Brewing Industry Sees 43% Drop in Product Registrations

June 15, 2020

Brewers are bringing fewer new products to market amid coronavirus concerns and a slowing economy, according to Sovos ShipCompliant label registration data for the months of April and May 2020, indicating these producers are doubling down on their existing product lines.

Overall, producers and wholesalers in the beer, wine and spirits business registered 16,164 products through Sovos ShipCompliant’s Product Registration Online (PRO) system, while many bars, retailers and tasting rooms remained closed due to stay-at-home orders. This represents a drop of 2% over February and March and a 0.3% decrease year-over-year.

However, brewers felt the decline most sharply with 43.4% fewer new product registrations in April and May compared to the same time last year.

“The closure of tasting rooms beginning in mid-March left many industry producers struggling to make ends meet. Breweries, in particular, appear to have rallied around their core products rather than investing in seasonal or limited releases, as a way to cut costs,” said Larry Cormier, vice president, general manager of Sovos ShipCompliant. “Craft beer innovation takes place in the taproom. With limited retail shelf space, many newer brewers focus on taproom sales rather than traditional distribution. So when tasting rooms closed, the newest and smallest brewers took the biggest hit.”

Carbonated wine, hard seltzers and spirits less affected

In recent years, hard seltzers have skyrocketed in popularity with more than 203 new labels registered at the federal level since 2016. These products, along with premixed wine coolers, make up nearly 60% of all malt beverages registered in 2020 – compared to 40% last year. However, registrations of special malts are only down 15.7% year-over-year, compared to 43% for the overall malt category, indicating sustained momentum in this category despite the coronavirus.

Carbonated wine as a category is also bucking the downward registration trend. Product registrations for carbonated wine soared in the past two months, up an astounding 33 times over the same period last year. By comparison, sparkling wine decreased by 2%, red table and rose wines saw a 13% increase, and table white wines grew by 11%.

Spirits are also doing relatively well with an overall 38% increase year over year. Registrations for rum, gin, tequila and whiskey products are up 240%, 120%, 40% and 25% whereas registrations for vodka products are down 12%, respectively.

Sovos ShipCompliant offers the industry’s most advanced system for electronic brand registrations for beer, wine and spirits. The Sovos ShipCompliant Product Registration Online (PRO) system is available in more than 20% of the county, including Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and South Dakota.

Using PRO’s online submission and approval system, manufacturers and wholesalers typically see their approval wait times drop from weeks to hours in many cases, expediting their ability to introduce new beer, wine and spirits products into the marketplace.

To learn more about Sovos ShipCompliant’s solution for product registrations, visit

About Sovos ShipCompliant
ShipCompliant has been the leader in automated alcohol beverage compliance tools for more than 15 years, providing a full suite of cloud-based solutions to wineries, breweries, distilleries, importers, distributors and retailers to ensure they meet all federal and state regulations for direct-to-consumer and three-tier distribution. ShipCompliant’s solutions reduce risk, lessen the burden of compliance, accelerate bringing products to market, and enable revenue growth. With 60 partner integrations and growing, ShipCompliant leads a robust ecosystem of technology partnerships, enabling powerful complementary solutions. For more information, please visit

Sign up for Email Updates

Stay up to date with the latest tax and compliance updates that may impact your business.

Additional Press Releases

August 20, 2020
Sovos to Gain New Investment by Hg Saturn and TA Associates, Fueling Continued Growth as Digital Transformation of Tax Accelerates Worldwide

BOSTON – August 20, 2020 – Global tax software provider Sovos today announced that Hg — a leading global software investor, partner and supporter of the expansion of Sovos for more than four years — will lead a further, majority investment in the company through the Hg Saturn 2 Fund. TA Associates, a leading global […]

Read More
July 27, 2020
Sovos Names Terry Melnik General Manager of Sales and Use Tax Line of Business

Global tax software provider Sovos today announced that Terry Melnik, formerly general manager at Oracle Netsuite’s OpenAir, has joined the company as GM of Sales and Use Tax. With 20 years’ experience in technology, management consulting and ecommerce, Melnik is charged with leading Sovos’ long-range plan in a market undergoing rapid change driven by the digital transformation […]

Read More
July 23, 2020
Sovos Buys Keane’s Unclaimed Property Consulting Services and Software

Global tax software provider Sovos today announced it has acquired Keane’s unclaimed property consulting services and reporting technology. The acquisition, Sovos’ fourth this year, makes 2020 the company’s most acquisitive year yet. The purchase of Keane’s software and consulting services deepens Sovos’ footprint in the unclaimed property compliance market, as states turn to these revenue streams to […]

Read More
July 13, 2020
Cryptocurrency Exchange Platform Binance.US Selects Sovos for Tax Information Reporting

Global tax software leader Sovos today announced that cryptocurrency exchange platform Binance.US has selected Sovos for its 1099 crypto tax information reporting needs. The Sovos Tax Information Reporting solution will automate Binance.US’ 1099 forms and filings for crypto investors, reducing the potential for error and delivering automatic regulatory updates as the cryptocurrency compliance landscape continues to evolve. Founded in […]

Read More
July 7, 2020
Sovos Acquires U.K.-Based VAT Managed Services Company Accordance

Global tax software provider Sovos today announced it has acquired Accordance, a U.K.-based value-added tax (VAT) managed services company. Accordance has been a Sovos partner since 2018 and has implemented Sovos VAT Reporting software to provide technology-enabled compliance services to its clients. The acquisition comes at a critical moment for VAT countries, where businesses face a range […]

Read More