Year of Award
Master of Business Administration (MBA)
College of Business & Professional Studies
beverage, alcohol, supply, distillery, competition
Trade journals are full of bad news. Nine of the top ten spirit brands post declines. Total table wine consumption down. Total sparkling wine consumption down. Even the popular press has articles concerning trends away from alcohol and toward alternative beverages and lifestyles.
But, the wine and spirits industry was not always this way. From post-prohibition through 1980, there was tremendous growth. There came about many new brands, new lines, new categories, and new companies. Wholesalers prospered. Then the bottom dropped out. Outside influences like MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving), SADD (Students Against Drunk Driving), and the overall increased awareness of the negative effects of alcohol contributed to the decline.
Supplier consolidation, wholesaler consolidation, the.decline of the independent retailer, and the growth of chain-oriented retailers are all results of the decline. The big get bigger and the little find a niche or do not survive.
Those wine and spirits wholesalers that have survived have adapted differently to the changes. Some have kept the same marketing strategies, some have taken the marketing strategies of other industries, and some have used a combination.
The only thing constant about the wine and spirits industry is change. Those wine and spirits wholesalers that can adapt to change will survive; those that can’t will not.
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Lathrop, Brian E., "A Study of Growth Strategies for Wine and Spirits Wholesalers" (1992). Theses, Dissertations, and Capstone Projects. 341.
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