MassPack Continues To Fight Against Bill Expansion

A recent Massachusetts Package Stores Association (“MassPack”) newsletter and message to MPSA Members from Executive Director Robert Mellion provided some great insight into the work that his association did in 2021 and continues to do in 2022 regarding the many circulating bills that could impact alcohol beverage retail as we know it. According to the newsletter, more than 190 bills were introduced during this legislative session that would impact alcoholic beverage retail – 100 of which would directly overtake local retail by replacing them with out-of-state choices for consumers.

Some of the 2021 highlights from MassPack include:

· Cumberland Farms was derailed from filing another ballot question initiative which would allow unlimited food store licenses to sell beer and wine.

· MassPack prevented industry disruptors from using Covid to further modify alcohol beverage regulations, advance online lottery, and allow for direct shipping of distilled spirits.

· MassPack testified at more than 25 hearings on over 180 bills; a third of the bills filed this session expand off-premise licenses or repeal state and municipal quotas.

· MassPack testified against bills by out-of-state chain stores, supermarkets, and big box retailers that dismantled local licensing and state quota systems.

· MassPack is the only alcohol industry participant to testify against five bills increasing excise tax on alcohol.

· Only MassPack challenged six bills that either ban or place a deposit on miniature bottles and testified against “Nip Bans” at more than 20 municipal hearings across Massachusetts.

· Adding alcohol shipments to the U.S. Postal Reform bill was a top priority.

And as the new year begins, MassPack is already testifying against remaining bills that seek to expand licenses, such as:

· An Act that would further regulate certain licenses for the sale of alcoholic beverages, which is very troublesome because this bill increases the number of allowed all-alcohol retail licenses from 9 to 18.

· An Act concerning the sale of wines and malt beverages by food stores would allow marketplace control of the cheap to moderate alcohol beverages marketplace.

Although the number of bills to monitor and consider is considerable, MassPack asks that we “weigh how [these bills] impact the ABCC’s ability to regulate, consequences to the marketplace and whether these bills undercut public health and safety.”


For more articles on the liquor industry – check out The Advisor Magazine – Issue 12.



Pandemic Exhaustion For Liquor Store & Restaurant Owners

It is hard to wrap our heads around the fact that we will soon be heading into year three of the pandemic. It has been nothing short of a rollercoaster: from normalcy feeling at arm’s length away with cases decreasing, to cases rapidly increasing and feeling as though we are right back to square one.

Many Boston restaurants are still operating with the hope that there is an end in sight, and the turbulence is exhausting. With the new vaccine requirement instated for indoor dining in Boston, the endless struggle to ensure safety for customers and employees is now increasingly more worrisome to restaurant owners.

These restaurant owners fear it will affect their already weakened customer base and ultimately, their bottom line.

The WBUR reported, “But while many restaurants are on board with keeping staff and patrons safe, they also told WBUR the mandate puts even more stress on an already-exhausted industry.”

The instability in the industry has many owners wondering, “is it worth it to even be in the industry anymore?” The fear of the unknown has been at an all-time high for the past few years, and to some, it’s an intolerable burden.

If you are feeling hopeless and burnt out, give us a call. We have been in the industry for over two decades and are here to help you navigate your next move and to make your exit as seamless and beneficial to you as possible.


For more articles on the liquor industry – check out The Advisor Magazine – Issue 12.



What Alcohol Is In Store For 2022?

The key to success in 2022 is going to be preparation and awareness. Support of small businesses was a hot topic during the pandemic where people wanted to help businesses stay afloat, but realistically sometimes it’s more convenient to make a purchase from the big guy.

CEO of LLA, Dan Newcomb, discussed in Advisor Issue #10, the trend in 2021 of consolidation is going to continue with the future ballot question, “the bigger stores are going to get bigger, and the small guys are going to be few and far between. There’ll be less smaller liquor stores in Massachusetts in 2023 than there was in 2021”.

Across alcohol retail sales in Massachusetts, a future ballot question proposes the number of liquor licenses to increase from 9 to 18, and it’s going to provoke commotion. With a forecast of consolidation in mind, it’s crucial that existing owners are attentive to what’s going on in the industry.

If you were presented with the opportunity to execute a quick sale today, would you be ready? You’re going to want to be prepared to maximize your return on investment and we can help you create this plan.

It’s no surprise to many that the supply chain issues have had a major impact on the alcoholic beverage industry. We advise liquor stores to formulate a plan to ensure consumer demand is met, by always having their best-selling products in stock. The key takeaway here is that your best-selling products are highly likely to stay favorable, so stock up now in order to meet consumer demand.


In the age of conscious consumption, sustainability and being environmentally cautious is not going to disappear anytime soon. Consumer demand for more transparent products has significantly increased in the past few years. Selling and marketing organic alcohol is a simple way to introduce sustainable products into your business plan.

Upcycler’s Lab reported, “Organic Alcohol is produced in a way that promotes the sustainability of our planet. Companies producing organic alcohol aim to minimize their impact on the environment by using alternative energy sources, reducing waste, and recycling”.

Preparation and awareness are the keys to success for operators in 2022.


For more articles on the liquor industry – check out The Advisor Magazine – Issue 11.



What Alcohol Is In Store For 2022?

As we’ve learned over the past few years, COVID-19 created a variety of new trends regarding alcohol consumption. Based on reports from cocktail enthusiasts, we’ve been following the forecast regarding drink trends for 2022, and here’s what we found to be the most noteworthy and our advice on how to stay competitive.

During the pandemic, many people took the time to prioritize self-improvement and wellness. It has been reported that this trend will remain, and non-alcoholic and low alcohol beverages are becoming increasingly popular.

As discussed in our Advisor Issue #6 earlier in the year, younger generations are known to be “conscious alcohol consumers”, with a focus on what ingredients are going into their beverages.

Also noted in this article is the younger generation’s tendency to pay attention to who is creating their beverages of choice.

Celebrity-owned spirit sales are predicted to reduce due to the backlash on being seen as inauthentic products.

Take this declining trend into consideration when stocking up on alcohol, as Millennials and Gen Z are not only progressively observant and mindful, but influential as well.

Prominent flavored drinks are predicted to be in high demand. Wine Enthusiast reported their reasoning as, “In the wake of COVID-19, a virus notorious for attacking senses of taste and smell, drinks with prominent, straightforward flavors may reassure those still recovering or otherwise concerned with changes to their senses.”

It has also been reported that RTD (ready-to-drink) cocktails are anticipated to maintain popularity, so we encourage investing in a supply of RTD cocktails with bold, detectable flavors for 2022.


For more articles on the liquor industry – check out The Advisor Magazine – Issue 11.


Shifting Liquor Store Trends


During the recent U.S. COVID-19 “recovery” phase, off-premise alcoholic beverage trends have been shifting.

NielsenIQ’s beverage alcohol expert, Kaleigh Theriault, recently discussed these shifting trends with Joe Tarnowski from ECRM and provided both helpful data and insights. Let’s take a look.

We’ll begin with the most revealing statistic, which is that off-premise sales have been declining since March 2021, which is contrary to the previous few years.

The article states that “Off-premise sales increased 19% in 2020 vs. 2019”, and that “off-premise sales increased 18% YTD vs. 2019 YTD.”

As consumers have recently enjoyed a higher comfort level dining and drinking out, off-premise numbers have declined. However, it will be interesting to see where these numbers go with the Delta Variant of COVID coming into play.

The article also highlights the continuing trend of increasing sales for Ready-to-drink alcoholic beverages and hard seltzers, as both categories have shown an increase since 2020.

Another category showing an influx is non-alcoholic beer, wine, and spirits, which have increased 35% YTD in sales.

Commenting on these trends, Theriault states that: “For the remainder of 2021, we can expect a few key trends to stick.

RTD sales are going to start gaining traction within on premise as consumers view these to be ‘safer’ beverage options.

Firstly, the movement towards ready-to-drink cocktails will continue as sales surpassed summer 2020 sales off-premise, and also expanded into on premise channels.

In addition, RTD sales are going to start gaining traction within on premise as consumers view these to be ‘safer’ beverage options.”

With the Delta variant picking up traction, we may see currently declining e-commerce sales begin to increase again, as consumers may choose to dine and drink in, rather than frequent the restaurants and bars with which they just became reacquainted.

Although online alcohol sales aren’t quite as high as they were during the height of COVID, many people have continued to utilize this service for its convenience and because they can personalize their alcoholic beverage choices.

For example, many shoppers enjoy the ability to type in “low calorie”, “low sugar”, or “gluten-free” to individualize their purchases. Theriault comments on this trend, stating that “…and retailers need to further develop their product descriptions and discoverability in order to cater to the growing segment of health-conscious consumers looking for personalization.”

We live in a more unpredictable world now than ever, and watching consumer trends is essential for off-premise suppliers’ and operators’ survival. We can expect consumers to adapt to the changing climate – and off-premise players must follow suit.


For more articles on the liquor industry – check out The Advisor Magazine – Issue 8.


How Long Does It Take To Sell Your Liquor Store

How can you shorten the timeline when selling a liquor store? What about a liquor license? This is a question we often get asked by owners in the Boston, MA area and the answer is depending on your situation and who you have on your team.

First off, we track and measure each step of the process internally and after doing this work for decades we now have a projected timeline for each client based on their location and other variables.

Second, we have a team of people we’ve worked closely with for many years that can predict where the bottlenecks may happen in a deal and we can then be proactive in the process of selling a liquor store for you and move it to close.

Our proprietary system called the Match Method™ allows us to keep the process moving along effectively.

Watch the video below to hear some tips on selling your liquor store:

At Liquor License Advisor we have been in the liquor license and liquor store broker industry for many decades and been a part of thousands of transactions. We have a team behind us that executes a proven system to make sure that your license and/or liquor store sell in the least amount of time possible for the most money.

We internally track deals to make sure when we sell a liquor store, we are able to optimize the process. Our team is actually rewarded based on the timeline of a deal to close. It’s that important to us that we get you the yield of your investment back as quickly as possible at the highest return.

When it comes time for selling your liquor store, we are here to help. We can give you insights into your marketplace and may already have a buyer in mind.

Give us a call any time (781)319-9800 or contact us.

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