Random Thoughts to Ease Into 2015

BarryNovDec

2014 is drawing to a successful close. On personal and professional fronts, I’ve much to be grateful for. As I’ve written many times before, family and health are everything, and we are all good. One of the realities of getting older is the need to more frequently and diligently take care of your health. Make sure you go to your respective medical professionals. Being pro-active is key – I learned that through early treatment of my prostate cancer seven years ago. Another reality of getting older is that your attention tends to wander. Hence, I present some disparate thoughts to ponder.

Over the course of the last few days, I’ve gotten phone calls from longstanding friends who have rekindled our relationship. It’s always great to connect with old friends and people who have had an impact in the industry. They have been in the marketplace as long as I have, and are trying to remain relevant, to contribute to the growth of brands. To new entrepreneurs I say there is wisdom in age, and I would seek them out and take their calls, as they have much to offer. Too often, brands don’t capitalize enough on their knowledge and connections to further their goals. Don’t let a little gray around the temples be the disqualifying factor when it comes to having someone potentially contribute to the bottom line. Talent is talent – and I’m saddened when I hear age gets in the way of employment.

Our team at BevNET has been prescient about changes coming to the beverage industry, and we try hard to provide good products that are useful for those in the space. We’re proud of our ability to serve you. I look at our Brewbound component of our portfolio: Early on we saw the resurgence of craft beer as a growing piece of the beverage picture, something that was welcome for those of us who saw the heights of the 90s and the subsequent slide. I’m glad to see it is back on the ascent: Creativity is the essence of beverage and this segment has it in spades. Thank goodness for Boston Beer Co., as they kept everything alive, to lead to this renaissance.

The introduction of new products continues unabated, but I like the fact that claims have been toned down, and taste is again a key factor. I am receiving fewer new brands that cause me to wonder “now just what the heck were they thinking here?” That’s a good thing.

I think that retailers and distributors and wholesalers have been more receptive to embracing new brands. It’s a trend that must continue. Again, share the commitment and share the success.

Show loyalty to your suppliers. It always angers me when companies that gave you a chance and supported your efforts early on are dropped for the savings of a few shekels. As long as they are still delivering the goods, keep them. Share the commitment, share the success.

I look forward to seeing many of you at our BevNET Live conference in Santa Monica. Aside from the great knowledge and education you receive, it is a celebration of all that is great about our industry. I hope you all have a prosperous 2015. We all share the commitment, we will all celebrate the success.