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Distilled Dispatch February 23, 2016

 
 
Kraig Naasz

President’s Perspective


Welcome to Distilled Dispatch, the new twice-monthly Distilled Spirits Council newsletter. We hope to bring topics of interest to you and your company, so if you would like to add others to our mailing list, click here.

The Distilled Spirits Council held its 12th annual briefing for media and Wall Street analysts earlier this month in New York City, which was attended by 50 representatives of the media and two dozen analysts.

The annual briefing serves as an important opportunity to set the agenda for the rest of the year—and our message is that distilled spirits sales are strong across the board. Similar to the last few years, the biggest driver is the boom in American whiskeys. Interest in premium products across diverse categories such as Tequila and Cognac is another great story that we will continue to pursue.

Our briefing generated more than 130 articles thus far, including stories by the Associated Press, ABC News, CBS News, Fortune, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle and Seattle Times, totaling more than 200 million impressions. Additionally, our briefing received broadcast coverage in three dozen local television and radio markets including Chicago; Cleveland; Detroit; Las Vegas; Louisville; Milwaukee; Nashville; New York; Orlando; Philadelphia; San Francisco; and Washington, D.C. Notably, several international news outlets also participated, including China Daily, Kyodo News and Nikkei. A copy of the press release, which includes links to the presentation and category tables, is available here: Distilled Spirits Briefing.

In the past, we have seen stories driven by our economic data throughout the entire year and we expect that to continue in 2016. In addition, we are planning to add state data and do localized briefings where opportunities arise. Earlier this month, Chief Economist David Ozgo delivered the industry’s message in Colorado and made the case that if beer and wine are permitted to be sold in grocery stores, then spirits should also be available for purchase. Our efforts succeeded at generating positive statewide coverage in Colorado.

The nation’s fascination with distilled spirits has never been greater—and we look forward to driving that enthusiasm to greater heights in 2016.
 
 
 

TTB Issues Guidance on Kroger Program

The Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) recently responded to an inquiry by the Distilled Spirits Council and the Wine Institute regarding a program proposed by Kroger. At issue is whether the program violates the Federal Alcohol Administration Act and TTB regulations.

The letter, in combination with a separate ruling by TTB, strongly suggests that participating in the Kroger program would put participating suppliers at risk of violating their federal permits required to conduct business.

In addition, the Ohio Department of Commerce’s Division of Liquor Control stated in December 2015, that the Kroger program would violate the state’s tied house law and rules.

A joint statement from the Distilled Spirits Council and the Wine Institute is posted on our website.

For more information, please contact General Counsel Lynne Omlie at (202) 682-8824 or LOmlie@discus.org.

 
International

American Whiskeys Lead Export Growth

Now that full-year trade data for 2015 have been released, the trade numbers are even better than projected during our annual briefing. Overall spirits export volumes increased 4 percent in 2015, while American whiskey export volumes of Bourbon, Tennessee and Rye grew 5.4 percent due to growing consumer interest in these products around the globe.

Despite headwinds created from a strong dollar in key markets, revenue from export sales was slightly up at $1.565 billion. It was a strong fourth quarter that showed accelerated revenue growth, pushing revenue from U.S. exports into positive territory in the final numbers.

In 2016, the 10 markets to watch for U.S. export growth include: United Kingdom, Japan, Latvia, Panama, Vietnam, South Africa, China, Dominican Republic, Brazil and Taiwan.

In 2015, the top six export markets for all American distilled spirits by dollar value were United Kingdom ($231 million USD), Canada ($193.5 million USD), Germany ($130 million USD), Australia ($125.4 million USD), Japan ($110.2 million USD) and France ($87.8 million USD).

For more information, please contact Senior Vice President for International Trade Christine LoCascio at (202) 682-8894 or CLoCascio@discus.org.

 
Public Affairs

WSJ: Cocktails Sip Away at Beer’s Market Share

In the February 16 edition of the Wall Street Journal, reporter Tripp Mickle looks at how the distilled spirits category has been steadily gaining popularity due to a major cocktail renaissance, a return to television advertising and millennials of legal drinking age seeking out variety.

Be sure to read about the “remarkable comeback for liquor,” in the Wall Street Journal.

For more information, please contact Senior Vice President for Public Affairs Frank Coleman at 202-682-8840 or FColeman@discus.org.

 
Industry Relations
DISCUS President & CEO Kraig R. Naasz hosts his counterparts Bobby Koch (l) of the Wine Institute and Jim McGreevy (r) of the Beer Institute
 
UPCOMING EVENTS
Calendar

February 24-26
Distilled Spirits Council Annual Board Meeting
Palm Beach, Fla.


February 24
Whisky Live
New York, N.Y.


March 2
WhiskyFest
Washington, D.C.


March 2-3
ACSA Distillers Convention & Vendor Trade Show
Chicago, Ill.


March 5
Whisky Live
Washington, D.C.

 
 
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