The global pandemic is having a significant local impact throughout the drinks space. While sales of wine, beer, and spirits are strong at retail, that doesn’t necessarily translate to craft producers, and it doesn’t make up for the loss of the entire on-premise channel. With most of the country’s restaurants and bars operating on a severely restricted basis, and producers limited to pickup and delivery only at their tasting rooms, many producers are now operating at a fraction of their regular sales volume. That translates to a bleak picture for most craft brands across all categories.
“Right now, in these challenging times, consumers are not looking to experiment or try new things necessarily,” says Brian Rosen, founder of BevStrat, a sales and marketing agency that works with smaller wine and spirits brands. “They are looking for the heavy-lifting brands, the brands that are easy to sell, easy to buy and easy to understand.” Rosen estimates that about 2 percent of alcohol brands bring home 98 percent of the industry’s revenue, leaving tens of thousands of others competing for a tiny slice of the overall pie.