Cider Corner: Ensuring Wholesale Relationships During Pandemic

Like all of ​the cider business recently​, ​retail​ and ​wholesale partners are busier than they already were before everything was turned upside down.

​In many ways, the challenges are similar, ​points out 2 Town Ciderhouse Marketing ​​Director, Scott Bungi.

“There are just more ​[challenges]​ and less time to solve​,” he said​. ​

​During this pandemic, ​the 2 Towns sales team has worked to lend a hand for ​its retail/wholesale partners in whatever ways are most helpful and still viable.

​”​Whether it’s keeping a closer eye on sales rates, warehouse inventory, and orders to help coordinate when things are at risk of going off course, to just stopping in and backing up merchandisers to restock the shelves during these crazy swings in supply and demand​,” Bungi said. ​”​Each situation is unique and our team has a lot of experience in adapting to the needs of our partners and putting their skills to use to offer our support.​”

​Supporting an account in the least interruptive way possible is a goal.

“Patience is key, as they are often dealing with higher priority concerns, and you have to respect that,” Bungi said. “Ultimately we try to be there to help when and where we can. Of course, there are new challenges and considerations around sanitation and avoiding peak crowds that we must be mindful of.”

Bungi added that wholesalers were great in helping 2 Towns identify any opportunities to bring back draft kegs before it coded out to put those brands into package.

“With the immense challenges our cider makers face on the production side through this, it has often been a boon to have more volume to work with that otherwise is just sitting in kegs without anywhere to go,” he said.

​Although the wholesale needs have not changed much, ​Mary Paulson ​of ​Poochie’s​ Hooch Urban Cidery said that her San Diego facility actually purchased more kegs early in the pandemic. Paulson said she added a fleet of 2.5-gallon kegs to fill for consumers and it’s been a benefit to sell and rent these kegs for those that need a small setup for a backyard barbeque.

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