Key Considerations on Route to Market Strategies in the US

One of the leading importers in the US, Park Street Imports gave his insights about the Key Considerations on Route to Market Strategies in the U.S. at the USATT 2017 Conference, Here you can watch the full video of his presentation.

About Chris Mehringer : 

Chris Mehringer serves as President of Park Street, the leading provider of productivity-enhancing and cost-saving back-office solutions, advisory services, and working capital to alcoholic beverage brands.  At its core, Park Street serves as an importer and national distributor and provides access to the U.S. alcoholic beverage market for thousands of alcoholic beverage brands from the U.S. and around the world.  Park Street’s clients range from entrepreneurs to multi-brand global suppliers and include craft distillers, centuries-old family businesses, award-winning wineries, contract producers, innovation brands, and more.  Mr. Mehringer regularly advises clients on issues pertaining to route-to-market, growth acceleration, and conflict resolution.

Previously, Mr. Mehringer served as President of a national consumer products distribution company where he oversaw all aspects of operations and growth and developed and maintained strategic partnerships with Fortune 500 consumer products companies.  Mr. Mehringer is a founding board member of the Developing Minds Foundation, an advisor with the Harvard Innovation Lab, and a member of YPO.  He holds a Master of Public Policy from Harvard University and a Bachelor of Arts from Wesleyan University.
About the 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

USA Trade Tasting 2018 Exhibitor Registrations Now Open.Become an Exhibitor Now and get 30% off the Regular Exhibiting Fee.

 

What U.S. Retailers Are Looking for and How to Pitch Them

On a daily basis, a wine and liquor retailer/wholesaler must manage a litany of items. Among those things is a slew of requests from a large number of winemakers who are eager to get their offerings on store shelves. When making a pitch to them, its important for a representative to be focused and respectful of the retailers time. Also vital is the ability to make a brand stand out from the rest in a crowded U.S. market.  

Meet the Retailers Needs

One of the most important themes in any sales pitch? Authenticity.  Retailers will be looking for an authentic story that tells of provenance. Theyll pass this along to the customers to help improve a brands identity. Ben von Doussa, USA Market Entry Manager for Wine Australia, likes to remind winemakers that every year the TTB approves a whopping 180,000 to 200,000 SKUs for wine and spirits in the United States. Because of this, a sales pitch must be incredibly compelling in order to garner any attention.

Wine Australias vision, going forward, is for Australia to be recognized as the worlds pre-eminent wine-producing company.Another key to standing out in the U.S. market is to focus on what makes Australian fine wines special when compared to other countries. Discussion of the diverse, unique regionality and superior terroirs found throughout Australia, as well as the skilled and innovative people behind the wine, helps to set Aussie wines apart from those made by other wine-producing hard hitters. The exciting thing about this? Its exactly what U.S. retailers are currently looking for. They want luxury wine offerings with a story and a sense of provenance behind them. Moving forward with this information in hand, Wine Australia is confident that Aussie wines have the capacity to be recognized as the best in the world.

What do U.S. retailers want from the New Australia? Listening to the needs of retailers is important and when von Doussa contacted them to talk specifics, they expressed excitement about the potential of new offerings to revitalize the Australian wine category. There have been approximately 50 Australian brands competing for an ever-shrinking amount of American shelf space over the past years. Retailers are looking for something new to attract customersattention.  

The story of origin is critically important in these new brands. Wine consumers want to purchase wine with a sense of place. As they open a bottle over dinner with friends, they want to be able to discuss where the grapes were grown, the purity of the water used to grow them and the growing conditions that make that region different from the rest.

Authenticity is also a significant factor to consider. When entry-level brands flooded into the U.S. wine market, it resulted in damage to the overall image of the Australian wine industry among American consumers. Retailers decided that most Australian brands werent able to deliver the kind of quality-to-price ratio that they needed. Margins matter, and representatives must demonstrate that offerings from the Australian category are capable of delivering the margins seen by other segments such as California or Europe. Its no longer acceptable for fine Australian wines to be perceived as an entry-level product.

In forming a sales pitch, there should be three areas of focus. Lead with all the specifics that make a wine unique. Media ratings from third-party sources like Wine Spectator are highly valued in the U.S. market. In addition to this, provenance, authenticity and a wines extraordinary value through luxury price points will help build a story that retailers want to hear. U.S. retailers are very motivated by driving margin, especially with the online competition that exists in the wine market. To top off the triad of sales pitch organization, offering regional exclusives is an excellent strategy to help build a relationship with various retailers.

Know the Customer

As wine representatives pitch various retailers, their presentation should vary according to the needs of each individual business. These needs are defined by the shopping behaviors of the customer base of that retailer. For instance, warehouse club Costco is perhaps the holy grail of accounts for wine brands. This is because they move a high volume of product, selling it to customers who arent concerned with price point and make wine purchases based on reviews and ratings. This differentiates Costco from other clubs such as BJs and Sams. They cater to a customer base that is primarily motivated by price point and is looking for cost-effective wine options.

Apart from Costco, stores with specialty wine programs should be another area of intense focus for winemakers and their representatives. Places like Earth Fare and Wegmans cater to wine-centric customers who love having a good story behind their wine. Customers who frequent specialty wine shops spend lots of time researching online ratings and are drawn to great quality wine with attractive packaging.

Grocery chains can prove to be a tough nut to crack for luxury wine brands, but ignoring them is a grave error. Brands that can break into a grocery store such as Kroger or Publix at a luxury price point will enjoy the ability to move a large amount of product. Grocery stores want quality wine and are happy to provide a selection for their customers who are looking for a higher price point. However, the current selection of Aussie wines being presented at most grocery stores is being sold as entry-level, low-cost offerings. Grocery stores run in contrast with the drug store wine market in the U.S., where customers are primarily motivated by a wines price point and packaging and are typically shopping for the lowest-priced products. These are not the best choice to focus on for sales.

Independent wine retailers such as Sherry-Lehman and Binnys in Chicago provide a market where price point is not an issue for the clientele. These kinds of retailers sell to a customer that is focused on ratings, as well as a wines story. Before making a choice, these customers need to know where their wine is from, how it was made and what makes it different from the brand sitting directly next to it on the shelf.  

As years go by, more and more of the wine market is playing out on the internet. Sites such as Wine.com and WTSO cater to customers who do intensive research before making a wine purchase. Ratings play heavily with these customers, and they are interested to know the story behind any brand they consider buying. Price point is not a leading priority for online wine customers.

Wine and liquor chains with multiple locations such as ABC or Apple Jack function similarly to specialty grocery stores. They market wine by placing a spotlight on ratings and the story. Attractive packaging also works to garner the attention of customers in these stores. Small mom and pop stores cater to customers who are primarily focused on ratings and packaging. Although the price point isnt a big concern, mom and pop stores can prove to be challenging due to low-volume sales. A supplier will need to cover extensive ground to reach substantial numbers with independent retail stores.

Success in the U.S. wine market truly comes down to research and preparation. Price points are best determined by looking at the competition. Winemakers and their representatives must have a unique, compelling story preparedone that makes the retailer and the customer feel a connection with a given brand. Representatives must arrive at each store with an understanding of what aspects of wine purchasing are important to that specific customer base. Keeping these things in mind will greatly increase a brands chances of edging out the international competition in the teeming and ever-changing U.S. market.    

USA Trade Tasting 2018 Exhibitor Registrations Now Open.Become an Exhibitor Now and get 30% off the Regular Exhibiting Fee.

 

Mark Your Calendar to Join Us at the USA Trade Tasting, NYC, May 16/17, 2017

On May 16 & 17 at the Metropolitan Pavilion, join over 2,000 trade show visitors, that include buyers, importers, distributors and retailers and 132 exhibitors from 20 countries at a high-energy, global conference in New York City that has been designed to inspire and empower you with the best ideas from all over the world of how to market, sell and grow your business. It’s brought to you by Beverage Trade Network (BTN), the leading platform connecting the global beverage industry.

You’ll also have a chance to network with12 globally-recognized keynote speakers, including top thinkers from Beverage Media, Bevology, International Wine & Spirits Research, J.F Hillebrand and Newman Wine.

Here’s what you can expect:

#1: Incredible networking opportunities: Two content-full days of learning and networking with some of the brightest minds in the wine, beer, and spirits industry. There will be extensive networking opportunities throughout the event, including USATT Office Hours, where you can have your specific questions answered by experts.  This is a one on one session with importers/distributors with panelists Rob Bradshaw of Cape Classics, Mike Votto of Votto Vines, Martin Sinkoff of Frederick Wildman and Mick Yurch, formerly owner of Sherry Lehmann. It will take place on Thursday, May 17th at 9:30 AM.

#2: Best-in-class content: We’ve set up a speaker schedule of 12 TED-style talks that will challenge your view of the wine, beer, and spirits industry. In addition, three master classes are scheduled, where you can learn more about the wines of up-and-coming wine production areas including Tejo Wines from Portugal, China, and Beaujolais. View Full Schedule. 

Make sure to register for the Wines from Tejo Masterclass to be conducted by wine educator and In the Grape author May Matta-Aliah.  

#3: A peek ahead at new products: See unique and innovative products, and new offerings from the beer, wine and spirits industry where you will be able to learn about new wine, beer and spirits offerings before anyone else. Buyers will get a chance to look at new and innovative brands and concepts from all over the world at the show. Suppliers will get key buyer feedback to help plan their go-to-market strategy.

See what’s on at USATT 2017.

Here’s why you should attend this conference…

#1: You will learn proven techniques for entering the U.S. market: If you are looking to grow your distribution in the U.S. market, you will have plenty of opportunities to connect with distributors, importers and retailers. Moreover, each of the12 TED-style talks have been geared to the specific needs of brands looking to enter the U.S. market. The focus is on practice, not theory.

#2: You will get valuable feedback on how to speed your time to market: Not only will you get insights from fellow conference attendees, you will also have opportunities to mix and mingle with 2,000+ trade show visitors who are attending the Grand Tasting event. This is a unique opportunity to see what sophisticated New York wine and spirits connoisseurs think of your product.

#3: You will build awareness of your brand: A new free program for USATT exhibitors, called Show Deals, will help you drive more traffic and close more business during the event. Show deals are two-day discounts for attendees of the show from the beverage industry. These specials are only available at USATT 2017 and provide a strong incentive to close business during the event.

#4: You will meet the world’s newest wine, beer and spirits brands: This year’s show is a truly global event, with exhibitors from over 20 countries. As part of our focus on bringing you the very best from all over the world, attendees of the USA Trade Tasting show will also have a unique opportunity to learn all about Chinese wine regions and varietals, including the elegant wines of Chateau Rongzi.

See the agenda and the full speaker line-up at this year’s Conference.

#5: Full access to the content of the show including EVERY session – We understand that you may want to spend time on the trade floor of the Grand Tasting during part of the show, or may be involved in meetings while some of the sessions are going on. That’s why we will be providing each attendee full access to all of the great content at the event, including video and social media highlights.

USA Trade Tasting 2018 Exhibitor Registrations Now Open.Become an Exhibitor Now and get 30% off the Regular Exhibiting Fee.

 

 

6 Reasons to Attend USA Trade Tasting 2017 Conference

Whether you are a craft distillery, craft brewery or a boutique winery that’s just starting out, or work in sales at an importer/distributor or at an established beverage company, or simply wish to expand your skill set and gain new perspective, USA Trade Tasting is a must attend event.

Join hundreds of fellow wine makers, brew masters, distillers, sales people and marketers at USA Trade Tasting Conference which is designed to inspire and empower you with sales and marketing ideas—brought to you by Beverage Trade Network.

USA Trade Tasting

Top reasons to attend USATT Conference

  1. Learn the basics: How to launch, market and grow your wine, beer or spirit brand in USA market.
  2. Reduce your trial and error time: Why experiment with your branding when you can fast-track your time to success? The experts at this event will educate you to focus on techniques that really work.
  3. Network with marketers just like you: Imagine connecting face-to-face with hundreds of people as you share stories, gather ideas and build relationships that last for years.
  4. Meet the speakers. Attendees will learn first-hand from presentations and also have the unique opportunity to directly engage with noteworthy industry contacts.
  5. Get your ROI by getting great content. The right conference not only allows you to meet smart, inspiring people but also teaches you a lot — especially in skills that make you a more well-rounded professional. The USATT Conference is ‘How-To’ themed where the topics are not about the current state of the industry and the problems being faced– instead, we talk about how to meet and overcome these challenges.
  6. It’s in New York City. An international hub for business, the nexus of major import and distributions houses and connected to importers, distributors, retailers in neighboring states.

Here is full video of USA Trade Tasting Conference 2016.

Below is a sampling of what you will learn about.

  • How Importers and Distributors can build a strong sales force.
  • How to Draft a Solid Distribution Agreement for Franchise and Non-Franchise States
  • 10 Proven Promotional Programs That Will Get Your Brand Picked Up By National Chains and Large Retailers
  • It’s revolution time: Make your “liquor store” a lean, mean, selling machine: Marketing that will crush your competition and win customers for life.
  • Office Hours with Importers and Distributors
  • How to win Retailers and Influence Them with Effective Merchandising and Programming […] View Full Schedule

    USA Trade Tasting 2018 Exhibitor Registrations Now Open.Become an Exhibitor Now and get 30% off the Regular Exhibiting Fee.


     

Quality Distribution is On Tap at the USA Trade Tasting

USA Trade Tasting

Distribution is one of the biggest challenges facing wine and spirits producers. On one hand, suppliers are demanding “strategic distribution”- the kind that connects products with engaged customers and correlates brand status with like-minded retail and restaurant outlets. On the other hand, you have retail stores and sommeliers, responding to our narrative-rich culture, demanding innovative, niche and authentic products with a “cool” story to tell. The distributor lies in the middle, facing language barriers, industry consolidation, ever-changing market dynamics, state regulations, supply chain hiccups, and an increasingly crowded market place. You soon begin to understand that this is a complex global business!

By hosting the country’s only trade show dedicated exclusively to beverage industry networking, the USA Trade Tasting (USATT) event is committed to cultivating a better conversation among all tiers of the trade, connecting small and medium sized wine and spirits companies with the resources to grow their businesses and their bottom line.

This May 16th and 17th, thousands  of the country’s top importers, distributors, restauranteurs, retailers and producers, along with a bevy of international suppliers, will convene at the Metropolitan Pavilion in NYC. Here, they will engage in an exhibition tasting, conference, and seminars discussing trends and issues unique to each tier. Members of the trade will learn how to market, sell, and grow brands in today’s complex market environment.

By facilitating face to face connections, The USATT provides the space for relationships to flourish. While the beverage market is a dynamic beast drifting along in the currents of shifting trends, the wine and spirits industry itself is still largely influenced by networks of personal relationships. USA Trade Tasting offers a big advantage to winemakers, craft brewers and innovative distillers by granting access to these coveted market connections. When it comes to launching new products, who you know and how you choose to align your brands in the market are the foundations upon which all potential success is built.

The USATT event is produced by the Beverage Trade Network (BTN), a long time resource of small-medium sized alcoholic beverage companies facing the challenges of competing against large consolidated groups. BTN provides trade leads, legal know-how, sales advice, and networking opportunities that strengthen and nurture an independent marketplace. BTN understands that successful business relationships rely on open communication, shared goals, and an understanding of each other’s potential and limitations. The ambition of the USA Trade Tasting event is to bridge strong industry relationships that serve as the bedrock for mutual profitability and long-term partnership in the beverage industry.

While social media platforms are helping brands create micro-networks that facilitate direct connections with a targeted audience, the US alcoholic beverage trade relies on a more traditional network of Supplier, Importer, and Distributor. This trifecta is responsible for communicating key producer messages, recognizing consumer trends, and fulfilling the product demands of the public. By many accounts, the beverage industry is entering a ‘golden age’ here in the United States, and USATT is here to help the beverage trade seize every opportunity on the horizon through quality networking.

By Lauren Brooke, lbrooke@colangelopr.com

Source : Colangelo & Partners

Event Producer: Beverage Trade Network

USA Trade Tasting is brought to you by Beverage Trade Network, the leading online platform dedicated to connecting the global beverage industry. Beverage Trade Network (BTN) successfully connects wineries, breweries, distilleries and brand owners with international importers, distributors, brokers and beverage industry professionals on a daily basis. Strong partnerships with international and US organizations have helped BTN establish USA Trade Tasting as a premiere sales and marketing event committed to connecting the beverage industry.

USA Trade Tasting 2018 Exhibitor Registrations Now Open.Become an Exhibitor Now and get 30% off the Regular Exhibiting Fee.

New Concepts to Look Out For at USATT 2017

About USA Trade Tasting:

USA Trade Tasting (USATT) is an annual trade tasting and business conference, open to trade professionals only, which takes place on May 16-17, 2017, at the Metropolitan
Pavilion New York City, USA. USATT showcases exciting wines, beers and spirits from all over the world to USA importers, wholesalers, distributors, retailers and press.

There are new concepts to look out for at USA Trade Tasting 2017

ShowDeals:

We’re pleased to announce a new free program for USA Trade Tasting Exhibitors, called #ShowDeals, which will help you drive more traffic and close more business during the event. 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. The objective of the #ShowDeals program is to create more awareness for you as BTN / USATT team will create pre-buzz about your deal before the event. Your deal will also be printed in the official program guide.

OfficeHours:

USATT’s Office Hours sessions give you a chance to talk one-on-one with speakers and mentors. Importers and distributors will share what they are really looking for when
selecting a new brand. What do they expect from a new brand? And, why some brands make it and some don’t. There will be in-depth advice and discussion on what importers and distributors are really looking for. This will be included in the USATT Office Hours session. A panel question and answer session will be included in USA Trade Tasting 2017 as part of the Conference. This will cover permanent information like
what your introductory communication to a prospective importer and/or distributor should say

Who should attend?

Whether you are a craft distillery, craft brewery or a boutique winery that’s just starting out, or work in sales at an importer/distributor or at an established beverage company,  or simply wish to expand your skill set and gain new perspective, USATT Conference is a must attend event. Join hundreds of fellow winemakers, brew masters, distillers, sales people and marketers at USA Trade Tasting Conference which is designed to inspire and empower you with sales and marketing.

Event Producer: Beverage Trade Network

USA Trade Tasting is brought to you by Beverage Trade Network, the leading online platform dedicated to connecting the global beverage industry. Beverage Trade Network (BTN) successfully connects wineries, breweries, distilleries and brand owners with international importers, distributors, brokers and beverage industry professionals on a daily basis. Strong partnerships with international and US organizations have helped BTN establish USA Trade Tasting as a premiere sales and marketing event committed to connecting the beverage industry.

USA Trade Tasting 2018 Exhibitor Registrations Now Open.Become an Exhibitor Now and get 30% off the Regular Exhibiting Fee.