Study the market, distributors and your own operations
Craft brewing is a unique industry in America, not just for its creative, bold products, but also because of the regulation of its distribution and sales.
Stone started brewing in 1996 and started self-distributing immediately, Heath said, out of necessity, not luxury. Since that time, Stone has grown that aspect of its business and now distributes for more than 30 craft brewers within its footprint.
In most consumer goods markets in America today, two or three giants dominate — think toothpaste, eyeglasses and soft drinks. New entrants—be it Tom’s toothpaste or Vitamin Water — can find it very hard to keep their independence for long. In large part, this is because most distribution systems — and even most shelving decisions inside the retailers — are managed by the giants.
In the beer market, by contrast, new entrants still find more than 3,000 small distributors that have both an interest in promoting new and better products and the means to do so. In this one instance at least, a market designed to yield a particular set of moral outcomes has also proved to be extremely effective at promoting innovation and variety… READ FULL ARTICLE