We are in the middle of the biggest reset in beverage industry history since prohibition.
What we once knew as “normal” is flattened, cracked, and in many cases, decimated by the pressure test of the coronavirus. Today it is a tabula rasa – a leveled playing field that will not be repeated in our lifetimes.
Legacy importer/distributors are shaken up and quietly toppling over. Sales reps are getting laid off in droves because the pre-covid sales rep role no longer exists. Wine clubs are the new, splashy-blasty trend. Celebrity-owned, mostly private label wines are occupying valuable shelf space instead of grower/producers. Athletes are moving into the beverage space in droves with wineries, brands and partnerships.
The beverage game has been shifted forever, but because of the dynamic reshaping of the industry, more is possible than ever before.
High-level producers are in play. Internal culture in distribution can be invested in and changed for the better. We can extend a hand to those that have felt like they can’t enter this business. The old 8-track business models of the beverage industry can move into the now – or wither away.
Look around. It isn’t the beverage version of Planet of the Apes and we aren’t looking at Lady Liberty. It is time to rethink, renew, and execute on something new that really represents the future.