WASHINGTON, D.C., 05/04/2021 – Today, Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA) announced an extended application deadline for brands hoping to compete in the 2021 WSWA Brand Battle Tournament. Brands in the Wine, Lo-Alcohol/No-Alcohol/Mixer, Whiskey/Whisky/Bourbon/Scotch and Cordial/Liqueur/After-Dinner Drink categories now have until Friday, May 21, 2021 to complete their applications. Competitions for these categories will take place every Tuesday in July and August with the exception of July 4 and 18. Dubbed “Tournament Tuesdays,” each week competitors from different product categories will get the chance to pitch their brand directly to distributors on a global stage. Chosen competitors will be announced shortly following the new deadline.
“This year’s Tournament is showcasing more innovative wine and spirits brands than ever before, all working hard to make their mark on the world’s greatest alcohol marketplace.” said entrepreneur, restauranter and 2021 Brand Battle host Bill Rancic. “The competition has registered a wide array of applicants in categories reflective of today’s diverse product offering, with the outcome of the tournament shaping how these brands deepen their reach from distributor to consumer. The personalities and brands that compete this summer may very well become household names in years to come.”
Chosen competitors in June competition categories will be announced on Friday, May 21, 20201. The number of submitted applications for June competitions, which include some of the industry’s most popular product categories like Ready-to-Drink/Hard Seltzers and Tequila/Mezcal/Cachaca, mimic industry trends, promising to make Tournament Tuesdays in June a can’t miss event.
According to the latest SipSource data, June’s most applied to category, Ready-to-Drink/Hard Seltzers, popularity isn’t going anywhere. The Premixed Cocktail segment continues to lead the way in growth and is up +74.9 percent in the March 2021 compared to 12-month rolling data. Premixed Cocktails have gained 190-basis points of share of total spirits over the last year, continue to gain momentum across all regions of the country and, perhaps most interestingly, were the only spirits segment that is growing in the on-premise (+5.8 percent) when total on-premise consumption is down -43.7 percent.
Meanwhile, June’s second most popular competition category has proven to be one of the strongest growth segments in the spirits industry in recent years. The Tequila/Mezcal/Cachaca category ended March up an impressive +11.6 percent, doubling the growth of the entire spirits category last month.
“This summer’s tournament promises to be a snapshot of what the industry’s marketplace will look like in the next year,” said WSWA CEO and President Michelle Korsmo. “We’ll be watching the next hot product in each category get their start and hear from some of the most knowledgeable craft experts in distribution on what makes a great brand and supplier partner.”
About 2021 WSWA Brand Battle Tournament
WSWA will be holding the 2021 Brand Battle Tournament virtually and has extended the event series for craft, start-up and small production wine and spirits into a bracketology-style tournament. Brand Battle will showcase rising brands with unique stories, packaging and flavor profiles in an engaging digital environment while panels of wholesaler judges provide valuable, thought-provoking insight and feedback to competitors across eight different product categories. Whether you are interested in competing or viewing the competition, you are sure to walk away with greater knowledge of the industry and see hot emerging trends and products.
About Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America
WSWA is the national trade association representing the distribution tier of the wine and spirits industry, dedicated to advancing the interests and independence of 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 United States.