The New Brand Craft Phenomenon: An Even Better Future


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 

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

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

At the 2016 USA Trade Testing Conference, a panel of top media insiders from the wine and spirits industry discussed the role of distribution in helping to tell the story of a new or unknown wine brand. In many cases, they say, it’s a Catch-22 situation: it’s difficult to get broad distribution if you don’t have media attention, but you can’t get media attention if you don’t have distribution in place.

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


The consensus opinion is that distribution has to happen first, and then you can reach out to the media to help tell your story. As W.R. Tish of Beverage Media Group points out, if a brand wants to get its story out, it has to have some form of distribution in the marketplace. It just “doesn’t make sense” for a trade media publication to tell your story unless there’s some way to access to the wine within the U.S. marketplace.

In other words, if a media publication is going to take the time to learn about you and your brand, it’s going to want a way to introduce its readers to your products. David Ransom of The Tasting Panel and The SOMM Journal echoes this point, emphasizing that “you don’t have to be in all 50 states, but you do have to be in the major markets.” That means a presence in major markets like New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Seattle.

That’s especially true for wine brands reaching out to a national media publication. If you’re targeting a purely regional publication, then you may only need to have access to a few key distributors in your region or areas. However, if you’re telling your story to a national publication – or to an international publication, then it’s vital to have distribution in place.

As Felicity Carter of Meininger’s Wine Business International points out, if you are trying hard to get publicity, but don’t have any distribution, then it’s “a waste of money.” As she notes, it’s “absolutely critical” to have that distribution already set up, especially if you are trying to reach a very sophisticated international audience.

To a certain extent, you have to view this from the perspective of the publication’s readers. If they are reading about a compelling wine brand, the first thing they are going to do is find out how they can purchase it to taste for themselves. However, if they go to their favorite wine store or check out online stores, they are going to be frustrated if they can’t find it.

And that, ultimately, will reflect negatively on the publication that just featured your brand. As David Ransom points out, “They may need to re-think why they’re reading the magazine.”

Wanting to get your brand’s story out is a natural inclination, and one that’s shared by any up-and-coming brand. However, there’s a proper sequence of events that has to occur. And, in today’s media landscape, that means lining up distribution first, and then reaching out to top media outlets, rather than the other way around.

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.

Hear the answer to this question at 6:50 minutes

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