We came to VinExpoNY. We saw VinExpoNY. We left VinExpoNY. As usual it was filled to the brim with suppliers that are incredibly eager to sell into the USA. While visually less crowded then last year, it remains the North Easts best chance for a supplier to help propel their entry into the USA. Below you will find the lessons learned from walking the floor, meeting hundreds of suppliers and one particularly raucous dinner in Hell’s Kitchen.
Bordeaux is everywhere. By far the biggest show of brands came from Bordeaux suppliers wanting to sell into NYC. So many new and extra suppliers yet the same number of active accounts to purchase. (cliff to fall from)
Lack of the Aussies. Last year the Aussies were relegated to a separate floor, but it had legs and traction. This year that number were way down and was a blend in to the other brands. Australian wines, above $50/ btl are on the uptick.
When speaking with suppliers there was still a basic and general lack of understanding of the three-tier system and how it can cripple your market entry.
When speaking with suppliers there was little concern given to shelf pull. How it gets off the shelf is more critical than getting on the first time.
Focusing more on bottle juice than packaging and marketing. We are Americans, we are easily amused by story, packaging and labels. Juice and price are second. If you are high priced, and poorly marketed, you are doomed out of the gate.
For god sake, and we can help you, learn the difference between FOB, laid-in and cost to trade pricing. I know it is confusing but find a company like @MHW or @bevstrat and they can assist you.
The best way to handle a show like this is a region at a time, not an aisle at a time. Apples to apples comparison will help you make smarter importing decisions. Spain one hour, France the next, and so on.
Opportunity is 1000% everywhere.
While my list is a bit pointed, it remains true. You all read my column because I tell the #truth. VinExpoNY is a great show, but as people in the trade we need to assist our brethren in how best to navigate the market. It depresses me to walk the outer aisles or the back section to see elaborate booths and zero traffic. These shows are always made in pre work, pre appointments and at scheduled dinners and lunches during the show. When I look at the show, it has become a place where competing brands walk around and look at competing brands. Deals are done pre and post event.
The dinner in Hell’s Kitchen was another story. Spirits were high as spirits were poured. LIttle whining as wine continued to be poured. The company consisted of BevStrat, MHW, Greystone and all the various players. We had a VinExpo type conversation about how we can further assist our mutual brands and partners. Next year will always come and brands will follow as well!
Three Tier Talk
by Brian Rosen, www.BevStrat.com
Brian Rosen is Former CEO of America’s #1 Retailer, Sam’s Wines in Chicago, Former Partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers in Retail and sought after retailer consultant.
EMail: [email protected]