The liquor market mixes millennium-old substances like wine and beer and uses music and the promise of good times to market itself. The liquor business broadly includes wine, beer and beverage alcohol brands. There are large multinational players such as House of Seagram and small micro-breweries. The liquor business has manufacturing, distribution, sales and marketing concerns.
Manufacturing, Distribution and Sales
All liquors come from or use some kind of vegetable or fruit. The harvesting and bottling operations are owned by the liquor company or some kind of trademarked bottling arrangement has been brokered with a grower. Liquor products need fermenting time as well as warehousing and staff to oversee those operations. Distribution will make or break a liquor brand. The liquor industry is regulated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Alcohol is considered a controlled product in some states, including Ohio, where hard alcohol can only be purchased at state stores and is heavily taxed.
Nightclubs, restaurants and bars are an important part of a brand’s distribution. Sales calls to the on-premise outlets must be made, orders taken and product delivered.
Consumers of alcohol beverages are definable by the type of beverage. Beer drinkers tend to be male and blue collar. Wine drinkers tend to be female and older. Consumers of brown liquors such as Scotch and bourbon tend to be male and older, while white hard liquors such as gin and vodka are consumed by younger adults in mixed drinks. Individual brands will attract their own particular consumer franchise with unique demographic and psychographic profile.
Liquor products are priced depending on their type. Beers are comparatively inexpensive, and all beer brands are priced pretty much in the same price range. Wine prices, however, run the spectrum from a few dollars to thousands paid for a rare vintage bottle. Hard liquors are priced relative to bottle size. Liquor marketing possibilities range from promotions at wine tastings to party cruises on the high seas by a beer brand. Sex and sports themes are often used to advertise beer and some hard liquor brands. Manufacturing differences and standards are also used in advertising for liquor products.
Marla Currie has written professionally since 1995. She is editor and publisher of The Urban Shopper, an online magazine whose consumerist content is targeted to Black and Latino females. In addition to short fiction, Currie is author of "The Humours of Black Life," a nonfiction work. She has a master's degree in advertising.