Are Vending Machines the Bartenders of the Future?

Your vacation has started and you’re ready for a glass of bubbly to celebrate. The days of waiting for a bartender to serve you a drink are over. Now, customers can simply walk over to a vending machine.

This vending machine doesn’t serve candy or bags of chips, but personal-sized bottles of champagne. Others disperse bottled beer or canned cocktails.

Customers are willing to pay up for the benefit of shorter lines and something interesting to Instagram. Some are willing to spend as much as $25 for a 200 mL champagne bottle that would be only $11 in a liquor store.

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Brands Try New Strategies to Beat the Winter Sale Chill

With the holidays behind consumers and colder temperatures holding steady, alcohol sales typically decrease during the first part of the year.

The holiday months typically account for 30% of all sales of wine and spirits brands, which totals about $250 billion a year. Alcohol purchases peak in November, accounting for 37% of all purchases, according to Bev Spot. Then sales dip at the end of January into February. Come summer, sales increase again.

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Before Collecting Grapes, Winemakers Are Collecting Data

If you go to Napa Valley’s Vineyard 29 and walk around the crops, the grapes almost look like they’re in bandages. But the bandage is actually a water-measuring device that sends the results to a computer. The data helps take the guesswork out of assessing whether the grapes are healthy. It makes the wine better and helps produce stronger vintages.

Winemakers are collecting as much data as they can to help create better production. The processes include drones flying in the sky to measure reflectance rates and software to measure the control tanks connected to those water-measuring bandages. (more…)

Brands, Liquor Stores See Sales Surge With Alcohol Delivery Apps

3D rendering smartphone with display emitting neon violet pink blue holographic symbol of wine bottle icon on dark background with blurred reflectionThe days of the milkman may be long gone…but the alcohol delivery days are just getting started.

Customers don’t even need to talk to someone to order their favorite Malbec or gin. On-demand apps, such as the booming Drizly, enable consumers to order alcohol delivered to their front door as quickly as within an hour in some major cities. With 80% of all drinking taking place off-premises, according to LEK Insights, getting alcohol from an app is a convenient and easy way to drink at home.

Drizly, which has made $67 million to date, reported a 700% year-over-year sales increase, so if liquor stores and brands are not on the app, they’re missing a huge revenue opportunity. (more…)

Data from Above: How Drones are Helping Vineyards Save Money and Make Better Wine

The buzzing you hear in a vineyard is not coming from bees or any other insect, it’s the sound of a drone in the sky.

In a world where climate change ravages crops and prices generally keep rising, winemakers are saving money, fighting climate change, and saving time all through the use of drones.

Drones are driving down the cost of pesticides, fertilizer, and labor. They even help save water. Drones analyze the needs and health of crops when climate change is making them more unpredictable. Overall, drones help winemakers save time, and the wine is better because them. (more…)

The Thirst For Premium Gin Is High, And So Are Sales

premium ginA staggering 402 new gin brands have entered the spirits market since May 2016, 367 of which are premium brands.

Gin sales produced about $2.89 million in the United States in 2019, according to Statisa. Gin consumption in 2018 grew faster than any other spirit or alcoholic beverage, according to Fortune. The market is expected to continue to grow another 1.5% by 2023.

“Focusing on the craft and quality aspect of gin will encourage consumers to trade-up to buy better quality gin as a special treat for themselves,” William Grant & Sons predicted in a statement. William Grant sells Hendrick’s Gin.

While the thirst for premium gin is high, brands are still working to ensure their brand stands out. They’re experimenting with everything from flavors to colors to ensure it does.

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How Your Company Can Capitalize on the Carbonated Drink Bubble

If you’re at a bar and look around at the patrons, you might be surprised to find most of them holding an orange drink in their hand. At bachelorette parties, smiling women stare at the camera, holding skinny silver cans.

The cocktail bar patrons are drinking Aperol Spritzes and the bachelorette attendees are sipping spiked seltzers. Both groups are gravitating toward carbonated alcoholic beverages and sales in this category are spiking. Aperol sales are up 25% and the spiked seltzer market is valued at $550 million.

It’s hard to ignore that for consumers, bubbles are no longer just for champagne.

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How Low-Alcohol Could Result In Higher Sales For The Beverage Industry

As the New Year begins, many consumers will be drinking less. Terms such as “Dry January,” meaning a month of no alcohol, have gained popularity for people looking to swear off alcohol after too many holiday parties.

But this shift toward drinking less is not reserved just to January. As Millenials continue to make up a larger segment of alcohol consumers, this health-focused group is reaching for low- or no-alcohol wines in a trend called “mindful drinking.”

This is a rising trend that smart distributors won’t ignore. (more…)

10 Wine and Spirits Trends for 2020

The new “roaring ’20s” are nearly upon us, and this time they will look very different than they did last century, especially for the wine and spirits industry in the United States.

When 1920 started, so did Prohibition. But as 2020 starts, the wine and spirits industry is booming more than ever. So what will the next decade hold? So far the themes appear to be classic wine, canned cocktails, and technology.

We’ve compiled your guide to the top-10 trends to look forward to in 2020 and beyond as we enter this new decade. (more…)

Cocktails Get a New Ingredient: Wine

When ordering a cocktail at a bar, customers are used to the main ingredient being a liquor such as gin, vodka, or tequila.

But more and more often, wine is being used to create a new drink of choice for customers, lower the alcohol content of cocktails, and enable bartenders to cut back on pouring too much straight liquor.

“When used in cocktails, wines reduce the need to add excessive amounts of alcohol (that can make a drink too boozy) and can add a softer sweetness than syrups,” said a report by Southern Glazer, the US’ largest distributor of drinks.

According to Forbes, 23% of bartenders said they’d use rosé in their cocktails. With rosé sales up 48% from last year, capitalizing on the popularity of the popularity of it and other wines makes sense for brands and bartenders.

Wine is getting new life as a cocktail ingredient – and no, we don’t just mean just spritzes. Let’s look at why. (more…)