Three Tier Distribution

The United States' three tiers of distribution may be unfamiliar to you as an exporter.

The system legislates that producers may only sell their products to importers & wholesalers - who, in turn, sell to retailers.  And only retailers (including bars and restaurants) may sell to consumers.

It's an artifact of America's prohibition era, after which the government began to regulate the alcohol industry's excesses and to levy taxes. This led to the creation of laws in which single ownership of all three tiers (production, distribution and retailing) was entirely or partly prohibited.

Owing to markups at each tier, it can be difficult to meet attractive price points in American outlets as a small UK producer

However, Cider Cellars helps you join forces with other local cider makers to achieve economies of scale by reducing your freight costs and maximizing your marketing investment.

Together, we promote British farmhouse ciders as an emerging category in the USA with cleverly designed in-store displays, sampling and trade events.


Additional Resources

Want to do more research before contacting us?

We recommend the excellent Exporter's Handbook to the U.S. Wine Market, by Deborah Gray. It answers many commonly asked questions about exporting to the USA in an easy-to-digest format.


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