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Distilled Dispatch February 7, 2017

 

February 7, 2017 | Volume 2, Issue 2
 
Kraig Naasz

President’s Perspective: Trending in a Positive Direction


We were pleased to present a very positive assessment of the distilled spirits sector’s continued growth and increased market share at today’s Annual Economic Briefing in New York City.  Sponsored by The Spirited Funds/WSKY ETF, our briefing was presented to a packed audience of business media and Wall Street analysts.
 
Overall, supplier sales were up 4.5 percent in 2016, volumes were up 2.4 percent and we achieved a seventh straight year of market share gains relative to beer.  American whiskey in particular continued to captivate U.S. consumers with revenues up 7.7 percent and volumes up 6.8 percent. 

A few other notable categories that performed exceptionally well in the U.S. market were Cognac with sales growth of 15.3 percent and generating $1.5 billion in revenue; Irish Whiskey jumping 19.8 percent and generating $795 million; and Tequila up 7.5 percent and generating $2.5 billion.  The largest spirits category, Vodka, also experienced solid growth with sales reaching $6 billion.

Consumer fascination with cocktail culture around the world remained an important growth driver in 2016.  Total U.S. spirits export volumes increased 6.8 percent in 2016, driven largely by American whiskey, which increased 10.2 percent.   

Perhaps the most encouraging takeaway from our briefing is there’s still plenty of room to capture increased market share as we trend upward toward historic levels of spirits consumption.  It truly is a good time to be in the spirits business and we look forward to a successful 2017.  Cheers!
 
 

Distilled Spirits Council Partners with FDA for an Education Tour to Learn about Our Operations

The Distilled Spirits Council recently hosted a tour of several distilleries in Kentucky for a team of FDA officials, including now Acting FDA Commissioner Stephen Ostroff, M.D. and Jenny Murphy, consumer safety officer in FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine.  

The primary purpose of the tour was to educate the FDA on our operations, including by-products of the distilling process, such as spent grains used in animal food. 

The Council’s Spent Grains Task Force arranged tours of the Woodford Reserve, Wild Turkey, Booker Noe and Clermont distilleries, and provided our industry an opportunity to demonstrate our commitment to food safety.   

The Council extends its appreciation to the Spent Grains Task Force comprised of Kevin Smith of Brown-Forman, Luke Adam of Beam Suntory, Doug Knopf of Campari America, Kenny McConkey of Diageo, and David Whitmer of MGP Ingredients, Inc.  Please see the FDA’s blog post and Flickr page.

For more information, please contact the Council’s General Counsel Lynne Omlie at (202) 682-8824 or lomlie@distilledspirits.org

Jenny Murphy, a consumer safety officer in FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine, with a handful of dried spent grain at the Wild Turkey distillery.
Acting FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen Ostroff examines grains from the distilling process.
FDA’s Jenny Murphy discusses the distilling process with Wild Turkey Master Distiller Jimmy Russell.

Whiskey Ball Hottest Ticket During Inaugural Week

The Council hosted a highly-successful event for administration officials, key congressional staff, affiliated trade association leaders and members of the media in conjunction with the Presidential Inauguration.  Co-hosted by the National Restaurant Association and the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers Association, the event drew a capacity crowd and earned the distinction of having been called the hottest inaugural ticket in town by Politico.

For more information, please contact Council Senior Vice President of Public Affairs Frank Coleman at (202) 682-8840 or fcoleman@distilledspirits.org.

The Whiskey Ball featured a tasting table of high-end whiskeys from around the world.
Distilled Spirits Council President & CEO Kraig R. Naasz with Kristen Bodenstedt of Bacardi USA.
Council Senior Vice President for Public Affairs Frank Coleman with reporters Megan Wilson of The Hill and Amy Harder of the Wall Street Journal.
International

Council Partners with Virginia Distillers to Stop Tax Increase

The Virginia Senate Finance Committee recently voted unanimously to indefinitely table legislation to levy a 1 percent sales tax on spirits sales at state ABC stores.  The Council joined forces with the newly-formed Virginia Distillers Association to oppose the measure, and earlier this month convened a series of meetings with and co-hosted a reception for key legislators in the state capitol.  Council President & CEO Kraig R. Naasz and Council Vice President of State Government Relations David Wojnar held a dinner with the board of the Virginia Distillers Association last week, which also featured newly-elected Mayor of Richmond Levar Stoney.

For more information, please contact Council Vice President of State Government Relations David Wojnar at (774) 417-6909 or dwojnar@distilledspirits.org.
 

Council President & CEO Kraig R. Naasz with Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney and the newly-formed Virginia Distillers Association.

House and Senate Members Introduce Legislation to Reduce Federal Excise Tax 

U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) recently introduced S. 236, an updated version of their federal excise tax (FET) reduction bill and U.S. Reps. Erik Paulsen (R-Minn.) and Ron Kind (D-Wisc.) introduced companion legislation in the House.  Similar measures gained majority support in both the House and Senate during the last Congress.  The sponsors noted that a reduction in the FET will result in consumers benefiting from greater choice and allow businesses to invest in product development, improve infrastructure and stimulate employment in communities across the country. 

The Council will continue to work with our fellow beverage alcohol associations to advance the legislation.

For more information, please contact Council Senior Vice President for Government Relations Mark Gorman at (202) 682-8866 or mgorman@distilledspirits.org.

International

Council Hosts Burns Night Media Scotch Supper with Scottish Affairs Office

The Distilled Spirits Council recently partnered with the British Embassy’s Scottish Affairs office on a Burns Night Scotch Supper for top-tier media at the Norwood Club in New York.  Attendees included reporters and editors from Fortune, Forbes, CNN Money, Financial Times, Men’s Journal, Daily Telegraph, The Street, the Editor-in-Chief of Whisky Advocate and others.  The stars of the evening were the rare Scotches that were paired with haggis and poetry. 

For more information, please contact Council Senior Vice President of Public Affairs Frank Coleman at (202) 682-8840 or fcoleman@distilledspirits.org.

International

U.S. Distillers Secure Nearly $400,000 In New Export Sales to Europe

The Distilled Spirits Council last fall brought more than 20 distillers to participate in the Bar Convent Berlin (BCB), which is one of Europe’s largest and fastest-growing bar shows for industry executives, buyers, distributors, mixologists and others involved in the beverage alcohol trade.

The Council to date has recorded nearly $400,000 in new export sales directly resulting from contracts made during the 2016 Berlin show. Over the past four years, the Council’s promotions at BCB have generated an estimated $3.3 million in new export sales. 

For more information, please contact Council International Trade Specialist Robert Maron at (202) 682-8826 or rmaron@distilledspirits.org.
 

International

Distilled Spirits Council Announces Partnership with Women of the Vine & Spirits

The Distilled Spirits Council last week announced a new partnership with Women of the Vine & Spirits™ designed to support women in the beverage alcohol sector by providing opportunities for career growth and personal development.  Council President & CEO Kraig R. Naasz will moderate a panel at Third Annual Women of the Vine & Spirits Global Symposium in Napa Valley, March 13-15.  The Council also submitted 11 staff members for membership in Women of the Vine & Spirits. 

Women of the Vine & Spirits™ is a membership-based alliance that empowers and equips women worldwide to advance their careers in the alcohol beverage industry.

For more information, please contact Council Vice President of Public Affairs Lisa Hawkins at (202) 682-8840 or lhawkins@distilledspirits.org.
 
 

 
UPCOMING EVENTS
Calendar

February 23
Distilled Spirits Council
Annual Board Meeting
Palm Beach, Fla.
 
March 2
WhiskyFest 2017
Washington, D.C.
 
March 8-9
The Shanken 41st Annual Impact Marketing Seminar
New York, N.Y.
 
March 13-15
Third Annual Women of the Vine & Spirits Global Symposium
Napa Valley, Calif.

 
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