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How drinks data is transforming the US alcohol industry

The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated tech adoption and innovation in the alcohol space, reshaping how brands can deepen their industry reach from distributor to consumer, according to a recent survey by Colangelo & Partners and insights from SevenFifty.

With digitisation trends ascendant in the world of wines and spirits, the importance of e-commerce tools to beverage alcohol brands continues to grow, according to SevenFifty Technologies, the largest online marketplace and technology platform for the U.S. wholesale beverage alcohol industry.

The fast-growing tech company recently compiled its proprietary data from the pivotal post-Covid sales period of 2020, presenting its findings at the wine2wine Business Forum. Despite unparalleled global economic headwinds, the platform experienced measurable gains, with the use of tech by importers, producers, distributors, and buyers driving marketplace activity. According to data sourced from SevenFifty’s online platform, gains primarily represented growth in the off-premise retail space.

Interestingly, off-premise buyers placed orders of wine, and spirits more frequently and at an average larger size as a reaction to the market volatility of March to July 2020.  E-commerce was a key driver of this market movement, as wholesalers’ digital strategies grew to encompass more than just web, social media, and email marketing. Companies across the American three-tier system—suppliers, distributors, and buyers—are increasingly leveraging SevenFifty’s seamless, direct integration of product data, according to proprietary data insights.

The company powers its marketplace and software solutions with its comprehensive data library of beverage alcohol products sold in the U.S., which has been built with metadata attributes such as grape varieties, spirit categories, regions, packaging types, and prices by market, as well as product-specific marketing content uploaded directly by importers and producers.

A searchable marketplace with reliable product data makes it easier for restaurant, bars, and retail buyers to find and purchase products; likewise, for beverage alcohol brands wanting to support their existing distributors’ sales efforts, the industry-wide adoption of data integration brings benefits, as well. The ability to quickly deploy digital marketing assets to sales representatives and retail buyers creates a reliable pathway to showcase the most up-to-date brand content. The entire supply chain, including those wine and spirits brands seeking distribution, benefits from the greater visibility into each local market.

Tech integration and streamlining of the beverage alcohol space has entered a new phase of complexity and growth across the industry, indicated by the recent acquisition of Drizly by Uber. In May 2020, the consumer-facing delivery platform experienced a 400% surge in wine, spirits, and beer sales over previous year-over-year metrics. Likewise, SevenFifty’s consumer-facing e-commerce platform BevSites saw an increase in activity during the nascent stages of the pandemic, with 750% year-over-year growth in April 2020 sales for its Northeast beverage alcohol retailers.

Previously arcane laws regarding U.S. alcohol delivery have been amended in many states to ease beverage commerce and fulfilment, fuelling the trend for online purchasing of alcohol by consumers. While most retailers have traditionally focused solely on local customers, online competition has raised both consumer expectations and players’ stakes—increasing the need for streamlined data that can help tie together the entire supply chain, now that more shopping and wholesale business transactions are happening online.

Through its focus on technology and data, SevenFifty has supported the growth of wine, and spirits e-commerce throughout this transitional economic period. With the fast-tracked adoption of digital tools by importers, wineries, distilleries, distributors, buyers, and, of course, consumers, meaningful tech is now a constituent, necessary part of e-commerce that brings a competitive edge in this new landscape.

Colangelo & Partners is the leading fine wine and spirits- focused PR agency in the US offering five basic services: Press Relations, Social Media / Influencer Marketing, Event Marketing, Trade Relations and Content Marketing. With main offices in New York and San Francisco, Colangelo & Partners has an international team of PR professionals who are technically trained and certified in wine and spirits as well as the disciplines of communications. 

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