I guess we owe an acknowledgement (or perhaps an apology) to Ron Lepow of Glazer’s. He used the metaphor of offshore suppliers thinking they can just “paint the states” at the US Drinks Conference in London last year, and evidently it really struck a chord…so much so that he told me he keeps hearing it come back to him third and fourth hand. By Don’t Paint the States he means don’t look at the US Bev Alc market as one market; it is really 51 different markets (don’t forget Montgomery County). One strategy will not fit all but it is a pretty good recipe for failure.

New suppliers trying to get in to the U.S. market need to recognize it’s far different than the EU. In fact our friends from the former Soviet Union countries tell us the US market is more complicated to navigate than the Communist bureaucracy, but they could at least manage their way through it with “gifts”.