craft beverage shelf spaceConsidering shelf space in marketing your product, whether beer, wine, mead, cider or spirits, is a tough one. You are stacked against the ‘big boys’, the multinationals and giant brands. They play the game, reducing the space available to you by creating ‘adjacent’ products, that might not even provide them with significant profit, but serve the purpose of blocking you, like a defensive line in a football game, and keeping you from the goal posts of space.

Basically, they are product oriented,my here you are market oriented. They don’t care what the customer wants, or likes. They care about jamming their view of what ‘should be’ down the throats of the drinking public. You care about profit, sure, but the driving force to create that is a desire to create a great product that people will love.

You are David to their Goliath. And he was felled by a well-placed stone.

So here is the China in Goliath’s armor. If you want to beat the Giants, study how they go to market, using their internal model and how they “use” UPC data to their advantage.

You may be the ‘little’ business, but even the largest company can crash and burn. The power of the craft beverage producer lies in the innovation and attention to your customers that you bring to the table. And when you band together, like the small winery and craft brewing market has, and how cider, mead and spirits are doing more every day, you have the power of many.

Dick Yuengling, fifth generation brewer at Yuengling and Sons summed it up nicely in the 2009 film, “Beer Wars, Brewed in America” by Anat Baron when he said that, “people are fed up with corporate America jamming down the consumer’s throat what they want to.” The craft beverage owners must never give up the fight.