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.

USA Trade Tasting Returns to New York, May 16-17 2017

Mark your calendars to register and attend the USA Trade Tasting which returns to the Metropolitan Pavilion in NYC Tues/Wed. May 16 and 17th May, 2017.

Some 160 producers of wine, spirits and beer from around the world will be sharing the main floor to show their wares. In addition, there will be an educational portion of the show upstairs with a broad range of presentations to address the needs and interests of attendees and exhibitors alike.

Additionally, Masterclasses will be put on by China, Beaujolais and Wines of Tejo (Portugal) respectively providing in-depth insights into those regions.

The seminar portion of the show will feature the following speakers and subjects:

• John Beaudette, President of MHW, Ltd. on “The New Brand/Craft Phenomenon”
• Brandy Rand, VP at IWSR on current market trends
• Chris Mehringer, President of Park Street Imports on “Key Considerations on Route to U.S. Market Strategies”
• Donna Hartman of Olender Feldman legal firm returns to share insights on “How to Draft a Solid Distribution Agreement for both Franchise and non-Franchise States.”
• Stephen Fahy, Senior Buyer at the Wine Library on ramping up retail marketing to grow revenues and customers for the long term.
• Jonathan Newman, CEO Newman Wine on “10 Proven Promotional Programs That Will Get Your Brand Picked Up by National Chains and Large Retailers.”
• Perennial favorite speaker Josh Wand is back to talk about “How Importers and Distributors Can Build a Strong Sales Force.”
• Thomas Barfoed, MD of JF Hillebrand on optimizing logistics
• Bill “Tish” of BevMedia with tips on best ways to work with the press to get coverage of your brands
• Richard Halstead, CEO of Wine Intelligence on How to Win Retailers and Influence Them With Effective Merchandising and Programming.
• On Day 2, an “Office Hours” panel discussion will be held on tips and tools brands can use to get the attention of importers and distributors. The panel will include:
o Martin Sinkoff, VP and Dir. of Marketing at Frederick Wildman
o Mick Yurch, Bluest Sky Group and former Sherry-Lehmann head honcho
o Mike Votto, CEO of Votto Vines Importers
o Rob Bradshaw, Pres. and CEO of Cape Classics Imports

It’s a fabulous line up of conference speakers that will complement the floor exhibits of suppliers from around the world. The goal for attendees and exhibitors is to foster connections to develop and grow business for all.

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.

Register now for the USATT and the conference tickets for the conference portion are going fast.

Time and Venue:

New York:
Date: Wednesday & Thursday, May 16-17 2018,
Time: 9:30 AM to 6:30 PM (EST).
Location: Metropolitan Pavilion, New York City, NY, USA.
RSVP for USATT 2018 here.

We look forward to having you there.

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

 

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.

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

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.

Hear the answer to this question at 2:50 minutes

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.

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.

Conference For US Wine, Beer and Spirits Retailers


Beverage Trade Network
and USA Trade Tasting are hosting a conference session dedicated for US wine, spirits and beer retailers.

Retailers will also have an opportunity to ask questions about their day to day challenges to an expert panel of retailers. The Q and A session will be called #USATTOfficeHours for retailers.

The conference will run over 2 days along with the grand tasting in New York City on May 16-17, 2017. Along with our media partner Beverage Media, USATT retailers conference element will focus on subjects that will help improve efficiency in retailers business and help retailers grow their bottom line. It will also be a solid chance to network with other retailers.

USATT March 23 - 2016-1-15 spirits and wine importers

If you a wine, beer or spirits retailer and have any question prior to the conference, feel free to submit your question here.

 

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Here is a glimpse of some of the questions that are being exchanged in the USATT community: How can we convert more sales revenue during non-peak hours on average sales per person?

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Steve Raye answers the question  –

The Rent/utilities keep ticking 24/7 so any new business during slow periods is a plus

Some Examples

  • Happy hour discounts on drinks
  • Free or discounted bar menu/regular menu food e.g selected item discounts such as $1 oysters and ½ priced wine from 4PM-6PM, or1/2 price appetizers from regular menu
  • Serve regular entree to share for 2 with no charge for salads. Drinks/Wines 1/2 price
  • Mondays all wines (or selected wines from wine list 1/2 price)
  • Get local musicians to play before, and/or after meal hours
  • Promote these offers via social media, email blasts to your loyal customer base, clip on’s for the menu,  window signs, table piece, submit these promotions to local “what’s happening” publications or online listings.
  • On slow nights
    • Theme nights; Hawaii night, Wild West night, interactive Game night etc
    • Ladies night 1/2 price )
    • Lawyers, financial businesses, waiters/bar people etc. (1/2 price night)
  • Wine, spirit or beer classes by In house or distributor / supplier leader
  • Local guest Appearance (local weatherman. local GMA feature, radio remote)

Got questions? click here to send us your questions and we will get them answered!

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More about Retailers Office Hour Session:

USATT’s Office Hours sessions give you a chance to talk one-on-one with speakers and mentors. We bring in dozens of experts so you can get targeted advice on everything from sales and marketing to operations and management.

Who:

Office Hours are for Importers, Distributors, Retailers and Suppliers who want informed feedback on business ideas and challenges. Our mentors have real-world expertise in a range of topics.

What:

There will be 4 sessions, each of an hour’s duration. If you are an importer, you are recommended to attend the Import business office hour session. If you are a distributor, and you are looking to grow your distribution in US market, you are recommended to attend the Distribution business office hour session and so on. Each session will have experts from your domain.

For example: The Distributor Office Hour session will have one expert from sales, one from management, one from legal and one from operations. This will allow you to ask questions ranging from sales to operations about your distribution business.

Seats are limited to 200 people per session. You must pre-register and select your office hour sessions.

When:

Distributor’s Office Hour Session: May 16, 1pm to 2pm.

Importer’s Office Hour Session: May 16, 4pm to 5pm.

Supplier’s Office Hour Session: May 17, 9.30am to 10.30am.

Retailer’s Office Hour Session: May 16, 1pm to 2pm.

Set up:

The set up is a mix of class room and chair-only set up. Those who need to work on laptops may sit on the chairs that have desks with them.

What it’s not:

1) We’re committed to creating a lively learning atmosphere, and we require that all participants abide by our code of conduct. These conversations are fun, but Office Hours is not a speed-dating event.

2) It’s also not a pitching event; mentors appreciate your questions, not requests for taking your brand.

3) It’s not one to one, you will be in a session room of 200 people and your questions will be open and in public. This is an open session where you will also benefit from other attendees’ questions.

Why:

We’re excited to host this format as a way of helping you learn about solutions for real-world business problems and ask questions related to your business.

Moderator: Steve Raye, President of Bevology Inc.

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Steve Raye is President of Bevology, a marketing consulting company specializing in spirits and wine. Steve has more than two decades of Drinks Industry experience, beginning with Diageo-predecessor Heublein. As a Managing Partner of Brand Action Team for ten years, he specialized in helping new-to-the-U.S. brands manage their entry into the American market.

On the wine side Steve also has significant experience working with country and regional wine trade promotion agencies including Austria, Australia, Chile, Spain, Santorini and Ribera del Duero and Rueda. He is also a consultant to Vinitaly and has managed U.S. trade PR for ProWein. On the spirits side he directed the entire brand development from concept through design, launch, and execution for Singani 63 from Bolivia and Pisco Portón from Peru. Steve is a recognized thought leader who writes and speaks on the issues driving the American Drinks market. He has spoken at Vinitaly, Wine2Wine, Vino2016, London Wine Fair, WSWA, U.S. Drinks Conference, Tales of the Cocktail.

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.

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

 

 

USA Trade Tasting and Conference 2016 Round Up Video

USA Trade Tasting (USATT) is an annual trade only event in New York city helping producers connect with wine, beer, spirits importers, distributors, retailers and press of USA. Learn more on how to exhibit at USATT and Grow Your Brand in the US market.

EVENT PRODUCER

Beverage Trade Network Logo

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 US beverage industry.

The 2016 USA Trade Tasting and Conference hosted a full day of speakers dedicated to helping exhibitors develop their sales network and adopt successful distribution strategies into their everyday operations along with the grand tasting floor where exhibitors showcased their brands to importers, distributors and retailers of USA.

With instructional seminars exploring practical ways to address the current market, executives from some of the country’s leading companies presented their tried and true blue-prints to successfully maneuvering in the US industry. 2017 USA Trade Tasting and Conference exhibitor registrations are now open.

If you are a wine, beer or spirits producer or an USA importer looking to grow, USATT is the perfect platform to help you connect with state distributors, importers and retailers in USA.

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.

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