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New York Personal Page – August 2013

Posted on  | July 24, 2013   Bookmark and Share
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Changing with the Times…a Million Reasons

When my father brought me into the business, every month I worked through tear sheets of wholesaler price pages which had been updated by hand. I remember visiting the print house where Lib Mazotta, the linotype operator, would enter the new prices line by line on what looked like a giant typewriter.

In the early 1980’s, when we began to introduce new computer-based tools to manage the updating, at first I felt resistant. But now it is quite clear that we never could have continued to service the market had we not embraced new technologies.

I am reminded of that transition lately as we continue to expand and improve our offering on BeverageMedia.com. Please don’t be put off because the range of tools this platform offers may appear to be outside of your current comfort zone. Don’t mistakenly conclude that you have to first hire a younger person just to manage the search and ordering process. Take it a step at a time and you will see how soon you are enjoying the benefits.You can’t find greater assurance than the fact that one million orders have already been placed by your colleagues through this system. Times change.

William G. Slone, Chairman

The Struggle for Credibility

Agencies seeking to justify funding must love our industry. They know there is enough built-in cynicism surrounding our products that they can easily draw negative conclusions, buoyed by “hard facts.”

Take, for instance, a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention saying that excessive drinking costs the economy more than $220 billion annually. A more detailed breakdown claims that the bulk of those “costs” stem from the hangover component—as in lost productivity, to the tune of $160 billion dollars—the majority of which is borne by federal, state, and local governments.

These are big, bad numbers. But the CDC researchers failed to mention the significant revenue from beverage alcohol that goes directly to the government in the form of taxes. Even more important: rather than get into a numbers debate every time a study like this crops up, our industry needs to continue to publicize the positives—such as the support New York retailers are showing the state’s wine industry.

This exercise makes the case for our ongoing appeal to every package store licensee who is supporting NYS wines to send us graphic evidence in a picture. We need hard facts like this to prove our point, before some study is presented to the NYS legislature “documenting” our lack of support.

Jason A. Glasser, Chief Executive Officer

Hot Town, Cool Trends

Facing some of summer’s hottest days I am inspired with cool thoughts thanks to “Ice Capades”. It was only a matter of time before the frozen drinks we used to know got a fresh update for modern cocktail-making. From spiked slushies and snow cones to blender drinks and adult milkshakes, brands and bartenders are getting creative with the frozen drink trend.

On the wine front, though the idea of inexpensive Pinot Noir isn’t brand new, the past year has seen the category’s sales grow a great deal. Consumers can’t seem to get enough. Read more starting on pg. 12. And for all you need to know about Austria’s exciting Grüner Veltliners, see Christy Canterbury’s overview on pg. 34.

For this issue we also looked into “The Art of Cross-Selling” (pg. 26), and found that retailers are as enthusiastic as ever about interacting with consumers and introducing them to new wines. “The Gold Standard,” on pg. 30, looks into the enduring presence of wine and spirits competitions and how to leverage the winners. And speaking of winners, be on the lookout this fall for a special insert of the Ultimate Beverage Challenge Guide to the World’s Best Wine & Spirits.

Jody Slone -Spitalnik.Chief Operating Officer


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