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PA RT O N E I N A S E R I E S W R I T T E N B Y D E V O N T R E VAT H A N

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Talking about the future in terms of “trends” almost seems to trivialize the situation; the industry is changing in ways that are too impactful (and permanent) to be considered simply a trend...

here’s no denying it: the distilling industry has experienced seismic shifts of late. From the first round of retaliatory tariffs in 2018 that began applying serious financial pressure, to the global pandemic that shuttered our tasting rooms and the bars and restaurants that we rely on, this has not been an easy time. Talking about the future in terms of “trends” almost seems to trivialize the situation; the industry is changing in ways that are too impactful (and permanent) to be considered simply a trend. So instead, I’d like to look at the forces pushing us in these new directions, beginning with the coronavirus. As we cast an analytical eye on these different catalysts for change keep in mind that the developments they cause will likely overlap and may be covered more than once throughout the installments. In March 2020, the coronavirus brought life as we knew it to a grinding halt in the United States. Since that time, states have reopened to various degrees, but generally, the consuming public has stayed at home. The habits that have developed during these extended periods of lockdown have shifted buying behavior in a way that will not revert once we’re no longer actively worried about a pandemic, and producers in our industry will want to adjust to these new behaviors rather than work against them.

THE PHYGITAL SPACE

Obviously, much of the recent interactions that customers have had with brands and products have been online. There was already a trend toward online marketing pre-pandemic, but 2020 forced us all, willingly or not, into the digital arena. As consumers are able to spend more time out of the home, producers seem to be tailoring their marketing strategies for the “phygital” space, meaning that their efforts are covering both physical and digital interactions. There will obviously be a great deal of excitement to return to guided tastings and human interaction, but no one is likely to

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Profile for Artisan Spirit Magazine

Artisan Spirit: Spring 2021  

The magazine for craft distillers and their fans.

Artisan Spirit: Spring 2021  

The magazine for craft distillers and their fans.

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