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Constellation Brands strengthens Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits US distribution ties

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Constellation Brands is to hand the majority of its non-beer distribution in the US to Southern Glazer's Wine & Spirits in an overhaul of the group's supply chain in the country.

Southern Glazer’s will replace a number of US rivals as Constellations wine & spirits distributor

Southern Glazer’s will replace a number of US rivals as Constellation's wine & spirits distributor

Southern Glazer's will handle 70% of Constellation's US wine & spirits brand portfolio, effective from the start of April, the companies said this week. The new agreement greatly adds to the 40% Southern Glazer's currently distributes.

As part of the shift, Constellation will exit contracts with Republic National Distributing Co, Johnson Bros and Columbia Distributing on wine & spirits. Columbia will continue to distribute Constellation's beer portfolio.

A group spokesperson told just-drinks today: "This decision was not taken easily, given the significant capabilities and track record of success we have enjoyed with RNDC, Johnson Bros and Columbia. We want to thank them and their teams for all they have done to support our brands over the years."

Constellation said the move to Southern Glazer's stems from a revamp two years ago of its wine & spirits business that increased focus on higher-value brands. In the past two years, the group has divested a number of assets, including a range of lower-value wine and spirits brands to E&J Gallo Winery in January.

Constellation also highlighted how Southern Glazer's e-commerce track record aligns with its aim to be the "strongest" direct-to-consumer and digital commerce business in wines & spirits.

"Southern Glazer's is a proven brand builder with a strong national footprint, a digital commerce innovator and a standout leader in the luxury category," Constellation's wines & spirits president, Robert Hanson, said. "We share a future-focused mindset and strategic orientation that we are confident will enable us to drive our consumer-first agenda."

Other US alcohol companies have made distribution changes in the past few months. In January, Brown-Forman announced it was to complete a move to in-house distribution in the UK.

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