About USATT Team

USA Trade Tasting (USATT) is an annual adult beverage trade specialist trade tasting and business conference being launched in order to promote sustainable growth in the independent beverage industry by helping boutique wineries, craft breweries, craft distilleries, importers, distributors, retailers and beverage companies learn, source and grow.

Make Your Wine Store a Lean, Mean, Selling Machine

Stephen Fahy of the Wine Library emphasized that producers always have to be thinking like a marketer. Wine brands, he said, need to take an activist approach to getting noticed within the U.S. marketplace. That means infusing your brand with passion and enthusiasm. And it also means staying one step ahead of what customers want in the marketplace, “Look for new angles, new perspectives, and new opportunities. Always.”

About Stephen Fahy: 

Stephen C. Fahy, DWS is the Sales Director and Senior Buyer at the Wine Library and is passionate about the business of direct-to-consumer wine education and the complete customer service experience. He has proven to be a specialist in finding and promoting a wide range of exciting wines from around the world, working directly with importers, distributors, and the wineries themselves. His palate is widely recognized by an ever-growing local, regional and national consumer base, due in large part to the extraordinary quality of the wines he selects to put on offer, and loves the excitement of the business, especially when his contagious enthusiasm spreads to others.

For more than a decade prior to Stephen’s role at the Wine Library, he managed and ran the wine retail programs for another key, large-scale wine merchants in both New Jersey and Manhattan. He also serviced and sold to some of Manhattan’s top restaurants and retailers while a Wine and Spirits Consultant with Winebow.

Stephen has been an active Adjunct Professor teaching “Concepts of the Sommelier” at Montclair State University. This three credit University course grounds students in the principles of wine tasting, key varietal and regional knowledge, and the service expectations of the wine professional in both on and off-premise settings. Stephen has also been actively consulting with the London-based research and business strategy firm, Wine Intelligence as a Research Associate specializing in the U.S. wine trade and consumer sector.

In 2011, Stephen earned his Diploma in Wine & Spirits (DWS), with Merit, from the Wine & Spirits Education Trust in London. He is the proud father of three girls and with his wife, enjoys the hustle and bustle of the Garden State where he lives, in northern New Jersey.

About USA Trade Tasting:

USATT is an annual show for retailers, sommeliers, bartenders, importers and distributors to network, learn and find new opportunities to grow.

Every year, the USATT Show brings together small and medium-sized importers, distributors, retailers and press professionals of the US wine, spirits and beer industry in New York City for 2 days of learning, buying and selling, networking and fun — all designed to help participants grow their bottom line. Visitor trade registrations are now open.

About the Event Organizer:
Beverage Trade Network (BTN) is a leading online marketing and B2B networking platform servicing suppliers, buyers and beverage professionals in the global beverage industry. BTN provides a selection of sourcing solutions for importers and distributors as well as an extensive range of marketing and distribution services for international suppliers. BTN also runs a line-up of B2B trade shows around the world. For more information about BTN, please visit www.beveragetradenetwork.com 

Exhibitor Super Early Bird Registrations for USATT 2018 are Now Open. Secure Your Best Price Now And Grow In the US Market. 

USATT 2018 Exhibitor Registration Now Open

After a blockbuster 2017 show that saw the attendance of over 130 exhibitors and 1,500 participants, the United States Trading Tasting Show is returning to New York City on May 15-16, 2018. With less than twelve months to go until this event, Beverage Trade Network, the organizers of the annual show, is opening up 2018 Super Early Bird Exhibitor Registration. By signing up now, potential exhibitors will receive a more than 30% discount on the overall price.

For participants in the wine and spirits industry looking to meet and connect with potential buyers, the annual USATT trade show has become the preeminent industry event in the United States. Not only do participants have the chance to connect with prominent buyers in the Grand Tasting Hall, they also have a chance to build word-of-mouth awareness of their specific brands throughout the action-packed two-day event.

The USATT 2018 show is already shaping up to be more dynamic and vibrant than the show in 2017, which featured the U.S. premiere of a major new Chinese wine brand, two days of informative workshops, well-attended wine masterclasses, TED-style conference discussions and an active flow of 1,500 attendees within the Grand Tasting Hall, where emerging wine and spirits brands were able to display new and innovative offerings.

The May 2018 show will include a World Whiskey Masterclass, an informative session on the rapidly expanding marijuana industry and hands-on sessions for mixologists, sommeliers and retail store professionals. And, as in preceding years, the event will include workshops led by top industry professionals, who are able to facilitate a real conversation among all tiers of the wine and spirits trade. One workshop (“Distribution Business 101”), for example, will focus on the insights, strategies, and tips needed to grow a U.S.-based distribution business.

For Super Early Bird exhibitors, signing up now means being able to guarantee a place at the premier networking event for wine and spirits professionals in the United States. “At the 2017 event, wine brands from emerging regions such as Portugal, South Africa, and Eastern Europe were able to meet face-to-face with buyers and distributors over a two-day period,” said Malvika Patel of Beverage Trade Network. “Next year, we have even more plans to make this a dynamic, one-of-a-kind show for exhibitors and visitors”

There is simply no better way to get exposure for a new brand looking to grow their distribution in the U.S. marketplace than by attending USATT 2018, and it is expected that Super Early Bird registration will fill quickly.

About the USA Trade Tasting Conference

Every year, the USATT show brings together small and medium-sized importers, distributors, retailers and media professionals of the U.S. wine, spirits and beer industry in New York City for two days of learning, buying, selling and networking. All the events are designed to help participants grow their bottom line. The event takes place at the Metropolitan Pavilion in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City.

Register Here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2018-usa-trade-tasting-exhibitor-registration-portal-registration-34759012141

About Beverage Trade Network

Beverage Trade Network is the leading platform dedicated to connecting the global beverage industry. In addition to New York, Beverage Trade Network also hosts events in London, Australia, and San Francisco.

For more information on attending USA Trade Tasting,

please contact Beverage Trade Network.

Telephone: +1 (855) 481-1112.

Email: info@usatradetasting.com.

Visit our website: www.usatradetasting.com.

Subscribe to our Blog: www.usatradetasting.com/blog.

Follow us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/usatradetasting

2018 Exhibitor Super Early Bird Registration Is Now Open. Secure Your Best Price Now And Grow In Us Market.

The New Brand Craft Phenomenon: An Even Better Future

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During his presentation at USATT 2017 (“The New Brand / Craft Phenomenon”), John Beaudette, President and CEO of MHW, Ltd., emphasized that “The perfect beverage alcohol storm is here.” And that growth is happening around the world, not just in the United States. There has been exploding growth in brands produced in the U.S. and around the world… Anyone connected to this industry in any capacity has a great opportunity to succeed.

About John Beaudette: 

Since 1995, John Beaudette has been President and CEO of MHW, Ltd. (formerly named Monsieur Henri Wines, Ltd.). From 1985 to 1994, Mr. Beaudette worked with PepsiCo Inc. and its affiliate company Monsieur Henri Wines in the distribution of Stolichnaya Vodka and other wine and spirit brands. During this period, Mr. Beaudette held positions such as Director of Planning for PepsiCo Wines & Spirits Intl. and VP of Finance & CFO of Monsieur Henri Wines, Ltd. Prior to joining PepsiCo, Mr. Beaudette was Manager of Accounting for Somerset Importers, Ltd., US importers of Tanqueray TM, Johnnie Walker TM, and other spirit brands.

He currently sits on the board of directors of The National Association of Beverage Importers Inc. (NABI) in Washington D.C., serving as Chairman and a member of its Executive Committee. In addition to being a well-recognized industry leader, John Beaudette is an international public speaker who has traveled the world, educating suppliers and government agencies about Brand Entry in the US & Navigating the Three Tier system.

About USA Trade Tasting:

USATT is an annual show for retailers, sommeliers, bartenders, importers and distributors to network, learn and find new opportunities to grow.

Every year, the USATT Show brings together small and medium-sized importers, distributors, retailers and press professionals of the US wine, spirits and beer industry in New York City for 2 days of learning, buying and selling, networking and fun — all designed to help participants grow their bottom line. Visitor trade registrations are now open.

About the Event Organizer: 
Beverage Trade Network (BTN) is a leading online marketing and B2B networking platform servicing suppliers, buyers and beverage professionals in the global beverage industry. BTN provides a selection of sourcing solutions for importers and distributors as well as an extensive range of marketing and distribution services for international suppliers. BTN also runs a line-up of b2b trade shows around the world. For more information about BTN, please visit www.beveragetradenetwork.com 

Exhibitor Super Early Bird Registrations for USATT 2018 are Now Open. Secure Your Best Price Now And Grow In Us Market.

Highlights from Day 2 of USATT 2017

After an exciting first day at the USATT 2017 conference that featured nearly 1,500 attendees, 138 exhibitors and the first-ever public U.S. tasting of wines from Chateau Rongzi in China, the second day continued with two new Master Classes, two VIP expert panels and a number of different speaker presentations focusing on how emerging brands can enter the U.S. wine and spirits market.

The second day kicked off with an interactive audience Q&A that focused on the specific problems and needs of foreign wine and spirits brands attempting to enter the U.S. market. The panel, moderated by Steve Raye of Bevology, featured Martin Sinkoff of Frederick Wildman, Michael Votto of Votto Vines, Michael Yurch of Blue Sky Group and Rob Bradshaw of Cape Classics. This group of experienced wine industry veterans shared their perspectives of what importers and distributors are really looking for when selecting a new brand for their portfolio.

As the panelists explained at the outset, importers and distributors get lots of cold calls, so you need to be interesting and stand out. As Rob Bradshaw pointed out, unique stories can instantly connect you with importers and distributors, so you need to make some kind of emotional bond with a buyer. Always have your story ready when talking with importers and distributors. Michael Votto emphasized that you always need to know what your specific category looks like in the U.S market and what your competitors are doing. And Martin Sinkoff suggested that you need to understand where your product fits within an importer’s portfolio.

Along the way, the panel’s participants fielded questions on everything from how global warming and climate change are impacting the wine industry to a discussion of new, non-traditional routes to navigate a very complex U.S. market. Michael Yurch noted that the bigger the distributor’s portfolio, the harder you have to work to become an important part of that portfolio. You need to be your own advocate. The difficulty, says Martin Sinkoff, is that, “The wine business is not one thing. It’s a very complex organism. Each retailer is looking for something different.” So you have to be constantly innovating.

The morning session also featured a Master Class on Portuguese wines, focusing on the wines of the Tejo region. Participants learned about Portugal’s winegrowing tradition and how the wines of the Tejo region are distinct. They also had a unique chance to sample some of the best wines from the region.

As on Day 1, the United States Trade Tasting 2017 event also featured a busy day on the showroom floor. Over 130 exhibitors from 20 countries showcased their products. Alongside wines from traditional wine producing countries like France and Italy were new wines from Eastern Europe (including Slovenia and Moldova), South Africa and China.

USATT 2017

In the afternoon session of the conference, participants had a chance to hear from Thomas Barfoed, Managing Director of JF Hillebrand USA, who discussed the “7 Ways That Brands Can Optimize Their Domestic and International Logistics.” For example, he discussed how small and mid-size brands can optimize their shipments to the U.S., what logistical factors might impact margins and pricing, and how different modes of transportation can impact your go-to-market strategy.

Gerry Schweitzer, the legendary marketing genius behind Leblon Cachaca, made a special appearance in the afternoon. He illustrated the right way to go about pitching a distributor, focusing on how to tell a convincing brand story. Your brand story, he says, has to be compelling, personal and easy to remember. It has to explain why your brand is unique and how to build your brand.

In some cases, as in the example of Leblon, you can own not just a category, but also the entire drink (as in the example of cachaca and the Brazilian caipirinha). Schweitzer provided plenty of relevant marketing examples from Leblon, including many tactics that today’s marketers might refer to as “guerilla marketing” (e.g. re-painting a DHL delivery truck as a hip and trendy cachaca delivery truck).

Richard Halstead, Chief Operating Officer of Wine Intelligence, then gave a talk on, “How to Win Retailers and Influence Them With Effective Merchandising and Programming.” He was joined on stage by Stephen Fahy of Wine Library, who was also a special guest during Day 1 of the event. The two talked about the best strategies and tactics for getting specialist retail stores to carry your specific product.

When thinking about specialist wine retailers that might carry your product, they suggested, it’s important to think in terms of two very different types of consumers – the consumers who are very brand-driven and the ones who are very “involved” and care a lot about how a specific product fits into their lifestyle. In general, these more involved consumers are younger, and they are starting to account for a larger and larger percentage of retail wine consumers.

Then, a press panel on “The Do’s and Don’ts For Getting Press Coverage For Your Brand in the USA” featured moderator Steve Raye of Bevology; Gregg Glaser, Publisher/Editor of Modern Distillery Age; William Tish, Managing Editor of Beverage Media; and David Spencer, Publisher, and Editor of iSante. The panel covered both the big picture view of how to generate media buzz for your product, as well as some of the granular details of marketing, such as how to prepare a pitch e-mail for editors of both online and offline publications.

The afternoon session concluded with a Beaujolais Master Class, in which participants had a chance to re-discover the light red wines of the Beaujolais wine region in France. The Master Class covered the unique characteristics of each of the Beaujolais Crus.

And, of course, the day ended with more activity on the main showroom floor. Even in the last hours of the event, importers and distributors were mingling with the exhibitors, looking for the perfect new product for their portfolio.

2018 Exhibitor Super Early Bird Registration Is Now Open. Secure Your Best Price Now And Grow In Us Market.

Highlights From USATT 2017

On May 16-17, the United States Trade Tasting (USATT) event brought together producers, importers, distributors and other industry professionals at the Metropolitan Pavilion in New York. Producers learned more about how to enter the competitive U.S. marketplace, while importers and distributors got an early look at some of the innovative brands and products potentially coming to the U.S. market.

The event, which featured more than 2,000 participants and 138 exhibitors from more than 20 countries, focused on helping emerging brands stand out and differentiate themselves within their product category.

Learning to tell your brand story

As many of the speakers at USATT 2017 pointed out over the course of two days, being able to tell a unique and dynamic brand story is especially important when it comes to attracting new importers, distributors, and retailers. If you’re not telling a unique brand story, you’re making it harder for suppliers and wholesalers to sell your product.

Chris Mehringer, President of Park Street, emphasized that brand differentiation had to be at the core of any marketing strategy. One way to do that is by creating “badge value,” in which brand can serve as a badge for people to communicate who they are and what they want to be.

Jonathan Newman,  Chairman, and CEO of Newman Wine talked about the 10 biggest factors that can help brands get picked up by national chains and large retailers. For example, he mentioned the value of creating point-of-sale (POS) materials that help retailers sell wine, as well as the importance of making the label look right. At the end of the day, the attractive packaging really matters.

Stephen Fahy of the Wine Library emphasized that producers always have to be thinking like a marketer. Wine brands, he said, need to take an activist approach to getting noticed within the U.S. marketplace. That means infusing your brand with passion and enthusiasm. And it also means staying one step ahead of what customers want in the marketplace, “Look for new angles, new perspectives, and new opportunities. Always.”

New and innovative products on display

At this year’s USATT 2017, there were different tasting sessions to help participants explore wines from up-and-coming wine regions. For example, on Day 1 Chateau Rongzi held a public tasting of its highly acclaimed wines from the Loess Plateau of China. This marked the first-ever public tasting of its wines in the United States. And on Day 2, show participants had a chance to attend a master class on the wines of the Tejo region of Portugal.

In the Grand Tasting hall, attendees had a chance to see many of the themes and trends emphasized in the speaker presentations in action. Walking around the buzzing showroom floor, participants could see some of the innovative new products coming soon to the U.S. market – such as wines from Portugal and Eastern Europe (Slovenia, Romania, Croatia, Moldova). premium rum and mezcal drinks from Latin America, spirits with new flavor and taste profiles, and wines and spirits with innovative new packaging.  Some of the brand’s people were buzzing about at the event included Vodquila, Get Hot Tequila, Bira, and LIQS cocktail shots.

Getting educated about how to enter the U.S. market

What made this year’s event so distinctive was how carefully the conference content was tailored to the specific needs of the U.S. market. Day 2 of the event, for example, featured a dynamic Q&A hosted by Steven Raye, President of Bevology. Members of the audience had a chance to ask one-on-one questions about building a successful brand to members of an expert panel: Martin Sinkoff of Frederick Wildman, Rob Bradshaw of Cape Classics and Michael Yurch of Blue Sky Group.

Participants asked a wide-ranging number of questions, touching on everything from how global warming will impact the wine industry, to how the growing legalization of marijuana could impact the future trajectory of the alcoholic beverage industry.

USATT - 2017

Later on Day 2 of the event, there was also an interactive panel with three prominent journalists from the wine and spirits industry: William Tish (Beverage Media), Gregg Glaser (Modern Distillery Age) and David Spencer (iSante). Audience members asked specific questions about how to get press attention, and what types of stories can attract media coverage.

And throughout the two-day event, there were speaker presentations on every aspect of bringing a new wine or spirits brand to market. Thomas Barfoed of JF Hillebrand, for example, discussed the logistics of bringing a product to the U.S. market from overseas. Being able to optimize your supply chain can have a dramatic impact on your brand’s bottom line.  And Donna Hartman, an attorney with OlenderFeldman, discussed the important legal points to keep in mind when drafting distribution agreements.

Final takeaways

If anything, the pace of innovation within the wine and spirits industry is accelerating, and that’s placing even more of an emphasis on staying ahead of key trends in the market. It’s no longer just enough to have a quality product. That’s now a necessary, but not sufficient, condition. You also have to have a compelling brand story and a true understanding of where your product might fit within an import portfolio and how it should be priced.

The general consensus of the show’s attendees, based on first-hand conversations with many of the exhibitors, is that this year’s USATT 2017 far exceeded expectations. USATT 2017 showcased a range of dynamic new brands and brought together these brands with importers and distributors to think creatively about how best to bring them to market. Watch this space for follow-ups on success stories from these brands ahead of USATT 2018!

2018 Exhibitor Super Early Bird Registration Is Now Open. Secure Your Best Price Now And Grow In Us Market.

Highlights from Day 1 of USATT 2017

Representatives from across the wine industry met in New York City on May 16 for the second annual United States Trade Tasting Show

USA_Trade_Tasting

The second annual United States Trade Tasting (USATT) conference kicked off on May 16 with more than 2,000 attendees and 138 exhibitors from more than 20 countries. As Steven Raye, President of Bevology, pointed out in the opening keynote, this year’s event is designed to give emerging wine and spirits brands a smarter way to enter the U.S. market by connecting them with importers and distributors and sharing best practices from across the industry.

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Brandy Rand, Vice President of IWSR (USA), led off the morning session with a review of some of the key trends in the marketplace today. Two of the hottest trends are “Premiumization” and “Category Blur” (the creation of new hybrid drinks as well as consumers who consume alcoholic beverages across categories). U.S. spirits are now an “affordable luxury” and IWSR is seeing tremendous growth in the premium and ultra-premium categories.

In order to stand out in the U.S. marketplace, Rand noted, some brands are adopting alternative packaging (such as wine in cans and boxes) and adopting marketing messaging that emphasizes their “artisanal” and “craft” origins. Among consumers, one new trend is a changing flavor profile that emphasizes “spicy/smoky/savory” rather than just “sweet,” which had been the previous trend. There has also been what IWSR refers to as the “Hispanic phenomenon,” which means greater popularity for categories like tequila, mezcal, and imported Mexican beers.

Some of these trends visitors were able to see directly on the USATT 2017 showroom floor, which opened at 11:00. For example, Vodquila is a new hybrid vodka and tequila drink created for tequila drinkers who want a smoother sipping experience. For many visitors, the highlight of the Grand Tasting in the first floor main hall was the ability to sample wines and spirits from all over the world, including products from up-and-coming wine regions like Lebanon, South Africa and China.

USA_Trade_Tasting

In the morning session, Chris Mehringer, President of Park Street, talked about the basics of building a long-term, sustainable business model for the U.S. market. As he pointed out, it’s important to have a realistic plan and sufficient resources before meeting up with distributors. Any go-to-market strategy needs to be market-driven, coherent, balanced and flexible. As part of this strategy, brands need to keep in mind how they can differentiate themselves in the marketplace and how they can create economies of scale.

USA_Trade_Tasting

Josh Wand, Founder of BevForce, explained how importers and distributors can build a strong sales force for the U.S. market. As Wand explained, it’s all about hiring the best team possible. Start off by hiring for passion and expertise and then establish challenging goals for this sales staff. He also outlined two of the keys to employee retention: offering fair market value compensation and building a healthy, positive sales culture. Attracting and retaining talent, he noted, is the key to the long-term success of your business.

In the afternoon session, Donna Hartman, attorney at OlenderFeldman LLP, covered the key points of wine distribution agreements, walking participants through the differences between drafting distribution agreements for franchise and non-franchise states. She also noted some of the important legal points to keep in mind as brands expand in the U.S. marketplace and build relationships with distributors.

Jonathan Newman, Chairman and CEO of Newman Wine, talked about the Top 10 ways for brands to get noticed and picked up by national chains and retailers. Getting positive press in the major industry publications still matters, as does holding regular tastings to build customer awareness. He also mentioned the important things that brands can do to make their products stand out on the shelves of retailers, such as creating the right types of labels and using the right kinds of point-of-sale (POS) materials that help retailers sell their wine.

Stephen Fahy, Sales Director and Senior Buyer at the Wine Library, talked about ways for wine and liquor stores to turn into “lean, mean selling machines.” He boiled it down to a few key points. One important point is data, which he said now “drives the engine.” You absolutely have to have the data to know who are your best customers, in terms of how often they buy, how much they buy, and how willing they are experiment with new categories. Another key is being bold and standing out – you need to be fearless about being passionate, enthusiastic and even flamboyant. You need to be an “activist” – if you stay quiet, you will be forgotten.

USA_Trade_Tasting

Finally, the day wrapped up with a Master Class on Chinese wines led by Chateau Rongzi. Participants were given a brief history of Chinese wines and an overview of how the wines are made at Chateau Rongzi before sampling a number of different wines – the first public tasting of these wines in the United States market.

Outside of the conference sessions, there was a palpable buzz on the floor throughout the day, and there’s more planned for Day 2 of the event. Things kick off at 9:00 with a special Office Hours session moderated by Steven Raye of Bevology, featuring a number of prominent importers and distributors.

There are also two afternoon Master Classes planned, featuring the wines of Tejo (Portugal) and Beaujolais (France). In addition, participants will hear from Thomas Barfoed, Managing Director of JF Hillebrand USA; Adam Lambert, Seller of Beer & Spirits; and Richard Halstead, COO of Wine Intelligence.

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And, of course, the Grand Tasting hall will be open again on the first floor, giving everyone a chance to meet and mingle with importers and distributors as well as experiment with wines and spirits from across the world.

2018 Exhibitor Super Early Bird Registration Is Now Open. Secure Your Best Price Now And Grow In Us Market.