Novato, Calif.-based Winery Exchange has rebranded itself as WX. The rebranding reflects how the wine, beer and spirits producer’s business has evolved since its founding in 1999, it says.
"Since we created Winery Exchange, the industry has fundamentally changed, and we have changed too," said Peter Byck, the company's chief executive officer and one of its founders, in a statement. "We used to be a negociant wine company, and our customers were fine with that. But with retailers consolidating and consumers wanting more choices, we evolved to become a full-service supplier of wine, beer and spirits. Our old name didn't reflect that."
Citing articles from Wall Street Journal and Market Watch, millennials continue to determine market trends because of their willingness to experiment and their familiarity with digital marketing. In 2015, millennials consumed 42 percent of the wine sold in the United States, the company says. Millennials have helped imports double in the past 20 years, especially from New World countries like Chile, Argentina, New Zealand and Australia, it adds.
"Millennials are far more likely to try imported wines, different varietals, and craft beers and spirits than older drinkers," said Oren Lewin, WX senior vice president of marketing and strategy, in a statement. "With consumers wanting more choices and retailers wanting fewer vendors, there is a real need for suppliers who can deliver wine, beer and spirits that span multiple countries, price points and packaging formats. That's what sets us apart."
WX now sources wine, beer and spirits from 17 countries on five continents. The company employs a staff of seven full-time winemakers and more than 25 sales people. It also offers exclusive retailer brands, national brands and contract production services that are sold throughout the United States and in 12 countries. WX’s international client base includes retailers such as Kroger, Whole Foods Market, Total Wine & More, Tesco, Sainsbury, Aldi and CVS.
The new company name reflect how the company has responded to changes in the market, Lewin says. "Check out our new website. It really shows how our company has evolved in response to our customers,” he said. “We have an in-house team of winemakers and experts on beer and spirits, our own bottling line that has given us greater quality control and flexibility, and a marketing team that is investing to build consumer demand for our products."
Byck added: "I think this is more than just a name change. It's a coming out party that we've been working on for a long time. It's like our mission statement says: ‘We take pride making wine, beer and spirits people love — so our customers win.’"