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.

USATT 2018 Early Bird Exhibitor Registration Now Open. Register Now and Save $800 on your Exhibitor Pricing.

Preparation to Pitching: How To Get and Grow With Your Distributor

Distributor

(Image: Adam Lambert)

Adam has spent the last 20 years learning from just about every angle of the beverage industry. Starting as a grocery store liquor clerk and growing to his current position as VP of Sales for New Holland Brewing, he is a Seller of Beer & Spirits and a Teller of Beer & Spirits.New Holland Brewing & Artisan Spirits-VP of Sales will take on the stage to coach you on sales and distribution.

Distributor

Prior to working for New Holland, Adam worked as VP of Sales at Dogfish Head Craft Brewery and spent 6 years as National Sales and Marketing Manager for Rogue Ales. Lambert brings a wealth of sales and distribution experience that will provide suppliers distribution and selling strategies in how to grow your craft beverage brand by building a solid distributors network.

Time & Venue :

The Metropolitan Pavilion in New York City on May 16th at 1:30 pm – 2:00 pm.

Grab your USATT conference passes and learn more from Adam Lambert about Preparation to Pitching: How To Get and Grow With Your Distributor.

USATT Conference is limited to 300 people only. Register today to confirm your seat and learn all about Sales, Marketing and Distribution. USATT Conference ticket includes your entry into the grand tasting area as well. We hope to see you in NYC. View Speakers | View Full Schedule | Register.

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.

USATT 2018 Early Bird Exhibitor Registration Now Open. Register Now and Save $800 on your Exhibitor Pricing.

It’s Revolution Time: Make your “Wine Store” a Lean, Mean, Selling Machine: Marketing that will Crush your Competition and Win Customers for Life.

Wine

(Image: Stephen Fahy)

Join Stephen Fahy, who is the Sales Director and Senior Buyer at the Wine Library in New York When he takes the stage at USA Trade Tasting Conference and gives his keynote on how wine & liquor store owners can create long term customers and grow their top line. Stephen Fahy 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 other 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.

Time & Venue :

The Metropolitan Pavilion in New York City on May 16th at 2.30 pm – 3:00 pm.

Grab your USATT conference passes and learn more from Stephen Fahy about How you can make your “wine store” a lean, mean, selling machine: Marketing that will crush your competition and win customers for life.

Wine

USATT Conference is limited to 300 people only. Register today to confirm your seat and learn all about Sales, Marketing and Distribution. USATT Conference ticket includes your entry into the grand tasting area as well. We hope to see you in NYC. View Speakers | View Full Schedule | Register.

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.

USATT 2018 Early Bird Exhibitor Registration Now Open. Register Now and Save $800 on your Exhibitor Pricing.

 

The New Brand / Craft Phenomenon: An Even Better Future

Brand

(Image: 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.

Brand

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.

Time & Venue :

The Metropolitan Pavilion in New York City on May 16th at 1:30 pm – 2:00 pm.

Grab your USATT conference passes and learn more from John Beaudette about The New Brand / Craft Phenomenon: An Even Better Future.

USATT Conference is limited to 300 people only. Register today to confirm your seat and learn all about Sales, Marketing and Distribution. USATT Conference ticket includes your entry into the grand tasting area as well. We hope to see you in NYC. View Speakers | View Full Schedule | Register.

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.

USATT 2018 Early Bird Exhibitor Registration Now Open. Register Now and Save $800 on your Exhibitor Pricing.

How Importers and Distributors Can Build a Strong Sales Force

Importers

(Image: Josh Wand)

Josh Wand is the Founder & Motivator in Chief of BevForce, a boutique recruiting and staffing agency that specializes in hiring strategies and organizational design for beverage companies. Wand developed BevForce to provide the beverage industry with a full-service hiring and job search platform that connects good people to great jobs.

BevForce is a comprehensive recruiting and staffing resource, providing services including: executive recruiting, interim placement and a targeted industry job board at www.BevForce.com. BevForce is headquartered in New York, NY with an additional office in Los Angeles, California.

Importers

Prior to creating BevForce, Josh held positions at Southern Wine & Spirits, AV Imports and Sidebar Spirits. His role included business development, management of a national sales and distribution network, staffing the organization and instituting educational training programs for hotels and restaurant groups.

Time & Venue :

The Metropolitan Pavilion in New York City on 16th May at 10:00 am – 10:30 am.

Grab your USATT conference passes and learn more from Josh Wand about How Importers and Distributors Can Build a Strong Sales Force.

USATT Conference is limited to 300 people only. Register today to confirm your seat and learn all about Sales, Marketing and Distribution. USATT Conference ticket includes your entry into the grand tasting area as well. We hope to see you in NYC. View Speakers | View Full Schedule | Register.

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.

USATT 2018 Early Bird Exhibitor Registration Now Open. Register Now and Save $800 on your Exhibitor Pricing.

Current Alcoholic Beverage Market Trends In The United States and How These Affect You

Alcoholic Beverage

(Image: Brandy Rand)

Brandy Rand is the Vice President of U.S. Marketing and Business Development for the International Wine & Spirits Research (IWSR).

Brandy has over 15 years marketing and management experience in the beverage alcohol industry. She has worked on dozens of global brands for Allied Domecq Spirits & Wines and Bacardi USA, and has held strategic consulting roles with several emerging craft and innovation companies. With her knowledge of the beverage industry, she’s also known as an accomplished spirits educator and writer.

Alcoholic Beverage

Time & Venue :

The Metropolitan Pavilion in New York City on May 16th at 9:10 am – 9:30 am.

Grab your USATT conference passes and learn more from Brandy Rand about How Alcoholic Beverage Market Trends in the US Affect You.

USATT Conference is limited to 300 people only. Register today to confirm your seat and learn all about Sales, Marketing and Distribution. USATT Conference ticket includes your entry into the grand tasting area as well. We hope to see you in NYC. View Speakers | View Full Schedule | Register.

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.

USATT 2018 Early Bird Exhibitor Registration Now Open. Register Now and Save $800 on your Exhibitor Pricing.