Stateways

Stateways Jan-Feb 2014

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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E D I T O R ' S N O T E StateWays ® Executive Vice President and Group Publisher Charles Forman Prognostications for 2014 Tel: 845-426-6072 t's January, so it must be time to create lists. Lists of New Year's Resolutions are the most popular, but then there are lists of the top ten stocks to invest in for the coming year [If I name a stock anywhere in this column, ignore it!], and lists of new faces to be on the lookout for in the vast entertainment industry [I am equally unqualified here, since I believe Duck Dynasty refers to the great Donald Duck.], and lists of potential new technologies that may make our lives abundantly more rewarding [Excuse me, again, if I plead ignorance, since I still equate Angry Birds with an Alfred Hitchcock film.] Fortunately, I am somewhat familiar with trends in the beverage alcohol industry, and so I offer up this totally unscientific, completely subjective list of predictions that might, or might not, occur over the coming year. But first a caveat: I have not always been a great predictor of trends. Upon initially seeing deli shelves sprouting with strange bottled waters decades ago, I remember commenting out loud, "What idiot would buy plain water!" So first, let's tackle the obvious: flavored spirits. Besides liqueurs, which have always injected exotic flavors into its recipes, the influx of flavored spirits began in the early 1990s with vodkas. That was followed by flavored rums, and then a few flavored tequilas. The advent of flavored whiskies several years ago breached a new frontier, allowing for the current flavor craze even among brown goods. But back to the Big Daddy of flavor, vodka. Even I've lost count of the numbers and varieties of flavors being grafted onto vodka. All I know is that the "dessert"-flavored vodkas – the marshmallows, the apple pies, the crème brulees, etc. – skipped a few courses at the meal. So, my first prediction is that the hitherto-ignored main courses will soon begin appearing on vodka labels. Don't be surprised if by next October, we begin seeing some brand's Filet Mignon and Brussel Sprouts vodka. I'd definitely plunk down a twenty to taste that bad boy. And I'd go even deeper into my pockets to savor some Shrimp Scampi with Cappellini-flavored vodka. For my wine prediction, I'm going after the low-hanging fruit. On the one hand, fresh, young and effervescent continue to tingle consumer taste buds. One the same hand, with the economy improving, premium-priced wines dominate the sweet spot in the marketplace. My beer prediction is a no-brainer. Think craft. Think micro. Think specialty. Think growler stations gaining more and more traction throughout the retail environment. Where legal, a number of stores are finding success allowing customers to fill growlers with their choice of fresh craft brew. It helps differentiate their stores, as well as helping the bottom line. I know what some of you are thinking: "Yeah, I could have come up with these predictions… as for the others, they're so wacky that they belong on the Mayan calendar." To you nonbelievers, I say, let's wait until next year and see if Grandma's Meatloaf and Baked Potato Vodka is gracing an endcap in your store. Editor- in-Chief I Fax: 845-426-6423 email: cforman@specialtyim.com Richard Brandes Tel: 212-353-3832 rbrandes@specialtyim.com Art Director Adam Lane Contributing Editor Melissa Niksic Vice President of Sales, Associate Publisher Anthony Bongiovanni tbongiovanni@specialtyim.com Senior Regional Sales Manager Mark Marcon mmarcon@specialtyim.com Senior Regional Sales Manager Debbie Rittenberg drittenberg@specialtyim.com Senior Research Analyst Adam Rogers List Rental Manager Cheryl Naughton cnaughton@specialtyim.com StateWays is published by The Beverage Information Group, a division of Specialty Information Media Editorial and executive offices are at 17 High St., 2nd Fl., Norwalk, CT 06851 Telephone: (203) 855-8499 Fax: (203) 855-9446 Richard Brandes, Editor-in-Chief e-mail: rbrandes@specialtyim.com 6 StateWays I www.stateways.com I January/February 2014

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