StateWays - May/June 2016

StateWays is the only magazine exclusively covering the control state system within the beverage alcohol industry, with annual updates from liquor control commissions and alcohol control boards and yearly fiscal reporting from control jurisdictions

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StateWays n n May/June 2016 50 This year's conference theme, "A Culture of Collabo- ration" was chosen by Chair- man Steve Larson and is a very appropriate one for an in- dustry such as ours, operating in a very complex multi-tiered system with many involved parties. As a world-class pro- ducer of wines and spirits, we have a created a vast network of distributors and brokers across the country over the past eight decades. The relationships we've developed with these partners have enabled us to create a solid foundation for our success. More re- cently, as an importer of wine, we've grown our portfolio by bringing into the United States top quality wines from numerous countries around the globe, such as Argentina, Italy and New Zealand - to name a few. Effective January 2016, our spirits portfolio saw an expansion into the Scotch whisky category, through an exciting partnership with Whyte and Mackay. Whyte and Mackay is currently the fifth-largest producer of Scotch whisky and we are proud to bring their brands (The Dalmore, Jura, and John Barr Scotches) to the U.S. Lastly, we've gained the respect of our retailer allies through our ability to bring top-quality products such as these to retail shelves, and have also added value through our award-winning category management expertise. Without a doubt, this industry is ever changing. Collabo- ration is not only beneficial, but also increasingly necessary across all levels of the business. Retailers will continue to consolidate and wholesalers will continue to merge. For our organization to succeed, collaboration through communica- tion, education and awareness must be a part of every busi- ness decision. In 2015, we collaborated with the control states on many existing and new efforts. There are two programs I would like to highlight: On-Going Training and Coordinated Consumer Outreach Programs. ONGOING TRAINING As a value-added benefit, for the past several years we've of- fered the control states some best-in-class training programs. These programs, which are completely customized for the individual control state, are focused on product knowledge and customer service. For the past several years we've run multiple "road show" programs in Alabama, Pennsylvania and Virginia. Last year, we brought unique programs to Idaho, Oregon and Montgomery County. Response was so positive that we have been invited back to all three in 2016! We look forward to revisiting you all again this year, as well as adding Vermont to the list. COORDINATED CONSUMER OUTREACH After many productive conversations with the progressive- thinking folks at BABLO in Maine, we teamed up with Maine Spirits to run a 60-day program, sponsored by New Amster- dam Gin and Vodka. The program raised awareness and fund- ing for a foundation in Maine that helps combat-wounded veterans and their families across the state. This is just one example of a well-run program that came to be through the collaborative efforts of many. Collaboration happens with our interaction with consum- ers as well. We are constantly listening to our consumers and their demands as we plan for and launch new products. Prior to launch, we recognize a consumer need, and we introduce a new product only after we believe we have created a great solution to address it. Therefore, we bring to market refined products in attractive packaging that are backed with solid marketing campaigns. Our success is evident with the New Amsterdam brand family, which was recently named "Spirit Brand of the Year" by Wine Enthusiast for 2015. Thank you all for a great year and for your partnership and collabora- tion with us. We look forward to an even more successful year this year. All the best! TOM LOONEY PRESIDENT, U.S. SPIRITS DIAGEO NORTH AMERICA "Adapting to the Digital Consumer" A decade ago, there is a good chance that you were checking your e-mail on a Blackberry when you were out of the office. You may have heard about Twitter, which was launched in 2006, but if you're like me, you called a "hashtag" a "pound sign" then. And only a few years ago, if someone suggested that you visit to make travel plans, you probably would have thought that you were going to an airline's website and not an online marketplace that connects travelers seeking overnight accommodations with short-term landlords. UBIQUITY OF THE MOBILE DEVICE A lot has changed and, along with it, so have consumers. I be- lieve that we are in the midst of a significant consumer shift – perhaps the biggest in our lifetime. While we may not be able to the ADVISORY COMMITTEE WEIGHS IN "Lastly, we've gained the respect of our retailer allies through our ability to bring top-quality products such as these to retail shelves." —Tony Clark, E & J Gallo Winery

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