Publisher’s Toast: Remembering, Celebrating, and Moving Forward

This past Saturday was 9/11. It was also my son’s wedding day, which was postponed from last October. It was a most joyous event, one our family will long remember, and will long pay for. While we were all cognizant of the solemnity of the day, we also felt that celebrating on that anniversary showed the resilience, rejuvenation and healing of the country. The American spirit goes forward. Neither 9/11 nor Covid-19 could stop us. To see my David and his beautiful bride Michelle so happy makes it crystal clear what is important in life: not to get buried in the bull or to sweat the small stuff, but live to the fullest. I put this into my column to remind everyone what really matters.

In regards to recovery and going forward, I’m excited to see our industry rebounding and striving to move ahead. As I’ve written my columns over the past months, I’ve shown optimism, looking for signs that we’re back, hoping to manifest the vision with positive words. Actually, I wasn’t sure that was the case, but I’m a cheerleader for beverages. Now I can say with confidence that we’re close to pre-pandemic. In my conversations and visits with marketers, stops at stores and discussions with investors, we’re going full bore ahead.

There are more new initiatives, so many held back, that are now coming to the forefront. Actually, some plans that were intended pre-pandemic have had to be modified or scrapped in favor of newer ideas coming out. Companies working on marketing strategies, graphics, and more sophisticated advertising, mostly digital, have had 18 months to plan and hopefully will be right on target. Suppliers have had time to work on formulating or reformulating their brands. These messages, for retailers and distributors, reflect the new realities of getting to the marketplace, and I hope they are ready for execution. I’m hoping that downside obstacles, such as packaging shortages and the search for drivers who can get products to market, are being addressed and reflected in more realistic budgeting and setting goals.

Thankfully, it seems that everyone is ready to roll. Our entire BevNET team will be spreading out over the next few months to attend and cover the events of the beverage industry. Our BevNET Live event in Santa Monica beckons. I hope to see you there, if only to show you the video of my granddaughter in her starring role as flower girl at the ceremony. That’s what it’s all about.