Star-Powered Wines May 2009
In This Issue
Celebrity-Branded Wines Thrive in US Market
Amazon.com to Launch Wine Site
Changing Wine Shipment Laws are Benefitting U.S. Consumers

Post-Election Ennui

Ripley and Romie
The transition at the White House - from 43 to 44, from Republican to Democrat and from Scottish Terriers to Portuguese Water Dogs - was hard fought.  

Things are now settling into place, Bo is housebroken, Barrack is frequently on the road and a sense of calm and routine has descended upon a former house of contention and change. 

As a Bo look-alike, Romie has had numerous celebrity impersonation requests but is declining them all, preferring instead to remain at his Main Line home - or at the KDM office.  

Life is good.
"A mind of the caliber of mine cannot derive its nutrient from cows."
- George Bernard Shaw
"Up to the age of forty, eating is beneficial. After forty, drinking."
- The Talmud

  About KDM

KDM Global Partners, LLC is a wine producer and importer whose core business is creating and building new wine brands for its clientele of retail chains, restaurants, hotel/resorts, corporations, meetings/events - and individual brand owners.  

With corporate offices in Philadelphia, PA and wine-making capabilities throughout the world's great viticulture regions, KDM's turnkey brand-building capabilities are unparalleled: packaging design, regulatory approvals, warehousing and distribution (to all 50 states and overseas)...all varietals, price points, low case minimums. 

The world of wine production, distribution and sale is evolving quickly, creating compelling opportunities for businesses of all types.
We'll take you there. 
Learn more here: KDMGlobalPartners.com
Let us hear from you!

Newsletter Archive 

Join Our Mailing List

Celebrity-Branded Wines Thrive in US Market
Celelbrity Montage
Celebrity-branded alcohol beverage products - those directly associated with a famous person - are gaining popularity in the US, and wine is leading the category, having grown steadily in sales and category share since 2000, according to The Nielsen Company.

From the nearly-dead (Rolling Stones), to the Grateful Dead (Jerry Garcia) to the just plain dead (Elvis), celebrity-branded - and named - wines are increasingly on the shelves. And increasingly getting bought! Though it's difficult to establish just how many celebrities are in the self-branded wine business, a cursory search produces results for, among others, Olivia Newton-John, Jeff Gordon, Jackie Chan, Ernie Els, Joe Montana, Mike Ditka, Mick Fleetwood, Madonna, Gerard Depardieu, Greg Norman, Cliff Richard, Francis Ford Coppola, Sam Neill, Emeril Lagasse, Savanna Samson (porn star) and Vince Neil (the once-and-current lead singer for Mötley Crüe). Ten years ago one would have been hard pressed to come up with half as many names.
The truth is that there is almost zero downside whatsoever for a celebrity to release a self-named wine. Branding is branding, after all. Especially at the lower retail price points, where consumers are more willing to be converted to new brands, a celebrity-branded private label wine is often a sales success. And as always, while the label itself may garner initial buzz and attention, this does not assure a quality wine. Celebrity wines will continue to sell only if what's in the bottle is actually up-to-par with consumer standards.
On occasion, a celebrity may himself be a full-time winemaker with the requisite access-to-market resources (e.g., Francis Ford Coppola). But most are not.
In those cases, the celebrities rely on others to source the wine product, bottle the juice, implement the brand plan and carry the celebrity "torch" into the often-cumbersome wine distribution marketplace. For those types of companies, the process is "turn-key" and the result is a successful wine product, generating revenue for everyone and enhancing the sponsor's own "brand."
Amazon.com to Launch Wine Site
AmazonGoliath Web retailer Amazon.com Inc. will soon be selling wine on its Web site. The world's largest online retailer is saying that wine is an important category -- and that's very exciting for American consumers. Consumers in 25 states, constituting three-quarters of the U.S. population, will be able to buy wines online and have them shipped directly by Amazon, with expansion to other states planned for the future.
Amazon could be a game changer, especially for other online wine retailers. The company has enormous resources, with reported revenues last year of $17.1 billion. Founded in 1994, Amazon started as an online bookseller, and successfully transitioned to dozens of other consumer products, including electronics, movies, music and clothes. But wine has been a challenging sector of the online market, in part because of the complexity of interstate shipping laws. All of the pioneering online wine retailers, such as Virtual Vineyards, wine.com and wineshopper.com have either gone bankrupt or changed ownership, or both.
But the market has matured some, and online retailers have grown more adept at negotiating the hurdles of interstate shipping. Amazon's entry is a sign of expanding market access - at all levels of the system.
KDM's unique Black Elk 'Wines of the World' program will be one of the initial wines sold on the new Amazon site when it launches: www.BlackElkWine.com. 
Changing Wine Shipment Laws are Benefitting U.S. Consumers
Shipping Map
On May 16, 2005, the U.S. Supreme Court in Granholm v. Heald struck down state laws in Michigan and New York that prevented or made it difficult for out-of-state wineries to sell and ship directly to consumers. This was a landmark decision and part of an ongoing "tearing down" of the American multi-tier distribution system. The current system generally favors two strong "gatekeeping" components: (i) major wholesalers and (ii) major national brands.   

Prior to the Granholm decision, small wineries typically sold a majority of their wine from tasting rooms, but today, in the plurality of states, they are able to reach a larger consumer base outside their state borders. Most newcomers to the wine industry are now able to capitalize on the growing U.S. wine culture in a way that was not possible prior to the Granholm decision and this has been a great thing for consumers everywhere. In recent years, we've seen incredible growth in the volume of direct-to-consumer shipments. The direct channel can be extremely powerful for wineries of all sizes and we therefore expect this growth to continue, especially given the positive trends in wine consumption. And it is likely we will see more uniformity in the laws from state to state over time to support this trend and facilitate logistics. 

Today's wine consumers are more passionate, know their wines well, and expect that a new day has dawned for a quality-price-ratio. In the plurality of states, consumers are taking advantage of robust direct-to-consumer programs, often dubbed wine clubs.  

Further, wine-related businesses everywhere - from large national retail chains to local restaurants and corporate meetings and events - are learning that they can be much more profitable by buying "niche" wine products rather than the obvious national brand choices. Many of these niche products wind up being custom-label wine brands, sourced and bottled specially for this end user (with the retailer's own artwork or logo on the bottle). Not only does the retailer have an opportunity to buy better wine at a lesser price (thus resulting in enhanced profits) but the compelling branding that these wines deliver, as well as business differentiation, cannot be ignored: