Small Retailers and Package Stores Need Your Support On Question #3

In our latest Advisor Magazine, we included a campaign ad produced by the 21st Century Alcohol Retail Reform Committee outlining why you should vote yes on question #3. The video explains that locally owned package stores, independent markets and convenience stores initiated the ballot question. Not only will voting yes help save Massachusetts small retailers and package stores, but it will support consumer convenience, public safety, and tourism. 

Visit https://www.yeson3mass.com/ for more information on how you can support this campaign!

To read the full article – check out The Advisor Magazine – Issue 21.

 

The Advisor Magazine: Issue #18 –

No signs of stopping for the battle growing on both sides on controversial liquor license issues across the state.
In Issue #18 of The Advisor we discuss:
  • Saving “Mom & Pop” Shops;
  • Time for nine (Grandfathering liquor licenses);
  • Restaurant’s pandemic adjustments;
  • and more!
In this issue, we take a look at both on and off-premise issues getting ready to boil over.
Click Here To Read The Advisor – Issue #18.

 

The Advisor Magazine: Issue #17 –

As we settle in for Independence Day there’s much to celebrate even with looming changes to both on and off-premise liquor licenses.
In Issue #17 of The Advisor we discuss more on-premise liquor licenses coming to the City of Boston, retail Tier Reform, Summer drinking trends and more!
In this issue, we take a look at what’s to come going into Q3 of 2022.
Click Here To Read The Advisor – Issue #17.

 

20 Years In The Boston & Massachusetts Liquor License Business

What’s Next?

Twenty years is a long time to reflect back on and recall some incredible stories!

Some of the main characters who influenced my career path include Howard Deering Johnson, Donnie Wahlberg, Charlie Perkins, and of course, Dick Newcomb, my Father and original creator/owner of the Mug ‘n Muffin restaurants.

Our original family restaurant business started in 1965 in Wollaston, Massachusetts, the birthplace of one of America’s best-known restaurant chains, Howard Johnson’s (HoJo’s). My Dad’s new restaurant, named Mug ‘n Muffin, was opened in July 1965, only 1.5 years after I was born, so I was essentially born into the family business. Even as a young kid, I was involved as my Dad grew his business, which had evolved to 26 restaurants by the early 1980’s.

I grew up flipping eggs and burgers at my family’s restaurant, and before I was old enough to do that, I watched guys like Bobby Orr and other decorated Boston Bruins stop in for coffee, as one of the main restaurants was conveniently located across from the old Garden. Over the years, I watched my Dad negotiate with vendors and landlords and I now realize that I was getting a front-row seat to a real-life masterclass in influence before I was old enough to drive. I knew I wanted to be a restaurant owner and run my Dad’s business.

After I graduated college in 1986, we re-developed the concept, worked hard, and I was able to grow from two to four restaurants that I managed for the family. A lot of work and stress brought a lifestyle I didn’t want to maintain as my own family grew.

Ironically, my Dad’s restaurant was a regular host to AA groups, and I’ve been sober since March 28, 1988.

 

To see how the next 20 something years go – check out The Advisor Magazine – Issue 16.

 

 

The Advisor Magazine: Issue #16 –

The power struggle continues and things heat up in the retail tier of the liquor license industry. With being approx. 6 months away from the Senate vote on the 21st Century Alcohol Reform bill, many storylines are surfacing.

In Issue #16 of The Advisor we discuss what comes after 20 years in the liquor license industry, which pre-mixed liquor is taking over, the end of revitalization and more.

In this issue, we take a hard look at what’s to come for all stakeholders involved in off premise and on premise alcohol bills.
Click Here To Read The Advisor – Issue #16.

 

More Towns Banning Nips & Miniatures In Liquor Stores

Quincy may be the latest Massachusetts town to ban the sale of nips, according to a March 31 Patriot Ledger report. Mayor Thomas Koch has expressed interest in asking the city’s licensing board to ban the sale of nips (alcoholic beverages in containers 100 milliliters or less) to control littering and waterway pollution, as well as address other problems, such as trash-lined streets, debris in storm drains and contaminating ocean water.

Koch also believes that nips make it more difficult for restaurants and other establishments to control underage drinking. Koch has reportedly given this decision time, as the pandemic has already hit many businesses hard.

Quincy would follow five other Massachusetts towns that have already banned nips: Chelsea, Mashpee, Falmouth, Wareham (to go into effect 5/11/22) and Newton (to go into effect 6/30/22).

Also interesting to note is that a Rhode Island legislator has proposed a law that would ban nips statewide.

The question is: Will some businesses be able to make up the revenue if nips and miniature bottles are removed?

 

For more articles on the liquor industry – check out The Advisor Magazine – Issue 15.

 

 

The Advisor Magazine: Issue #15 –

Controversy rising in both the off-premise and on-premise liquor industry is creating a ripple across the state.

In Issue #15 of The Advisor we discuss Sommeliers pushing the boundaries, north end Boston outdoor dining fines for restaurants, cocktails-to-go extended, again, banning of nips and miniatures in more towns, and more!

In this issue, we take a hard look at what’s to come for all stakeholders involved.
Click Here To Read The Advisor – Issue #15.

 

Wine Sales Struggle With Millennial Interest Lagging

The next time you uncork a bottle of your favorite cabernet or sauvignon blanc, ask yourself if seeing the nutritional information listed on the back changes the experience for you? Would the experience be less enjoyable because you were concentrating more on the sugar content and calories per serving than the hints of cherry in your pinot noir, or the smooth taste of your chardonnay? How important are a winery’s social and environmental convictions to you, and would knowing them affect your consumer behavior?

Current data indicates that millennials, who have a large impact on the alcohol industry, prefer having the nutritional, social, and environmental information presented to them, and they aren’t getting it from the wine industry. Wine sales and interest are both lagging the increasingly popular seltzer and ready-to-drink cocktails, and it appears that the culprits behind this shift are millennials.

A recent New York Times article reveals concern over the current state of the wine industry, and according to the article, millennials are not drinking enough wine. Baby boomers and their tendency to opt for wine has led to a healthy wine market in the past; however, as these boomers reach retirement age, they have less influence on the market because they aren’t spending as much. Millennials, on the other hand, do have much more influence on the market and have an agenda as a health-conscious, socially aware, environmentally concerned generation.

Rob McMillan, an executive vice president of Silicon Valley Bank in Santa Clara, California, and a long-time analyst of the American wine market, states that “Sales of American wine could plummet by 20% in the next decade,” and this decrease could be because the wine market has not addressed millennial concerns yet.

“It [the wine industry] has failed to recognize the changing demographics that millennials represent,” according to the article. McMillan suggests that in an effort to adapt to what millennials want, winemakers could list ingredients and nutritional information, for example, or make their social and environmental values clear.

Millennials are a generation of hard seltzer and premade cocktail fans, less often opting for the glass of wine than for their can of choice. They are not only making a stance on noting that their calories count, but they also want to know how and where these calories were made – – and wine producers haven’t offered that information yet. They also haven’t made professing their social and environmental views a priority, which apparently has not settled well with this extremely health-conscious, socially and environmentally aware generation.

Another factor contributing to the decline in wine sales amongst millennials is that wine tends to be a more expensive beverage option, whereas hard seltzers, RTD cocktails, and craft beers are less expensive, and millennials are generally more financially burdened than their parents. Millennials are entering a world where everything costs more, including their education and homes, and they will cut costs where they can.

As more “organic”, “sugar-free”, and “low and no alcohol” wines appear on the shelves, it does cause consumers to take pause and consider why these options are suddenly appearing. The future of the wine industry is yet to be determined: Will shelves will soon be lined with “healthier” wine varietals, with declarations of environmental responsibilities and social commitments plastered on their bottles? Do wine lovers want that? Does the wine-loving generation have enough of a market pull to maintain wine’s classic image?

The verdict is out, and upcoming trends and sales will tell. 

 

For more articles on the liquor industry – check out The Advisor Magazine – Issue 14.

 

 

The Advisor Magazine: Issue #14 –

As we move into restaurant and outdoor dining season, trends are starting to shift.

In Issue #14 of The Advisor we discuss wine sales struggling, travel and tourism set to impact the industry, MassPack heats up its push for independent operators, whiskey continues growth and more!

This issue we will also celebrate being in the industry for 20 years thanks to the support from many!

Click Here To Read The Advisor – Issue #14.

 

DTC Wine Shipments Hit $4 Billion in US

Although pre-pandemic activity has begun to reemerge as consumers return to restaurants, bars, and wineries for their favorite glass of wine, DTC (Direct-to-Consumer) wine shipments in 2021 surpassed $4 billion for the first time in the U.S. What does this surge mean for wine sales in the on and off-premise markets?

The reason for this advance could be that although wine shipments jumped 28% in 2021, the year-on-year increase in volume was small, and the jump in shipments could be due to the surge in price per bottle – which increased a record 11.8%. However, consumers still spent their money on higher priced wines via DTC channels.

 

Andrew Adams, Wine Analytics and report editor at Wines Vines Analytics, commented, “Increases in price per bottle shipped helped balance out the decreases in volume that some regions experienced, creating an overall increase in value for the West Coast”. (Napa enjoyed an almost $400 million increase in value of DTC shipments in 2021!)

Another reason for the staggering increase could be that although eating and drinking establishments are reopening, many consumers enjoyed the convenience of DTC purchases that they discovered during the pandemic. Although the need for such a service has lessened with restaurants, bars, and wineries reopening their doors as some restrictions lifted, the service had such a positive impact that it seems to have continuous power.

 

According to beverage alcohol consultant Danny Brager, “as COVID-19’s impact on travel and tourism lessens, there is every reason to believe DTC shipments based on winery visitation and new club memberships will be strong in 2022.” Perhaps consumers will enjoy the best of both worlds.

Combining consumers’ enjoyment of DTC convenience with the enthusiasm of returning to restaurants for their favorite glass of wine must leave liquor store owners wondering, how can we position ourselves to remain relevant and indispensable in today’s market?

 

For more articles on the liquor industry – check out The Advisor Magazine – Issue 13.

 

 

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