Pennsylvania lawmakers recently loosened the restrictions on the sale of wine and other alcoholic beverages. And the Pennsylvania Winery Association has launched a $130,000 marketing campaign to trumpet the good news to consumers. The message of the marketing effort is that grocery stores now carry Pennsylvania wines, so it’s easier than ever for them to enjoy and sample them.
Act 39, which went into effect late last summer following the passage of House Bill 1690, allows licensed supermarkets and restaurants to sell up to four bottles of takeout wine per customer, and state stores get more flexibility in setting their hours and pricing.
Some 350 grocery and convenience stores in Pennsylvania were eligible to sell wine as of August, according to an article in Keystone Edge. They have to apply and pay a $2,000 fee to do so. The article adds that Act 39 doesn’t create any new licenses required to sell beer and wine. But it explains that it does provide for the auction of several hundred inactive licenses, and says that effort is expected to begin this year.
The new law also lets wineries sell to consumers, ship up to 36 cases a year to a state resident, and even sell Pennsylvania beers and liquor.
“Pennsylvania wineries will be able to sell PA beers and spirits by the glass at their licensed locations,” said Jamie Williams of The Winery at
Wilcox, who was president of the Pennsylvania Winery Association at the time the law was passed. “Further expanding on the partnership with tourism, Pennsylvania bed & breakfasts will be able to provide a bottle of Pennsylvania wine to welcome their guests. Additionally, the establishment of a direct shipping law will enable PA wineries the opportunity to shop to areas that they may not have been able to ship to in the past.”
Pennsylvania and Utah are the only two U.S. states in which state government completely controls liquor sales, according to Wine Enthusiast magazine. There are more than 200 wineries in Pennsylvania. And the Pennsylvania Winery Association is a 40-year-old group that’s currently headed up by Liz Diesel of Glades Pike Winery of Somerset, PA.
This new campaign by the association is a good example of the power of marketing in educating consumers on important new developments related to products in which they may be interested.
Become a Mad Marketer columnist! Want to contribute your expertise to a growing audience of Marketing professionals? Become a writer, blogger or columnist for the Mad Marketer Web site. Contact us for details.