Why are French wines so cheap in France yet so expensive in the US?

Anyone who has traveled to and spent time in France will have noticed how inexpensive wine is there.  The average price for a bottle of red wine in France was €4.91/liter in 2020, for white wine the average price was €5.65/liter according to FranceAgriMer. Yet at the same time, French and European wines in general are much more expensive in the US market.  Apparently, it is not the fault of French winemakers.  Word on the street is that European wines retail for an average of 4 x EXW or more in the US.  Why is that?  The simple answer: Too many hands in the cookie jar.  An article written [...]

September 25th, 2022|

The Role and Responsibilities of the Federal Importer

Anyone wanting to import foreign wine into the United States needs to hold an importer’s basic permit under the Federal Alcohol Administration Act (FAA Act).  The holder of the permit has various obligations and responsibilities including paying all applicable taxes and duties for the alcoholic beverages, obtaining Certificates of Label Approval (COLA) for the products imported, and fulfilling all other statutory and regulatory requirements applicable to importers under the FAA Act, the Alcoholic Beverage Labeling Act of 1988, and the Internal Revenue Code of 1986. Beyond these basic duties and responsibilities, one important question is if the federal importer has to buy and sell the products it imports.  Two federal [...]

March 5th, 2022|

Legal Considerations for open Creativity in Social and Digital Media

A lot of posts and ads for alcoholic beverages in social, digital, and streaming media are – well – boring. This might have to do with a lack of creativity on the part of the people developing the ad content. But some of it might also be rooted in the belief that social and digital media ads should not be too creative or ‘adventurous’ out of an ‘abundance of caution’. Here at QBP, we set out to help brands solve both problems to increase ROI.  We champion the idea of creative crowdsourcing to allow for more ideas and imagination to flow into advertising campaigns on social, digital, and streaming media [...]

November 2nd, 2020|

3 Tier System for Alcohol Sales in the United States

The system refers to the 3 tiers involved in the supply chain for alcoholic beverages: Manufacturer – Wholesaler – Retailer Of course, similar supply chain systems are used in many countries for many types of products sold in retail stores.  In that sense, there is nothing particularly unique about this system. What makes the 3 tier system for alcohol in the US somewhat different is the fact that individual companies can only have ownership within one of the tier.  For example, a winery as a member of the manufacturer level tier is not allowed to have ownership in a wholesale company for wine. Over the last few years, the 3 [...]

October 17th, 2020|

Wine Retail in the United States

European wine producers interested to sell their products in the US market generally try the same old, traditional way to market entry.  Find an importer. If everything goes according to plan the importer will bring the product to the US.  Then they will attempt to sell it to a wholesaler.  And the wholesaler will sell it to a retailer.  And the consumer will buy the wine.  For well-known brands that are well established in the United States, it might work but for lesser-known brands, it may not.  It probably won’t. This raises an important question.  When a consumer product sits on a shelf of a retail store or is listed [...]

October 12th, 2020|
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