Getting Your Alcoholic Beverage to the Market
The alcoholic beverage industry is unique. While the product offering is limited to wines, beers, and spirits, there are plenty of opportunities for you to carve out a name for yourself. What's the secret? The right mindset, research, and knowing how and what makes your product or process special. At Brindiamo Group, we've been in the industry for decades and watched as companies and brands succeeded in turning massive profits. Getting your foot through the door can be challenging, but with these steps, you'll find financial success.
Stand Out From the Crowd
The alcohol beverage industry is expansive. There are many opportunities for both large and small businesses to succeed. But, success isn't defined by just a good idea. In a market as saturated as alcoholic beverages, it's critical to the brand to find a niche that is their own. How can this be achieved? There are many ways. Let's start with a good idea. Experts in the industry have seen on too many occasions individuals who've enjoyed a bottle of wine while on holiday and decided to bring the brand back to the U.S. Great idea in theory. If you enjoyed the wine someone else might too. But, once you tack on all the markups and duties for selling one bottle, will it taste as delicious when it's priced three times higher? Probably not.
That's not to say you can't be optimistic. There are still ways you can carve out success. You can become a big fish in a little pond by sourcing out a sector of the market that needs a little more representation. Imagine being one of 5 sellers of mezcal, a beverage made from agave. A niche product with some room for growth. Finding an untapped corner of the market can prove challenging, but never underestimate the power of a story. Some brands produce the same product and succeed next to each other based off their story alone. This concept includes the history of the brand or the process you use to make your product. There are ways to differentiate yourself. Just make sure you are ready to build up your story.
Get Familiar With the System
On December 5th, 1933 the 21st amendment repealed the 18th amendment ending prohibition. As part of the repeal, states were issued jurisdiction over the distribution and selling of alcohol. Most states apply a three-tier system that includes the producers/importers selling to distributors who in turn sell to retailers. In theory, this would make it easier to collect the necessary taxes.
The tricky thing is, this three-tiered system varies from state-to-state. Sometimes it varies per county. Just look at legendary whiskey Jack Daniels produced in Lynchburg, TN. This county also happens to be dry. Finding success requires getting your product approved by a distributor. Liquor stores often work with multiple distributors, but bars will stick to just a couple. The larger the distributor, the better your chances are for a bar to order your product.
Importing Alcoholic Beverages
Importing wines, beers, or spirits is an alternative to creating your own product and finding a way to differentiate yourself in the market. Before you can order your first case, you'll need to find out what you need to import alcoholic beverages. It's a lot of necessary permits and filling out forms with the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau. It's an arduous process, but it's required.
If completing all the paperwork isn't for you, it's possible to hire a third party that will take care of the logistics for you. It's a little more up front, but their expert knowledge of the process means you won't be left with any surprises. A trickier aspect of selling imported goods is the inventory. The turn around can include a few weeks. Not ordering enough product could leave a client in the lurch and with an opportunity to fill your spot with someone else. Too much product will mean you become a storage facility. You want to find the right balance. We've already talked in depth about what you need to import alcoholic beverages.
Think About Your Products Long Term
Getting into the alcoholic beverage industry isn't a "get rich quick" scheme. The payoff is financially rewarding, but you'll need to think long term. A mistake most newcomers make is thinking they will get in, find success, then back out. It doesn't work that way. It can take years before your brand becomes successful. And, you'll need a strategy to make that happen. One way to get your name out there is through social media, tours of your facility, or through event promotion.
It's a slow climb to the top, but it's possible. At Brindiamo Group, we're here to help you make the most out of your new venture. Our team is comprised of industry experts who can help guide you through every step. We've worked with large and small businesses on both a domestic and international scale. There isn't anything we've not personally seen or handled. And, we're here to help.
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