As pictured on these pages, the Adams Beverage Group, publishers of Cheers presented plaques to the industry’s top brand marketers for the past year, at the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America’s (WSWA) 62nd Annual Convention in Orlando in April. These were the winners of Adams 2005 Growth Brands Awards in the wine and spirits categories. Winners had been notified earlier in the year and details of the awards presented in our Growth Brands Awards report, published in March.
While the focus at WSWA was also on brands and brand performance, other concerns were in the air. As the industry’s largest suppliers plunged into another round of consolidation, one of the biggest unanswered questions for many in the business was not about who’s going to get what and for how much but who’s going to handle the distribution.
That question was on many minds. The top distillers and their marketing agents haven’t been shy about using their growing power to line up wholesale support, pitting their leverage against even the largest wholesalers. This is hardly likely to change. In fact, in opening session remarks Bacardi USA president and ceo Eduardo Sardina commented directly on the marketplace’s high level of expectations for wholesalers.
Sardina began by referencing other bouts of industry combination going back more than a decade, concluding they were part of a broader pattern of business consolidation. Drawing on U.S. demographic and other trend information he opined, “The next 10 years will be good years.” Every component of the industry will have a role to play, he said. While suppliers have to continue to bring quality products to the marketplace and support them, he said, distributors will have an equally critical part.
Sardina then gave listening wholesalers a list of “what we expect.” Included on the Bacardi executive’s list were “in-depth market knowledge, strategic planning partnership, superior programming skills, account segmentation, advertising, merchandising, superior on-premise capabilities, event management, [and] category management.”
Whatever his audience was thinking, he got a nice round of applause.
With Pernod Ricard USA awards are Sheila Goodman, Adams; Pernod Ricard execs Ted Roman, senior vp, sales, and Michel Bord, chairman and ceo, and Charles Forman, Adams.
With their awards are Patron Spirits company executive team of John McConnell, John Palatella, Ed Brown, and Matt Carroll, along with Adams’ Sheila Goodman.
Flanking Barton Brands vp marketing services Jack Kavanagh are Adams’ Charles Forman and Sheila Goodman.
Sheila Goodman, Adams, on left beside Bruce Hunter, managing director; Nick James, vp, senior brand manager, and Nick Potter, brand manager, Shaw-Ross International Importers.
Diageo plaques were presented at company HQ in Norwalk, CT. Pictured are Charles Forman, Adams, and Martin Tubridy, Tubridy and Associates, on ends, with Diageo brand managers Olesya Alferenko (Smirnoff), Yvonne Briese (Jose Cuervo), and Louise McKerrow (Bailey’s), between.