I try to focus this blog on the big news in the industry. While other folks focus on producers, event recaps, changes in people, or interviewing key people… I want to focus on the events that drive long-term change. If you look at the landscape for the wine and spirits industry, I think of changes in the following categories:
- Acquisitions — transactions where brands and/or assets are changing hands
- Regulatory changes — typically at the state level
- Big agricultural events — climate change is one thing but
- Innovation — there is a lot happening in e-commerce, vineyard technology, etc. Wine is slow moving but innovation comes eventually.
It seems like Pennsylvania is perpetually in play for regulatory changes. It is a large market and it is one of the few markets that is controlled completely by the state. Grocery stores and convenience stores are particularly interested in change to the system while many lawmakers are hesitant to make changes that endanger the rather sizable revenue stream the flows into the state’s coffers. As a result, there is a lot of spending by the interested parties to influence changes. While it looks like there is some promising change (if you are in favor of stirring the pot), my guess is that it is still a long way to the finish line.