone has thousands of entries in the phone book. A potential legal quagmire.

Now that you’ve picked a name that is on the protectable end of the continuum, conduct a search to determine if that name is already in use on wine or related goods. One way of doing this is to search the TTB’s database of Certificate of Label Approval (COLA) that all wine, beer and spirits must have in order to be sold in the United States. However, it is imperative that you consult with a knowledgable trademark attorney at the clearance stage.

A word of warning regarding COLAs: too often people confuse a COLA approval with Trademark approval. The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) which is a Department of the U.S. Treasury, is not charged with conducting trademark searches or approvals. Thus, one can find a variety of different producers using the same or similar brand diluting the strength on any one producers’ mark. Keep in mind getting a COLA just means you can sell your wine legally in interstate commerce, but does absolutely nothing to protect your brand against any potential competitor.

 

Step Two:

Register your trademark with the USPTO. “A trademark is any word, name, symbol, or device or any combination thereof - (1) used by a person or (2) which a person has a bona fide intention to use in commerce and applies to register on the Principal Register.” The benefits of federal registration include the following:
• -prima facie evidence of the validity of the mark, the registrant’s ownership of the mark, and the registrant’s exclusive right to use the mark in commerce in connection with the goods or services specified in the registration;
• -the right to use the registration symbol, i.e., *
o provides constructive notice that the mark is in use;
o ability to sue infringers in federal court and to recover multiple damages and attorney’s fees; and 
o ability to exclude infringing imports into the United States.

The federal registration process takes approximately 18 months. However, in about four months from the date of filing of the trademark application one would hear back initially from the Trademark Office and have a pretty good idea as to the register-ability of the applied for mark.

At this juncture two things should be considered. First, consider your potential need of obtaining trademark protection in foreign countries. Is there any plans or possibilities to export to say Canada, Mexico, China or Japan for instance? If so, applications can be made to either file directly in the desired countries or file an International Registration utilizing the Madrid Protocol. The United States is a party to the Madrid Protocol and this can be a cost effective means of obtaining foreign protection.

Second, consider if there are other protectable elements of the label design or product packaging itself. Perhaps their is a logo or slogan involved in your marketing efforts. Further, review website content, advertising material, or other collateral material that may be protectable by copyright. Also keep in mind that the non-functional and distinctive portion of your product packaging may be protected as a trademark or trade dress.


This is just the tip of the iceberg: there are a number of legal issues any new wine business must consider in order to be successful. But securing the proper state and federal licenses and protecting your brand are essential components of any business plan. Given the heavily regulated and highly competitive nature of the wine industry, new business owners should seek out experienced legal counsel in order to navigate the path forward.

 

About the Authors:

John Trinidad works with the Wine Law, Alcohol Beverage, Business, Geographical Indications and Intellectual Property groups. During his time at DP&F, he has advised wine industry clients on a broad range of issues, including the purchase of winery brands; drafting of grape purchase, custom crush, and third party marketing agreements; franchise law; and trademark registration and brand protection.

Katja Loeffelholz is a Registered Attorney with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Katja’s practice focuses on counseling and representing clients on all aspects of trademark, trade dress, copyright and related issues. Katja’s experience covers all aspects of these areas of law, including practice before the USPTO, counseling on protection, licensing and acquisition of intellectual property, and enforcement matters. She also advises clients on the adoption and availability of trademarks and service marks both domestically and internationally. Katja is also licensed to practice as a patent attorney before the USPTO and advises clients on various design patent issues.

 

This article is for general informational purposes only and none of the information contained herein should be considered to constitute legal advice.


Why use Ratings and Reviews in your Marketing Strategy?
24 September, 2014

Whether or not you believe that awards are worth the extra effort, here are the top reasons why they matter.

 
Photo for: Why use Ratings and Reviews in your Marketing Strategy?

The art of mastering ratings and reviews in the beverage industry is a long standing trade strategy under constant review. There are countless competitions, industry professionals, and media companies to submit to and countless more philosophies on how to best utilize your hard earned trophies.

Whether or not you believe that awards and industry professional promotions are worth the extra effort, there is plenty of competition that has come to understand how to limit their costs and maximizing their exposure by using every industry trick available.

Here are the top reasons on why they matter:

1. Distributors and Retailer Interest

The subject of awards and reviews has always been scrutinized by many traditional producers who take pride in their labels and have a long standing reputation for quality, but the truth of the matter is that many big distributors and retailers looking to add new brands to their portfolios favour those that have a strong backing of reviews and rewards from reputable sources.

Their interest in decorated brands spawns from their desire to establish consumer confidence for their new brands as early as possible. They tend towards brands that have gone through the motions of amassing promotional media, awards and industry presence because it shows dedication by the producer to long term success and support. The more media and accolades that brands have, the easier it is for them to sell it on their end.

 

2. Consumer Interest

Getting new customer's to try your product is a difficult task, no matter the circumstances. Using ratings and reviews to coax consumer's into purchasing your product is a good way to start. They may not be the ultimate solution, but having well respected judges give your beverages their approval will instil confidence into the average consumer and might just be enough for them to choose your offering over the competition.

This is why your distribution and retail partners are looking at your reviews and ratings in the first place, but after you've convinced the customer to purchase your product, it's up to you to provide them with a beverage that will keep them coming back for more.

why wine ratings matter


In an attempt to gain consumer confidence, Kellermeister markets their three International Wine Challenge awards.

As much as gaining a large portfolio of impressive accolades can bolster your brand recognition, it's also important to understand that sometimes all it takes is just a few. Let's take a look at a few of the different ways to approach wine awards and reviews and how to successfully use them.

 

3. Using Big Agency Mentality towards Awards.

Large companies and agencies employ a mass submission strategy to competitions. Targeting just one healthy award to market their beverages as winners of, most companies will set benchmark ratings to achieve at competition and then go about submitting their portfolio of beers, wines and spirits to every event until they reach their goals. For example, some wine agencies target 90+ pts in their marketing scheme and will systematically submit all of their wines to Robert Parker, Wine Spectator etc – all of the major companies - until one of their wines receives their benchmark target. Once they've accomplished their task, they halt their applications and concentrate their efforts on promoting the winning family of wines for a few years via their large commutation networks and media house partners.

As unglamorous and self serving as it sounds, and why many people in the industry have come to loathe the world of competition, this technique is widely used to help both new and struggling brand line-ups gain market strength.

 

4. Going After the Holy Grail.

Companies will sometimes target a certain competition or positive review from a specific critic. Understanding your market and your consumers is paramount to successfully marketing your beverages so if you are in a niche market, have a large consumer base in a certain geographical area or know an industry VIP can create a market for your beverage, then using every networking trick and submitting your drinks to exclusive competitions is certainly worth the extra effort.

wine ratings article

Tellurian winery from Australia markets their 5 star rating from James Halliday, an industry VIP, to consumers, distributors and retailers alike.

 

5. Using Media to Increase Recognition

Large media outlets play a huge role in informing the masses. Getting popular media houses to do special reviews and exposees can give you the consumer and industry recognition needed to get your beverage's feet on the ground.

tasting panel ratings

 

The Tasting Panel's recent story on Blackwell Rum introduced the drink to many consumers.

Convincing media to cover your beverage's story is a great way to show the world that you are ready for business. Use their platforms as a way to get your message out to the industry – the more media you can garner, the easier it will for you to sell to both distributors and consumers.

When submitting your beverages to competitions and attending trade shows, be sure to plan ahead. Get in touch with as many agencies as you can and schedule to meet with them to discuss your recent stories. Take the time to communicate as much about your company as possible, including your most recent ratings and reviews.

 

6. Market Your New Accolades

Marketing your success is important, so don't stop with third party media companies. Leverage your awards and reviews across your marketing platforms. Use them in your POS (neck sleeves, shelf talkers, etc.) and packaging, promote them on social media and take them to trade shows. The whole reason you looked at getting reviewed and winning awards and competitions was to be able to market your beverage as an attractive commodity to your buyers, so use your marketing department's full potential and squeeze every drop out of your ratings and reviews.

vodka ratings article

Vodquila uses medals from the Spirits Tasting Competition to bolster industry interest for their exciting spirit through social media and POS.


Get Ready For Holiday Programming: 10 Marketing Ideas To Get Your Beverage Business Moving This Holiday Season
22 September, 2014

The Holidays are coming. Are your wine, beer and spirit brands ready?

Photo for: Get Ready For Holiday Programming: 10 Lean Marketing To Get Your Going

Here are ten marketing strategies designed just for the holiday shopping season. 

From now until January 1, the “buyer mentality - the retailer” prevails. Retailers are planning to budget their quantity buying and will take advantage of the retail programs that are offered to them.

Below are our top 10 strategies for building Holiday Sales and Profits:

1. Products and Services for Every Budget

To maximize revenues, smart distributors get their retailers to develop gift ideas to fit every budget -- for example, Gifts for $10, For $50, and Over $200, etc. As a distributor, you can help retailers develop products or services to fit every budget in your business. And, they feature your brands, not the competitors!

beer holiday2. Holiday and Gift Box Packages

Holiday/gift packages are the HOT sellers right now! Why? Because they take the “thinking” out of buying. For example, pre-package gifts of beers, popcorn, glassware, nuts, t-shirts, and collector cans or special beers in bottles.

The “gifts” can be featured in logoed wooden boxes, pails, waste baskets, dripped-waxed bottles, foil neck bottles and holiday-themed variety packs or cases. You can you take the “thinking” out of buying your goods or services. You can “pre-package” multiple items to make it easy for your customers.

 

3. Bundled Products or Services

Rather than sell single items, offer “theme” combos. For example, a holiday “spiced ales” gift package, or “imported beers”, or “craft beers from one state” or “beers which have 90 point ratings or higher from BA”. Or a “beer book that was just released”, or “home brewing equipment or recipes” and “brew for a day certificates at a brewpub”. You can bundle complementary products services to create your own “theme” offering.

 

4. "Consumer Loyalty Programs”

winesale

Create customer loyalty and longevity with this winning strategy. The options are endless. For example, “Beer of the month” club, “Package of the month” club, “Pick 12” Program, “20% off for $200 purchase” or “Free delivery for $100 purchase or more”, etc. These programs work best when you give significant discounts in exchange for a long-term buying commitment of your products or services. Use your creativity when you adapt this strategy to your business.

Image Source: Fowles Wines, Australia

5. Start promoting holiday sales early.

wine sale

Image Source: Fowles Wine, Ausralia

According to a 2012 survey conducted by Compete, 54% of shoppers had completed at least a quarter of their holiday shopping before Thanksgiving weekend. Many more are shopping online or looking for ideas before Christmas arrives.

6. Order supplies well in advance of the holidays.

Check to see that you'll have enough merchandise on hand to satisfy customers. Use last year's records to estimate the quantities of supplies you'll need to meet this year's demand. Check to be sure you'll have enough holiday bags, logoed wooden boxes, tissue paper, holiday wrap, logoed pails, logoed waste baskets, foil or dripping wax for bottles, and other items you'll need to wrap or deliver customers' purchases. Stay on top of your vendors, because if they miss your deadlines, you’ll miss the Holiday sales opportunity. Holiday sales for some beers and wines are 30-40 percent of the entire year’s volume!

7. Be sure your website is customer-friendly.

wine sale holiday plan

Image Source: Barefoot Wines

Consumers do a lot of their holiday “window shopping” online. To be sure your online store is consumer-friendly, ask a friend who has never used your site to make a purchase. Give them something specific to buy, then watch as they try to find the item and buy it on your website. Can they quickly locate the item? Can they figure out how to put it in the cart, and then how to view the cart and pay for the item? Or are they clicking around in frustration? Fix any problems you see now so you don't frustrate and lose shoppers during the holidays.

8. Make the shopping experience easy.

Be sure to include the business phone number, business hours, time zone, customer service email address, return policy and guarantee can all be found from all pages. The easier it is for customers to find contact information, the more confident they'll be about placing an order. If at all possible, have a way for customers and prospects to reach a real person on the telephone. There's nothing more frustrating to potential customers than to call a company to request information, only to be pointed back to the website to create a support ticket with no indication of when to expect an answer.

9. Get your ads ready now for local print media.

wine press

If you can write the ads now, you'll have ample time to have several people proofread them before they run. Check with the media you plan to use to find out if they have special holiday editions you'll want to advertise in, and to find out what the closing dates are for ads.

10. Social Media is changing the way people shop

twigs social media

Encourage current site visitors to sign up for a mailing list, like you on Facebook, follow you on Twitter and read your newsletters. If you fail to capture their email address the first time they visit your site, chances are slim that they will return to your site. If they don't return, you've wasted the money - perhaps as much as $5 or more a click - that you spent to get them to your site in the first place. For ease of use for smart phone owners, include a QR code on the flier that they can scan to get to an online signup form. Be sure your web pages include social networking share buttons on your site. If they don't have your web developer, add them now and set them to show the number of shares. Prospects are more likely to buy a product if they see signs that a lot of other people like it.

One final idea is to reward your employees for increasing your Holiday Sales. Run a sales incentive or contest and include all of your employees in it. If they sell the most during November/December, then you can give them a gift certificate, gift card, dinner at a restaurant, shopping spree at the local Mall or reward points on their favorite travel and hotel card. 
Pick one of these 10 strategies that most resonates with you. Each strategy is easy to implement just in time for the holidays. Announce your new combo packages, volume discount, etc. in your Christmas or New Year’s greetings, newsletter or any other holiday communications to your clients and prospects. REMEMBER: Make it easy and rewarding for customers to buy from you and they will reward you with holiday sales.


BTN Guide 2015 (USA) - Entries Are Now Open
09 September, 2014

BTN Guide 2015

BTN Guide 2015 (USA) - Entries Are Now Open

The 2015 BTN GUIDE (US Market Entry Version) is an exclusive catalog of exciting new wine, craft beer, and spirit brands looking to expand their distribution network. It is designed with the needs of importers, wholesalers and distributors in mind and showcases each brand with specific sourcing details to guarantee a trouble-free experience. With an explicit focus on trending brands that excel at marketing, the BTN Guide will list select commercial brands that are ready to break onto the international market.

 

btn usa guide

Early Bird Special Till October 31st, 2014 ($400 Per Brand)

After October 31, 2014 entry fee will be $600 per brand. Brands from each category will be selected evenly.

  • Craft Beers (Imports and Domestic)
  • Spirits
  • Wines
  • Innovative brands with unique packaging

The print version of BTN guide will be mailed out in January/February 2015 to more than 4000 key wine, spirits and beer wholesalers and importers in USA.

The online version of the BTN Guide will be featured on the BTN website and in our weekly newsletter that goes to more than 25,000 trade professionals worldwide. BTN Buyers Guide is designed for suppliers looking to grow their distribution in USA. A perfect platform to be infront of thousands 4000+ buyers in early 2015.

Visit last year's BTN Buyers Guide on line edition >>

How Does it Work?

BTN Buyers Guide will be published in print and online. The print version will be mailed to 4000 Importers and Distributors. The online version will be displayed on BTN for the first quarter of 2015 and will be broadcasted on social media networks and BTN newsletter. Your brands will be tweeted about all year round.

 

What Is Mailed Out?

Importers and Distributors will get a hard copy of Buyers Guide along with sample request form as shown below which they can fax, email or mail.

 BTN Buyers Guide Sample Form

Enter Your Brands Now >>

Early Bird Special Till October 31st, 2014 ($400 Per Brand).

Click Here For More Info about BTN Guide USA 2015. 


How to use Twitter for your Wine Business and Marketing
21 August, 2014

BeverageTradeNetwork.com looks at Beginner and Advanced strategies on how Wineries can maximize their exposure on Twitter and connect with the people that matter.

 
Photo for: How to use Twitter for your Business and Marketing

 

Since it’s induction, Twitter has become a huge player in any modern Internet marketing campaign. From connecting with customers to negotiating new partners, Twitter is an indispensable tool for any Winery looking to expand.

Communicating on Twitter

Twitter offers four different ways to communicate with other members on its platform. All are very similar, but each has its on use. Let’s take a look at how to take full advantage of them.

1. Tweeting

Twitter Marketing For Wineries Screen Shot


Image: This screenshot shows you what a twitter message box looks like.

Mastering a successful tweet is easy. They are the most basic function of Twitter and understanding the various ways to utilize them is a must. First and Foremost, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Attaching Pictures to tweets is a great way to interact with your followers and the twitter community. Just click on the camera button in the message box and Twitter will prompt you to add a photo from your computer.
  • Adding your location can help you connect with other people nearby. Just click on the pin button beside the camera and Twitter will do the rest.
  • Including Links in your tweets is an easy way to connect your twitter account to pictures and messages from outside sources.
  • Tweets can only be 140 characters and every link or picture you add uses approximately 20 characters. Make sure to plan your tweets accordingly!

Use the Tweet function to post news, events, ideas and whatever else that you want to share with your community. Make your messages fun and interactive and always try to connect with your following.

One of the most important features of the Tweet function is using the @ feature to send tweets directly to other twitter accounts.

Using Twitter Wineries

Image: This screenshot shows you how to use the messaging feature of a tweet.

By using somebody’s twitter name, for example @BeverageTrade, at the start of your tweet you are instructing Twitter that your message is intended for that members twitter feed. This allows for easy conversations between you and your followers and keeps the exposure of your tweet down.

You can also ‘Mention’ somebody in your tweets by putting their twitter name in the body of your tweet. This feature is very similar to the above example, but in this case the tweet is much more public. Use this feature if you want everybody to know what you have to say to one of your followers.

 

2. Retweet

RT for wineries


Image: This screenshot shows you what a Retweet message box looks like.

Retweeting is a quick and easy way to share interesting news or messages that you found on other twitter member feeds, on your HOME feed or on your DISCOVER feed. When you Retweet you are sharing some one else’s tweet with your followers and helping them find what they might not necessarily have found on their own.

 

3. Reply

Twitter’s Reply feature allows you to respond to a tweet that you find interesting. They are a convenient way to get in contact whoever posted the tweet and tell them how you feel about what they had to say. They are also a great way to reply to a tweet in which you have been mentioned.

twitter marketing for wine brands


Image: This screenshot shows how you can keep a running conversation going with the Reply function.

 

4. Direct Message (DM)

Using Direct Messages is the most private way to communicate with your followers, but for first time Twitter users they are a bit tricky to find:


Read more on How to do twitter for your wine business


Who Is The Most Important Person In Your Supply Chain?
19 August, 2014

BTN writes about the most important person in your supply chain and explains the role of that person. Its not the winemaker or brewmaster.

It is your sales rep. Or your distributor's sales rep (The US Distribution Model is 3 Tier). Basically, the person pitching your brand to the retailer.


Why is the sales representative selling your brand the most important person you have in your sales and supply chain?
In a process format --

1. A Wine Maker, Brewer or an Entrepreneur has an idea of the product they are going to make. They put all their passion and energies in to making this product.

2. The Export Manager / Business Development Manager or Sales Manager work very hard to try and obtain importers or distributors for their brands.

3. The product comes to the distributor's warehouse and then the sales reps get briefed about it in their 'Friday meeting’.

4. The Sales Rep takes the new beer sample from the cooler or the sample bottle of that new wine or spirit or beverage and puts the bottle in his/her car and starts the Monday morning route

Let’s pause here and consider a few factors here



Giving You Full Access To Buying Leads, Brokers and BTN Academy.

Contact Importers and Distributors.

BTN Premium gives you full access to all Buying Leads. Buying Leads are buying requirements that are posted by licensed importers and distributors them selves. Each Buying Lead is verified by BTN.

Generate Leads By Getting Priority Listing in Selling Leads

When importers and distributors search for new brands, brands of BTN Premium members will have better chances to appear at the top of search results. This gives your products maximum exposure and significantly increases the likelihood of you receiving a distribution inquiry from a importer or a distributor. BTN will also post your brands as Selling Leads, manage them and promote them on leading social media networks.


 CLICK TO ENLARGE

 

Grow Your Network By Connecting With Brokers.

Access to all Broker Leads on BTN. Broker Leads is a directory listing of Wine Brokers, Spirits Brokers and Beer Brokers. BTN Premium members will be able to view all the contact information about Brokers and contact them directly.

Full Access to BTN Academy.

Browse our knowledge based articles in BTN Academy on the Beverage Industry. Reserved for BTN Premium Members, our premium articles are in depth studies on Marketing, Distribution, and Sales but we have a large selection of free content.

 

Our partners

Beverage

Grow With BTN Premium.

Cancel Anytime. 100% Money Back Guarantee
Questions? Call +1 901 BTN LIVE (USA). 9am-6pm Monday-Friday, ES

BTN

Title Name Email Phone
Adam Smith Accounts Manager adam@beveragetradenetwork.com
Zach Milne-Haverty CTO zach@beveragetradenetwork.com

 

BTN Academy is the leading educational resource for wine, spirits and beer professionals.

Beverage Trade Network's Article Base

Learn from BTN Academy articles. Our premium articles are in depth studies on Marketing, Distribution, and Sales.

Browse our BTN Academy

  • Get practical industry based knowledge and insights.
  • Avoid costly mistakes.
  • Jump ahead of a long learning curve as a start-up.
  • Stay in the know with regulatory and legal updates.
  • Learn about sales and distribution strategies and grow your business.

Who Is The Most Important Person In Your Supply Chain?

20/08/2014 |BTN writes about the most important person in your supply chain and explains the role of that person. Its not the winemaker or brewmaster.


Photo for: Extending and Stretching: 12 Things to Consider When Expanding your Beverage Brand's Line-up.

Extending and Stretching: 12 Things to Consider When Expanding your Beverage Brand's Line-up.

16/08/2014 |In this article BTN helps you answer them and takes a look at how to successfully expand your brand's line-up.


Photo for: Get Ready For Holiday Programming: 10 Lean Marketing To Get Your Going

Get Ready For Holiday Programming: 10 Lean Marketing To Get Your Going

15/08/2014 |Tips on your spirits, beer and wine marketing for holiday sales season and how you can get maximum benefit from this unique consumer mindset?

Photo for: How to Sell Your Brand To Online Retail Channels.

How to Sell Your Brand To Online Retail Channels.

12/08/2014 |Insights and tips for suppliers looking to sell their brands to online retail partners.


Photo for: Overcoming the Top 11 Objections from Beverage Retailers in your Sales Meeting.

Overcoming the Top 11 Objections from Beverage Retailers in your Sales Meeting.

Favorite

09/08/2014 |Convincing retailers to carry your product means fielding countless questions and overcoming reservations about your brand. Here are the top 11 objections that you should be ready to answer.


Photo for: How to Pitch the UK's Largest Retailer: Getting Your Beer, Wine and Spirits into Tesco.

How to Pitch the UK's Largest Retailer: Getting Your Beer, Wine and Spirits into Tesco.

08/08/2014 |How should brand owners start developing their sales pitch to Tesco? What are some essential points that are necessary to cover when you meet with Tesco?


Photo for: Building a Cult-Like Following For Your Brand

Building a Cult-Like Following For Your Brand

08/08/2014 |BTN Takes a look at How to Build a Loyal Fan Base for your Craft Beer, Wine, Spirits and Non-Alcoholic Beverage Brands.


Photo for: China Uncovered: Interview With One Of The Largest Wine Importers In China

China Uncovered: Interview With One Of The Largest Wine Importers In China

30/07/2014 |BTN gets answers from one of the largest importer in China on questions like What are the 3 main factors that importers consider when picking up a new winery? Top 5 support programs that wine importers expect.


Photo for: Supporting Your Brand In Your Customer's Crowded Portfolio

Supporting Your Brand In Your Customer's Crowded Portfolio

30/07/2014 |BTN looks into basic programming and incentives that can be used to drive your brand in the distribution channel.


Photo for: How To Pitch Your Brand In National Restaurant Chains

How To Pitch Your Brand In National Restaurant Chains

30/07/2014 |The key to making on-premise retail calls is preparation and planning. A good salesperson knows time is limited with chain buyers.

Source new wine, beer and spirits globally on BTN with Buying Leads - The ultimate platform dedicated to Industry Buyer Needs.

 
 CLICK TO ENLARGE

A seamless and cost-efficient platform for buyers in the wine, beer and spirits industry.

Each lead gives you, the buyer, the opportunity to post a thorough description of the product you are looking for. Get started and Source::

  • Craft Spirits
  • 90+ wineries
  • Craft Breweries
  • Innovative brands with unique packaging
  • Private Label contract suppliers

(only for licensed importers and distributors)

Post your Buying Leads and get sourcing now.

 

 
 BTN helps great broker firms and agents get more business

Networking

Grow Your Brand

BTN offers experienced brokers and agents like you a platform to showcase your services and expertise. Get listed onBroker Leads and be seen globally.

Generate Leads

Find New Brands Looking For Help

Suppliers can search brokers by compensation, skill, territory covered. Suppliers interested in your services will contact you helping you generate qualified leads.

Brokers Enterprise on BTN

Track Your Performance

Our easy-to-use tools help you manage your leads from first contact to close, optimize your marketing, and make smarter decisions about your business.

Join the world's largest wine, spirits and broker network.

It all starts by creating your broker profile on BTN. 

Create Your Profile

 

Grow your distribution by connecting with buyers, building your broker representation network, educating yourself with BTN Article base and promoting your brands in front of importers and distributors.

 

Grow Your Network By Connecting With Brokers.

Access to all Broker Leads on BTN. Broker Leads is a directory listing of Wine Brokers, Spirits Brokers and Beer Brokers. BTN Premium members will be able to view all the contact information about Brokers and contact them directly.

 
 

Generate Leads By Getting Priority Listing in Selling Leads

When importers and distributors search for new brands, brands of BTN Premium members will have better chances to appear at the top of search results. This gives your products maximum exposure and significantly increases the likelihood of you receiving a distribution inquiry from a importer or a distributor. BTN will also post your brands as Selling Leads, manage them and promote them on leading social media networks.

 

 

 

 

 

Contact Importers and Distributors.

BTN Premium gives you full access to all Buying Leads. Buying Leads are buying requirements that are posted by licensed importers and distributors them selves. Each Buying Lead is verified by BTN.

 

 

 

 

 

Learn from BTN Academy.

Browse our Article base to find informative articles on the Beverage Industry. Reserved for BTN Premium Members, our premium articles are in depth studies on Marketing, Distribution, and Sales but we have a large selection of free content.

 

Source. Connect. Grow. Tools To Grow Your Beverage Business.

Get Started