Shipments vs. Depletions

Question: Why do you focus on volume entering distribution?

Answer: The source of our data is varied government reports at both the federal and state level. These reports primarily focus on tax collections which tend to occur when goods are shipped from a producer to a distributor. We believe this is a good measurement of demand in the marketplace. As everyone who has been involved in the industry knows, over time, shipments equal depletions which ultimately equal consumer take-away. Any discrepancy between shipments and depletions results in a change to inventory in the market. Obviously there are fluctuations on a month to month or quarter to quarter basis but generally on a rolling twelve month basis the overall inventory in distribution channels varies minimally.

Data Verification

Question: How can a subscriber be certain that your data accurately reflects the market? Your wine data especially has some significant variances from other published reports

AnswerWe have gone back over a decade evaluating our methodologies on a month by month basis.

  • As a cross check we have tested our volume calculations versus actual taxes collected for the period 2003 to 2014. We are very confident that the industry is compliant regarding excise tax compliance as well as that most industry members do not choose to overpay their taxes. Click here for a view of the tax reconciliation. There are some tax offsets that impact excise tax collection that I am fortunate to have experience with. These include:
    • Small producer tax credit for beer,
    • Small Producer tax credit for wine.
    • Duty Drawback on still wines at no more than 14% alcohol.
    • 5010 tax credit for spirits.
  • In evaluating the tax reconciliation, the wine volumes had a slightly higher variance than beer or spirits. As an added cross check on wine volumes we looked at a simple inventory flow from 2003 to 2014 to further validate our methodology. This effectively looked at “Opening Inventory” plus “Total Domestic Production” plus “Total Imports” less “exports” less “ending inventory” equals “Wine Entering Distribution”. Click here for a copy of the bw166 Wine Inventory Reconciliation.

Shipment Volatility

Question: Why do your multi period reports start with the longest period?

Answer: Our reports deal with product entering distribution channels. We have found that the shorter time periods have significant volatility. This is due to several factors such as timing of supplier programs, ordering patterns by the trade and inconsistent flow of imports. The longer term trends even this out versus shorter term trends. Click here for a file that shows the comparison in volatility of longer term trends versus shorter term trends. (bw166 Trend Comparisons.pdf).



Launching bw166 Research Reports

Veteran wine industry executive Jon Moramarco has launched a high -level monthly research report that provides ‘intelligent data’ on the U.S. market for beer, wine and spirits. The new BW 166 Total Beverage Alcohol Overview is now available to subscribers and redefines how wine, beer and spirits sales data is gauged and analyzed.

Moramarco has developed a proprietary system for alcoholic beverage data analysis that provides a very accurate picture of the U.S. market for beer, wine and spirits and gives a one-stop view of product entering the marketplace for all three market segments using a single methodology. The first Total Beverage Alcohol Overview report covers the 12-month period ending December 31, 2014, and shows:

  • Consumers spent $211 billion on beverage alcohol in 2014, an increase of 3.3%.
  • The U.S. market for wine (excluding cider) can accurately be reported as 382 million cases, a figure that is higher than other published reports.
  • Since 2003 beer has lost market share to wine and spirits, although over the past 12 months it has started to reverse this trend.
  • Over the past twelve months spirits have seen the best increase in price per unit, increasing 2.1% to $16.32 per 750 ml.
  • Consumers continue to trade up, with spending growing faster than consumption.

Moramarco also notes that there is now far more interaction by consumers between beer, wine and spirits, which necessitates a single report covering the topline trends for all three segments.

“Market data is the foundation for some of the most critical decisions and initiatives facing beverage alcohol companies in every market segment,” says Moramarco. “But raw numbers don’t always give a complete picture. We are providing intelligent data that reflects a variety of real-world factors and gives business leaders more consistent information on which to base decisions.”

The BW 166 Total Beverage Alcohol Overview continuously tracks rolling 12-month data rather than calendar year tracking as is done by traditional reports. Other measurement categories covered by the Total Beverage Alcohol Overview include:

  • Beverage Alcohol Serving Indices and Share of Beverage Servings
  • Consumer Spending on Beverage Alcohol, Consumer Off- and On-Premise Expenditures (by category), Price Indices and Average Price for Off- and On-Premise Consumption (by category)
  • Total Equivalent Wholesale Values
  • Breakdowns for Beer, Wine & Spirits Entering U.S. Distribution

While the BW 166 Total Beverage Alcohol report is new, Moramarco has applied the same methodology to more than 10 years of data to confirm the process and accuracy. He also points out that scan data from supermarket sales is often used to quantify the U.S. market, but it only looks at a portion of the market (a portion of off-premise sales). Moramarco believes his new data analysis and reporting system provides the most accurate picture available of the U.S. market, as it continuously tracks the trends across all three segments. His proprietary analysis is based on decades of experience running major international alcoholic beverage companies.

Before launching BW 166 in 2014, Moramarco spent four years as president and CEO of Winebow, Inc., a leading wine importing and wholesale company. Previously he worked for Constellation Brands, the largest marketer and producer of wine in the world. He was CEO of Constellation International from 2007 to 2009, CEO of Constellation Europe from 2006 to 2007, CEO of Constellation’s Icon Estates from 2003 to 2005 and CEO of Canandaigua Wine Co. from 1999 to 2003. Earlier in his career he was CEO of Allied Domecq Wines USA from 1992 to 1999 and served in other roles with its predecessor companies from 1982 to 1992. BW 166 LLC, based in Santa Rosa, California, is named for Bonded Winery 166, which was the number of California Mission Vintage Co., acquired by Moramarco’s grandfather during Prohibition in downtown Los Angeles.