Source: Beer Business Daily
November 2, 2022
We’ve learned through our nefarious back channels that Hard MTN Dew will enter Illinois, despite concerns from a local beer wholesaler group.
In a letter to members Monday, Associated Beer Distributors of Illinois president Robert Myers confirmed that Hard MTN Dew “is arriving in the marketplace” despite the group’s “overwhelming objections” to the Illinois Liquor Control Commission not to issue Pepsi’s Blue Cloud a distribution license.
“The ILCC ignored our legal interpretation that Blue Cloud did not qualify for a Distributor’s license per the Liquor Control Act,” Robert wrote, adding that ILCC “has sternly warned Blue Cloud about merchandising this beverage alcohol with its non-alcohol product family and warned them not to display the Hard Mountain Dew in NA aisles.”
Recall, Blue Cloud general manager Emiliano Di Vicenzo told BBD they plan to go national next year. But in its original three launch states (Fla, Tenn. and Iowa) Hard MTN Dew has been sloughing share in recent weeks [see BBD 10-31-22].
In its objections to the ILCC, ABDI apparently “submitted several photos” showing Hard MTN Dew had been merchandised inappropriately in other states “by displaying the product near NA products, candy and, in some cases, even toys.”
Robert signed off by advising Illinois distributors “should you come across Hard Mountain Dew near Pepsi, Mountain Dew or other Pepsi products or see the product in nonalcoholic areas” to send a photo to ABDI so it can be reported to the ILCC.
ABDI’s board of directors plans to discuss the ILCC’s distribution license to Blue Cloud at its next meeting Nov. 15.