December 1933

21st Amendment Ratified, Prohibition Ended


December 5, 2017 marks 84 years since the United States ratified the 21st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and paved the way for the modern three-tier beverage alcohol system.

Study Documents Economic Impact of U.S. Wine & Spirits Distributors

74,000+ employees earn $5.6 billion in wages; industry generates $50 billion in annual tax revenue

(WASHINGTON, D.C.)—Family-owned distributors deliver wine and spirits from every corner of the globe to America’s neighborhood restaurants, bars and stores—and are a major economic engine, employing more than 74,000 workers nationwide who earn a collective $6.5 billion in annual wages as part of an industry that generates more than $50 billion in tax revenue each year.  

This data is part of a new industry economic impact study and forms the heart of Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA) advocacy, advertising and media relations efforts, the association announced today.  WSWA’s industry economic impact analysis and ongoing studies are prepared by John Dunham, President of John Dunham & Associates, Brooklyn, N.Y.

“American Family-owned wine and spirits wholesalers are local marketing, brand building and logistics experts for beverage alcohol brands, operating in every state and congressional district, and are the central link of the three-tier beverage alcohol market between wineries, distilleries and retailers,” WSWA President and CEO Craig Wolf said.

“Our industry is a powerful economic engine that supports tens of thousands of good-paying, U.S. jobs as part of an industry that generates more than $50 billion in tax revenue to state and federal governments each year.  Distributors operate at more than 3,000 locations nationwide, and their employees are active and engaged corporate citizens, supporting all manner or local and regional groups and charities,” Wolf added.  “Our employees comprise a major force in the U.S. economy and we’re proud to share their story.”

WSWA’s new economic impact analysis will support ongoing state and federal government relations activities and will be utilized in media relations and social media communications projects. The association is also deploying a new portable video player called a “Flip Book” that enables members and state wholesaler organizations to share targeted short-subject educational videos with key stakeholders in a format that is effective and innovative, wrapped in compelling, branded marketing content.  This campaign also includes a new, animated video explaining how distributors help a bottle go from suppliers around the world to local outlets.  Click here to view this educational video.

WSWA is the national trade association representing the wholesale tier of the wine and spirits industry, dedicated to advancing the interests and independence of wholesalers, distributors and brokers of wine and spirits.  Founded in 1943, WSWA has more than 380 member companies in 50 states and the District of Columbia, and its members distribute more than 80 percent of all wine and spirits sold at wholesale in the U.S. 

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