Coronavirus conversations: Raffaele Berardi

We caught up with Raffaele Berardi, the CEO of Fraternity Spirits, to find out how he thinks Covid-19 will, or won’t, change the spirits sector.

How is business during this tricky time?

It’s complicated as some markets are closed completely. There’s been a global impact. Sales in bars are zero, but stores have picked up partially.

How have you adapted the way you do business during the coronavirus crisis?

I have been holding video conferences all day long! People are speaking more online today than ever before.

Has the crisis changed drinking habits/consumption trends in your experience?

I believe it has, but we have not yet got the data to properly answer that question.

Are you enjoying a boost in off-trade/ online sales?

Some markets in particularly have seen stronger off-trade sales.

How do you think the coronavirus crisis will change the world?

Good question. Actually, I believe it won’t change anything. Does the flu change how we live? We will all learn to live with a new virus. Any changes against the liberty and freedom for people to have a choice will be the main change. Looking to the future, we may see changes, or a change, to a more controlled governing and corporate culture.

How should the trade adapt in the face of the crisis?

We will continuing to adapt and follow the new regulations. Due to the market limitations, we will find new ways to bring the consumer closer to the product. Virtual reality may be the future.

Do you think it will change how people do business, if so how?

If regulations and restrictions become complicated, and travel and free movement is restricted, then I believe it will.

What is the future for the trade post Covid-19?

Wine and spirits are always a safe haven for business as long as the consumer has a chance to get the products freely.

What are your top priorities as a company going forward?

Recover our lost business.

Do you have any new wines in the pipeline / news to report?

Yes, we are working on some new spirits which will be released in due course.

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