Inertia Beverage Group announced today a new program called REThink Wine Trade. The program would give restaurants a means to place wholesale orders directly with producers.
This is an interesting concept. “Direct to the trade” compliance will certainly be a challenge for IBG. However, this once again gets back to the theme discussed by FTC Commissioner John Leibowitz that the current wine distribution sytem is “the most expensive distribution system of any U.S. packaged goods industry by far.” We are witnessing creative attempts to bypass the middleman, and these attempts will likely lead to better access to markets for small wineries that can not afford to see their profits eroded by wholesalers and more choices for consumers in the long run.