Wine & Spirits Distributors


The 2,100 wine and spirits distributors in the US represent the second tier of the federal three-tier-system of approved alcohol distribution. This system, which has been in place since the lifting of Prohibition, requires that a supplier sell to a distributor, who then sells to a retailer (bar, restaurant, grocery store, liquor store, or other consumer-oriented channel). Spirit sales account for 54% of industry revenue, while wine is about 43%.

Potential Regulatory Changes

Legal challenges to the current federal three-tier system for alcohol distribution could change the relationships between suppliers, distributors, and retailers.

New Product Proliferation

Liquor suppliers are focusing on product innovation and line extensions as a way to position themselves in the future marketplace.