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'TIS THE SEASON.

WINTER HAS COME, which brings seasonal changes in consumer habits.

Colder weather has beer drinkers reaching for heavier, darker, sweeter brews. It's certainly #StoutSeason, and many breweries will also release holiday-themed specialties that taste of graham cracker or winter spice.

Cocktail lovers will whip up drinks that are warm and filling, which is why sales of cream liqueurs spike around the holiday season. Now is also the time for bigger wines like boozy red blends. To see how the 2018 Napa and Sonoma vintages will eventually fit into this picture, read Jonathan H. Newman's review of the new vintages on page 8.

Alcohol products remain a common gift this time of year, so be sure to see our 2018 Holiday Merchandising Guide in the digital edition of this issue.

Not all drinking habits trend towards heavier beverages in winter months. The holidays are a time of celebration, with sales of bubbly wines shooting up. For more info on this, see our story by Laurie Daniel on page 16.

At the same time, some customers will purchase certain products even if they might seem off-season. Consumers drink a little bit of everything today, experimenting across brands and categories. This means that seasonal purchasing patterns can go out the window when the customer is in the mood for that certain beverage. Rose All Day is more than a marketing phrase: it reflects how modern consumers drink whatever they want, when they want.

If you love mezcal and tequila, why stop in winter? To read how a retailer in Chicago, of all places, has become a national leader in mezcal and tequila, see Melissa Sherwin's feature on page 12 about Moreno's Liquors.

Brown spirits are now always in season. American brandy has benefited from this boom. To see how, check out Tom Strenk's category piece online in our digital edition.

With this issue we close out another year. In review of 2018 you can read about the best wines our panel tasted this past year on page 31, and check out what we judged were the top marketing campaigns in our annual Advertising and Promotions Awards on page 19.

Thanks to all our readers for another year of sharing in our coverage of the alcohol industry. May everyone enjoy a healthy and prosperous 2019!

Kyle Swart

Editor, Off-Premise

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Title Annotation:Editor's NOTE
Author:Swartz, Kyle
Publication:Beverage Dynamics
Date:Nov 1, 2018
Words:385
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