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Publisher’s Page: December 2013

Posted on  | November 25, 2013   Bookmark and Share
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Jack Battipaglia: Gone, But Still With Us

It is natural, and indeed appropriate, to speak about those who have been taken from us in very kind, general terms. But in this case, I am compelled to talk in more specific terms.

I recently discovered a tape recording of a business seminar we sponsored that goes back decades. Jack was one of the panelists, so I brought it into the office to listen.

As was his style, Jack was very forcefully making his points. He objected to suppliers “trying to protect the prestige of their brands by only presenting them neat, in a glass—instead of educating the consumer on the variety of ways one could enjoy these products.” Well, you know where we are now on that subject: Diversity of product use, particularly in cocktails, has helped to double spirit sales in the last decade.

Then Jack painted this dream of a market populated by products gift-packed in a variety of ways for retailers. Well, finally, in 1999, NYSLA published Bulletin 583, which permitted a supplier to create “a sealed pre-wrapped combination package.” And now, Chairman Rosen has recently announced he will be considering expanding this definition to permit wholesalers to create combination packages from their own inventory.

They’ve been a little slow, Jack, but I think they are listening to you.

William G. Slone


Early Warning

I never like seeing politicians make a case based on attacking the other guy, or a product doing the same. The first thing I think is: you must have a pretty weak case.

On the other hand, when a politician, or special interest group, behaves that way, you can be sure they are thinking that the target is relatively easy prey.

Unfortunately, this is the assumption by proponents for legalizing marijuana—when it comes to comparing pot to alcohol. The campaign to legitimize this drug is founded largely on the premise that it an appropriate substitute for the “scourge of alcohol.”

The comparisons being produced are laughable, but we can’t afford to ignore them. For example:

“Alcohol is addictive, but marijuana is not.”
“Alcohol costs the government billions, but not marijuana.

It may sound ridiculous, but do not underestimate the potential damage these kind of comparisons can have on our business. Ask your trade associations topay attention, The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States already is (see DISCUS.org).

Jason A. Glasser
Chief Executive Officer

Sparkling Times

December is a time for gatherings and celebration. Gain some inspiration from “Bubbles 2.0” about the shifting depth and breadth of the sparkling wine category. It’s also a fun time to look back at industry events from the busy fall season in Around Town and to think ahead to what’s trending for 2014. And it’s a great time to refresh ongoing efforts, such as the Last Store on Main Street’s latest campaign to promote New York State wines. Wishing all of our readers a happy and healthy holiday season.

Jody Slone-Spitalnik
Chief Operating Officer


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