If you've followed the alcohol industry for any length of time, you know that large distributors are continuing to consolidate every year. In the past, consolidations led to small producers getting dropped, independent retailers having less diversity to choose from, and consumers becoming frustrated by the lack of options. Now, for the first time in history, the little guys have reason to be hopeful.
Take a moment to think about the ballpark prices of alcohol. Do you know how much a bottle of Meiomi Pinot Noir should cost? A handle of Ketel One Vodka? A 12 pack of Coors Light? Were your answers around $20, $40, and $10?
Now, how much should a bottle of Ideology Chardonnay cost? You probably have no idea. You've probably never heard of it. Or better yet, your customers have never heard of it. This 2014 Chardonnay from Napa Valley, with beautiful packaging, is available in your store only. Your customers can't go compare the price of this wine at Costco, or Target, or Walmart. So you add a 50% margin, retail it for $20 a bottle, and sell out in two weeks.
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to blind price wines.
2017 was all about Direct-to-Consumer sales, but 2018 is about Direct-to-Trade (DTT). Unlike DTC, Direct-to-Trade sales still operate within the highly regulated Three-tier System. But DTT isn't your everyday approach to wholesale; it gives Buyers and Sellers much more freedom. So, what exactly is 'Direct-to-Trade'?