More on Shifting Distributor Rankings


Following the news that Wirtz Beverage and Charmer Sunbelt Group are merging [see WSD 10-20-2015], and Southern Wine & Spirits and Glazer's may be partnering [see WSD 10-21-2015], your editors set out to reconfigure the Top 10 Distributors list with the assumption that the deals will come to fruition.

Today we have some updates on the list: first a correction, Breakthru -- the merger of CSG and Wirtz -- will have a $6 billion annual revenue, rather than the $7 billion we reported on Friday, which means RNDC is still No. 2 with revenue of "nearly $7 billion." We'll also reveal our best estimate of which distributors will fill the soon-to-be-vacant 9 and 10 spots.


1. Southern + Glazers: ($15+ billion)
2. RNDC (Nearly $7 billion)
3. Breakthru ($6 billion)
4. Young's Market ($3 billion)
5. Johnson Bros. ($1.2 billion)
6. Martignetti ($1.2 billion)
7. Allied Beverage Group ($755 million)
8. Fedway Associates ($725 million)
9. Horizon Beverage
10. The Winebow Group ($643 million)

Distributors can be a cagey bunch, but from what we can gather in speaking with several industry members is Horizon Beverage and The Winebow Group would be the two new additions to the top 10 list. Note, Horizon confirmed to WSD their revenue is higher than The Winebow Group's, but declined to give an exact revenue estimate.

We would be happy to keep this list expanding and evolving since there isn't much readily available info beyond the top 10. If you believe your distributorship belongs on here, shoot us an email at


Kroger is modifying their adult beverage business model, starting with plans to partner with Southern Wine & Spirits to introduce "an independent third party Planogram Center of Excellence (PCOE) team," per a memo from Kroger to bev alc partners.

The team's primary focus will be to provide analytic support and process execution for Kroger's Midwest, Southeast, Mountain, and West regions. They will work directly with Kroger's adult beverage beer, wine & spirits coordinators and category managers on assortment and planograms with a "heavy emphasis" on customer insights and analytics. The program is expected to be in place by the end of Q1 2016.

Following the announcement, Anheuser-Busch Inbev revealed plans to meet with Kroger to "get more details on both initiatives and how they impact our team, as well as service from our wholesaler partners," per a report from sister publication BBD.


OND is off to a good start for beverage alcohol. In the four weeks to October 17, spirits delivered a 5.5% sales increase, wine sales were up 5.3%, and beer was up 4.3%. Although it's worth noting that both beer and wine sales increases for the period were above their 2-year averages, and spirits sales were slightly below, according to a Morgan Stanley note based on Nielsen data.

Some of the movers and shakers for the month include: Jim Beam (15.4%), Maker's Mark (10.6%), Jack Daniel's (13.6%), Paul Masson (17.1%), Crown R0yal (24.8%), Jameson (23.2%) and Clos du Bois (11.5%).


LVMH NORTH AMERICAN CHAIRMAN STEPS DOWN. Pauline Brown has resigned from her role as chairman for North America at LVMH to pursue other opportunities, according to a release from the company. Her resignation is effective beginning 2016. Pauline joined LVMH at the end of 2012, following roles at Bain & Company, Estee Lauder, Carlyle Private Equity.

REMY COINTREAU SELLS IZARRA. Remy Cointreau Group has sold its Izarra - Distillerie de la Cote Basque, owner of the Izarra liqueur, to Spirited Brands. Remy did not disclose any financial details about the sale, but did share that sales for Izarra in 2014 were around $440,000. Remy will continue to produce and bottle Izarra for Spirits Brands.

ARGENTINA-BASED RUTINI RELEASES RUTINI COLLECTION IN THE US. The Rutini Collection includes Rutini Sauvignon Blanc (srp $25), Rutini Malbec (srp $35) and Rutini Cabernet Sauvignon (srp $35). All three wines are aged three months, 12 months and 14 months, respectively. The grapes were sourced from several estates in Argentina, including the Uco Valley, Gualtallary and La Consulta estates. The collection is currently available in FL, TX, NY, MD, DC, MA, RI and CA.

ANNOUNCING WINE & SPIRITS DAILY'S 4th SUMMIT. In addition to bringing you the latest news, your editors have already started gearing up for the 4th annual Wine & Spirits Daily Summit. Next year's event is May 9-10, the day after Mother's Day, at the Fontainebleau resort in Miami Beach, Florida. We are offering an early bird discount of $300 off the full-price ticket ($965) through January 4. We highly advise you to take advantage of the offering because it's a good value for a conference that ain't cheap. Visit our website to sign up:

Until tomorrow,

"By leadership we mean the art of getting someone else to do something that you want done because he wants to do it." -- Dwight D. Eisenhower,

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