What’s on at 2017 USATT 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.

USA Trade Tasting

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. Unique and Innovative Products Pavilion: USA Trade Tasting will be promoting ‘Unique and Innovative Products’ (UIP) at the 2017 show from all over the world to US Buyers.

USA Trade Tasting

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

5. 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

Book your exhibitor spot by January 20 and Get 2 Free Conference Tickets With Your Exhibitor Spot


Wine shipments into US reach 400 million cases for Calendar 2016. Beer, Wine, and Spirits all show growth.

For twelve months ending December, the bw166 Total Beverage Alcohol Overview shows total consumer spending on beverage alcohol at $233.5 billion, an increase of 4.2% and a slight deceleration from the 4.7% growth in 2015. The bw166 Total Beverage Alcohol Index, the standard in measuring overall consumption, stands at 119.98, a 1.28% increase over the prior twelve months.

Beer volumes entering the market were 209.3 Million Barrels, up 1.31% over twelve months but are down -1.06% over three months.  The growth is primarily driven by imports from Mexico.
Spirits volumes entering the market were 221.3 Million 9L Cases, up 1.92% over twelve months and up 1.80% over three months. This compares to growth of only .57% in 2015. Tequila has shown very strong growth throughout the year, up 7.37%.

Wine volumes (including Cider) entering the market were 423.2 Million 9L Cases, up 1.92% over twelve months.   Cider for the year is off -14.48%.  Wine excluding Cider reached 399.6 Million 9L cases, up 3.1%.  Sparkling Wines have been the the segment with the fastest growth, up 13.55%

Overall consumer goods sales for the last twelve months through December in relevant channels are as follows:

  • Supermarkets & Grocery Stores: +1.86%
  • Beer, Wine and Liquor Stores: +3.24%
  • Warehouse Clubs & Supercenters: +0.54%
  • Full Service Restaurants and Drinking Places: +6.17%.

For the year the CPI increase for Beverage Alcohol off premise is +0.84%,  The CPI increase for Beverage Alcohol on premise is +2.15%.

The bw166 Total Beverage Alcohol Overview Report tracks all tax paid shipments into the US market including domestic products, packaged imports and bulk imports.  The reports also track total consumer spending on beverage alcohol in both the on and off premise channels.

Source : BW166

Book your exhibitor spot by January 20 and Get 2 Free Conference Tickets With Your Exhibitor Spot


Why Distribution Is So Important in Telling Your Story to the Media?

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.

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

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.

Hear the answer to this question at 6:50 minutes

Book your exhibitor spot by January 20 and Get 2 Free Conference Tickets With Your Exhibitor Spot


How To Get Your Story Noticed By the Wine and Spirits Trade Media

As part of the Press Panel of the 2016 USA Trade Testing Conference, four panel participants – W.R. Tish of Beverage Media Group, David Ransom of The Tasting Panel and SOMM Journal, Gregg Glaser of Modern Distillery Age and Felicity Carter of Meininger’s Wine Business International – discussed potential strategies that up-and-coming wine and spirits brands can use to get their stories told by the trade media.

As Ransom points out, it’s absolutely critical to know whom you’re pitching to. Every different publication – whether it’s a magazine or a blog – has a slightly different editorial focus. For wine brands, it’s critical to understand this focus and then adapt their focus accordingly. For example, says Ransom, SOMM Journal has a focus on regions, wines and the stories behind them; in contrast, The Tasting Panel focuses on exposing readers to new products.

However, that doesn’t mean that a wine brand should attempt to be all things to all people in an effort to gain attention from the trade media. Instead, suggests Tish, every brand can have one core story and then adapt it for different media outlets. That means creating a nuanced story that has been tailored to a very specific set of readers.

As an example, Tish says, if you’re pitching Beverage Media Group, you need to focus on the distribution part of your story. And if you’re pitching to a local media outlet, your focus will be different than if you’re pitching to a national media outlet. With each new media source you are targeting, you can then simply adapt and tailor your core story as needed.

But don’t try to cast too wide a net, suggests Glaser. Even though he specifically focuses on the spirits industry, he says he’s deluged with press releases and pitches from wine and beer brands. The reality, he says, is that too many brands simply buy a “media list” and then fire off emails or letters to every source on that list, without really considering if there’s a good fit or not.

Having what Glaser refers to as a “hyper-focus” is much more effective than attempting to blanket the trade media with your story. That “hyper-focus” will also keep you from wasting your time with media sources that just aren’t the appropriate fit for your brand.

Finally, says Carter, there’s one key question that you should ask yourself as a wine brand before reaching out to the media: “Why will readers care about this?” Carter emphasizes that asking this question will help to align the expectations of the brand with the interests of the readers. That, she says, will naturally lead to the angle that you should pursue with the media source. “It’s obvious why brand owners care,” she says, “but why should my readers care?”

In short, having a great story is important, but it’s not the only factor to consider. It’s also important to keep in mind which media outlets will be the best places to read this story, and which aspects of your stories will appeal to specific audiences. By taking time to understand the editorial focus of a publication, personalizing your story and pitch, and taking time to consider your story from the perspective of the reader, you can maximize your chances of getting press coverage.

Hear the answer to this question at 2:50 minutes

Book your exhibitor spot by January 20 and Get 2 Free Conference Tickets With Your Exhibitor Spot



What the top beverage brands do on Instagram and how to follow suit

Three campaigns spring to mind when we think of what one can do to emulate the success of top beverage brands on Instagram.

PepsiCo’s Lipton Brisk brand took advantage of the South by Southwest festival. They created a hashtag for users to share their photos under and the winning photo would then appear on 4,000 cans to be distributed at the festival. Rather than appealing to the masses, they directly appealed to the right consumer.


There can be no argument: Starbucks is a top beverage brand. Look at Instagram and see just how many #starbucks photos there are. That is free advertising. They change things up, too, though. They created a #5more tag, encouraging users to share how they would spend just 5 more minutes of summer.

Red Bull kicked it up a notch. Their followers were the very first to hear Coldplay at Red Bull’s Soundspace studio. They also ran a photo contest publicly challenging an Instagram user to a race to gain followers. The agreement was that the winner got to post a picture on the loser’s account.

There is one thing that all of these campaigns had in common: engagement.
Mike’s Hard Lemonade proved earlier this year that combining fun and an attempt at humor can go far. They introduced their new watermelon flavor on Instagram in May. The post featured a picture of the lemonade bottles in a basket, with a watermelon behind it and a cup of watermelon chunks next to it. The tagline was “The one in a melon taste is here”. It sounds cheesy, but it worked and was shared widely and racked up the comments, too.

Coca-Cola has it’s brand image down pat and uses Instagram to enhance just that. They highlight an image that is upbeat, spirited, invigorating and fun. This is consistent through print, media advertising and social media too. Their images on Instagram reflect the brand’s personality.

Where most brands are posting photos, Frooti, the highest selling fruit based drink in India stands apart by putting up creatively designed digital images. Each image is like a story and always re-enforces it’s main product.

Califia Farms makes excellent quality natural beverages but what is atypical about their brand is the packaging. And, they share that on Instagram in good measure. Their posts talk about what’s inside but also highlight the uniquely rounded shape of it’s bottle.

Now you can take advantage of Instagram’s newer Stories feature. Before stories the average brand posted around 10 times a week, and they limited their posting to avoid losing followers. In comparison, brands post around 26 times a week- so you can now increase your posting with Instagram stories

and not worry about over posting. Those brands only snap around 2 days a week, so they are sharing in short, sharp bursts. Utilize Instagram stories to tell isolated stories, share events, or sketches about future products.

When you’re telling a story, there has to be a purpose. Start with a hook, something that will capture attention and keep them watching, build anticipation, tell the story, and sign off letting users know when you’ll post new content. A combination of pictures and videos is ideal.

Keep in mind the optimum posting times for beverage brands to post on the various social media platforms. For Instagram those times are between 9 and 10am EST, 12 and 1am EST and 10 and 11pm EST. The majority of the US population lives in the Central and Eastern Standard Time regions so you’re capturing the peak times following these times. You can schedule your posts in advance, but don’t repeat the same content. Get creative.

So, how can wineries leverage Instagram Stories? We talk about 5 different ways in which wineries can use this feature to grow their business.[..]Continue Reading 



Book your exhibitor spot by January 20 and Get 2 Free Conference Tickets With Your Exhibitor Spot



Get Ready for USA Trade Tasting 2017

USATT 2017If 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 2017

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

USATT 2017

How 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.


USATT 2017USATT 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  

USATT 2017

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 2017

Book your exhibitor spot by January 20 and Get 2 Free Conference Tickets With Your Exhibitor Spot