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The Business Side of Alcohol

The Business Side of Alcohol

Alcohol is big business here and around the world. The liquor store business alone is worth over 62 billion dollars. This doesn’t account for all the alcohol being served in bars, restaurants, and nightclubs in the country. The sports industry is also a big consumer of alcohol and one study found that a whopping 60% to 75% of stadium revenue at baseball games came exclusively from alcohol sales.

The alcohol industry is one of the most vibrant too with new trends being introduced every year and old trends slowly becoming obsolete. Let’s take a closer look at what it takes to make it in the alcohol business and the challenges you might have to face.

Get with the Times

One of the things that characterize the alcohol industry is how much the customer base changes constantly. Brands like Budweiser and Coors that have been staples for decades are now struggling because of a new generation of drinkers who’d rather drink hard seltzers and hoppy IPAs. Before that, you had the whole microbrewery craze and brands like Pabst Blue Ribbon began to take market shares from major brands.

This is why anyone who wants to get into that business needs to study the market and know their audience. There is still a demand for classic spirits, but you may have to target a more niche audience now.

Ethics Matter

You also have to start paying more attention to how your product is sourced, packaged, and produced. This is because ethics is an important factor in buying decisions across the board today, and alcohol is not exempt. This is why things like organic alcohol are so sought after today. Even things like branding and marketing have to be carefully planned to not cause controversy.

This is what the people over at Johnny Walker had to learn recently when their brand was accused of being too male-centric. They have since decided to make their brand more inclusive by switching their logo to a woman and catering more to women in their marketing. And this is only right since women and men are almost equal consumers of alcohol these days.

Pop Culture and Its Influence

We also suggest that you pay very special attention to what is happening in pop culture. Artists have been influencing trends in the alcohol industry probably more than in any other industry in the world for a long time. Brands like St Yves understood this early when they started handing out sponsorships to popular artists back in the 90s.

Tequila, for instance, made a huge comeback recently largely because of the many celebrities who have brands. Vodka had a comparable rise before Tequila for the same reasons. So, keeping your ears open to what’s going on in music, in particular, could help entrepreneurs find new profitable niches and ride the wave.

The alcohol industry is one of the most lucrative and interesting there is. If you want to get into the industry this year, then do your research on the different niches available and see where you could have a chance at competing.


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by Rebecca Jones // Contributor to Businessing Magazine.

Opinions expressed by contributors are their own.