Publisher’s Toast: It Seems the Worst Is Over, Let’s Forge Ahead

New York is starting to come to life. These past few days, the temperature has been in the 60’s, with sunshine galore. Buds are emerging on the bushes, trees, and plants as my beloved Central Park awakens from a brutal winter. Spring seems just around the corner. So is immunity: shots are going into arms at a breathtaking pace, with mine among those that is now fully vaccinated. We’re now able to see friends after 10 months of solitude. Life seems to be slowly returning to the way it was before Covid-19 changed all our lives. Life in New York is a reflection of the resiliency of our country. We’re tough and ready
to rebound.

It couldn’t happen at a better time. The recovery of our personal lives will hopefully be closely followed by a similar revival of the business environment as we knew it. I have heard so many sad stories of lost revenue, of the letting go of employees, of contracts delayed or canceled. Production shortfalls and supply side delays have been the norm over the past months. Too many companies tell me it’s hard to project and budget with so much uncertainty. In my own particular slice of the business world, I’ve never seen so many companies that still haven’t finalized their marketing initiatives and allocated resources for their brands. Launches of new products or extensions of their present lineups are still being pushed back to later in the year. That was the message last fall; it shouldn’t be the message today.

This is not a time for the weak of heart. The beverage marketplace has been relatively unscathed compared to so many other industries and we should be grateful for that. Even retail visits and sales seem to be coming back at a rapid pace. As guidelines are being relaxed in many states — which I personally don’t agree with — business should be getting closer to the pre-pandemic levels. Brands should be aggressive in going after retail and distributor space. Reaching our present and future customers with new messaging pertaining to our recovery should be a priority. There are great stories to share. Make your brand a story.

Yes, we’re not out of the woods yet, but we should act like we are. The beverage business should be one of optimism through refreshment and nutrition. We are a standard bearer of our society of brands, and we should take the lead.