Chasing inventory will be the theme of the last quarter of 2021.
The way it looks today, there will be BTG outages galore and more empty shelves because someone somewhere in the world is chasing inventory to get on a ship to the US.
Three key challenges are going to drive these inventory shortages and lead to the double-whammy of immense opportunity and pounding headaches when there isn’t product to ship to the accounts that place orders.
You know it’s hard out there for the ships. Actually, it’s about the containers and the logistical fluency to get product into containers and onto ships. This may be the least sexy subject in the beverage business but consistency through the supply chain is vital. You can read more about the container shortage via the Wall Street Journal here – the battle is real. Who wins? Those who aren’t many layers removed from their producers and who have already invested in stateside inventory.
If you are one of those bearish folks saying the market is always going to tank, you won’t like this.
I am on record many times that inventory in the quality wine market is driven by belief just as much as numerical comps. It is even more true now. If you are going to try and play it safe with ordering inventory, I wish you good luck on catching up in this market when it starts to roll.
If you are uncertain about buying inventory because you believe the marketplace is going to wither and die, you should hang it up. Fold up the tent and move on.
Can you blame a producer of quality wine for being in harvest and not rushing to pack wine up and get it out? Producers are going to be a little behind this year and all over the place because demand has been uneven and unpredictable. The producers that hustle on both sides and get wine out the door in September will be thrilled at the success they have. And they will be ridiculously positioned to win huge because of all the open slots that come up.
What to look for?
A few things to look for in the coming months: massive stock outages, everything turning into an allocation so distributors can get fast turn around, and some major opportunities for those who have invested in inventory. It’s going to be a wild, chasing inventory quarter.