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Liquid Assets: A Beverage Industry Podcast

Business & Economics Podcasts

Rabobank’s global beverage team offers insights, analysis, and a bit of entertainment for your morning commute. Liquid Assets will help you tackle the latest trends, introduce you to industry leaders, and prepare you for what’s next in the beverage world.

Rabobank’s global beverage team offers insights, analysis, and a bit of entertainment for your morning commute. Liquid Assets will help you tackle the latest trends, introduce you to industry leaders, and prepare you for what’s next in the beverage world.


United States


Rabobank’s global beverage team offers insights, analysis, and a bit of entertainment for your morning commute. Liquid Assets will help you tackle the latest trends, introduce you to industry leaders, and prepare you for what’s next in the beverage world.






The Future of Distribution with RNDC's Tom Cole

Tom Cole is CEO of RNDC, one of the largest distributors in the United States. Tom came on the show to discuss how his company is helping bars and restaurants navigate the reopening process, how distributors are supporting growth of e-commerce, and the long-term impacts of COVID-19 on the wholesaler business (hint: more consolidation). This episode was recorded on June 17th.


Can You Do Well... Without Doing Good?

Historically, companies could choose between two things: making lots of money or making the world a better place. Our guest, a leading voice in the world of marketing for over two decades, would argue that the opposite is true. If you want your business to do well, then you've got to do good – not just talk about it. We are seeing an example of this play out in real time. People around the world are pushing back against systemic racism. Consumers are demanding companies and brands do more...


Beyond the Numbers With Nielsen’s Danny Brager

The data provided by Nielsen is a critical asset for the beverage industry, helping leaders understand and plan around the impacts of the current crisis. Our guest, Danny Brager, is SVP of Nielsen’s US Beverage Alcohol Practice. In this episode, Danny takes us beyond the headline numbers to answer some pressing questions about the recent dynamics of consumer behavior and how past recessions have impacted consumption, and he offers a framework for how he is looking at the future. Note:...


Will Covid-19 Crisis Crush Craft Beer?

A recent survey of US craft brewers suggests that 60% of US craft breweries will close if severe social distancing guidelines aren’t lifted by June. As chief economist for the Brewers Association, Bart Watson (Dr. Watson, actually) was one of the people who produced that survey. With help from Bart, we take the pulse of the craft beer business and discuss whether we will recognize it after the Covid-19 crisis is over.


The Covid-19 Economy: How Bad Is It?

What will US and global GDP growth look like in 2020? What will the recovery from the current recession look like? What indicators should we be watching to know if things are getting better or worse? Rabobank’s fantastic Markets Strategist, Christian Lawrence, sits down to answer these questions and more as we discuss the macroeconomic impacts of Covid-19. This episode was recorded on April 17 and features Rabobank’s Senior Market Strategist Christian Lawrence, Senior Beverage Analyst Jim...


Covid-19: How Each Region Is Dealing With the Crisis

With the Covid-19 pandemic disrupting every aspect of daily life and business around the globe, we turned to our international team (Southeast Asia, Europe, and North America) for a briefing on how Covid-19 is impacting consumers and businesses in their regions and what steps governments are taking to control its spread. We recorded this episode early morning on Monday March 23rd.


What Is Driving M&A in the Wine Industry?

For the third and final episode recorded onsite during the Unified Wine Symposium, we were lucky enough to sit down with the one and only Mario Zeponni to discuss all things related to wine M&A. There’s probably no one better to talk about the M&A scene in the California.


What a Tough Bulk Market Means for US Wine

Few people know the bulk wine market better than Glenn Proctor. Glenn is a partner at Ciatti, a global bulk wine brokerage firm. We bumped into Glenn at the Unified Wine Symposium in Sacramento and convinced him to sit down for an impromptu podcast recording on how the bulk wine market is affecting both growers and wineries – and how some companies are taking advantage of the current low-cost environment to innovate, build relationships, and create new brands.


Can US Wine Win Back Its Mojo?

With help from the wine industry legend, Dr. Mike Veseth, we debate how the US wine industry can overcome recent challenges and return to growth. Mike is an author, academic, lecturer, and editor of the popular blog, The Wine Economist. This is the first of three episodes we recorded on-site at the Unified Wine & Grape Symposium and features Rabobank’s Global Strategist Stephen Rannekleiv and Analyst Bourcard Nesin


E-Commerce Strategy With Constellation Brands: Part II

Wayne Duan and Ben Galvin from Constellation Brands return for the second episode in our two-part series on e-commerce. This time around, we look at the future of e-commerce in the alcohol industry – and how brands can take an active role in shaping what the industry will look like in 2025.


E-Commerce Strategy With Constellation Brands: Part I

Wayne Duan and Ben Galvin help lead Constellation Brand’s digital strategy. In this episode – the first in a two-part series – Wayne and Ben share their thoughts as we breakdown the biggest trends in alcohol e-commerce and discuss the most urgent challenges the alcohol industry faces in the digital world.


A 2020 Recession: How to Prepare for a Downturn

Rabobank’s team of economists says there is an 80% chance of a recession in 2020. For our last episode of 2019, we sat down with our Senior Market Strategist, Christian Lawrence, to talk about the economic outlook for 2020. Then we discuss what a downturn could mean for consumer behavior, investor behavior, and, ultimately, food & beverage companies. Recorded: December 10, 2019 This episode features Senior Market Strategist Christian Lawrence, Global Beverage Strategist Stephen Rannekleiv,...


Deal and No Deal: Beverage M&A in 2019

It’s been a big year for M&A in the beverage alcohol industry. In this episode, we review the most important deals of 2019: the big, the small, and the unexpected. From the surge of craft-beer and spirits acquisitions to blockbuster, billion-dollar deals, we tell you what happened, how it affects your business, and what it means for the future of the industry. Please note: this episode was recorded on Nov. 22nd 2019. This episode features Rabobank’s global beverage strategist Stephen...


Eric Ottaway and Brooklyn Brew Up Something Special

Brooklyn Brewery has just launched their first non-alcoholic beer in the US, called Special Effects, after its resounding success in Europe. Non-alc beer may often be seen as an alternative to traditional beer, but our guest, Brooklyn CEO Eric Ottaway, insists that Special Effects offers incremental sales, bringing “more places, more occasions, and more people” into the beer category. In the US, non-alc beer sales are tiny but growing quickly, and despite large brewers reportedly...


Hard Seltzer Storms the Light-Beer Fortress

Hard seltzer brands like White Claw and Truly have stormed onto the scene, injecting growth, excitement, and more than a little anxiety into the struggling US beer industry. Light and bubbly, and imminently 'sessionable,' hard seltzer has become a category unto itself. Its viral popularity offers big brewers an opportunity to draw female consumers away from the wine & spirits category – something they’ve struggled to achieve for decades. But, in order to do so, they face an unfamiliar...


¡Viva la Revolución! Coffee Drinkers Take to the Streets

All around the world, the growth of out-of-home coffee consumption has attracted a wave of investment from coffee players and non-coffee players alike. Coffee companies are facing new competition from all sides. Startups like Luckin’ are using tech and delivery to take new business models from zero to V60 in no time flat. Quick-service restaurants, supermarkets, and convenience stores are using coffee to attract new consumers throughout the day – often at the expense of established players....


Joining Forces: How ZX and Kombrewcha Work Together

Kombrewcha, a hard kombucha company, joined the ZX Ventures portfolio in 2016. Kombucha is now a billion-dollar global industry. And while the famously tart, probiotic beverage has naturally occurring alcohol, Kombrewcha (4.4% ABV) was the first brand to take things one step further and introduce hard kombucha to the alcohol space. In this episode, Liz Tomic from ZX Ventures makes an encore performance alongside Kombrewcha CEO, Garret Bredenkamp, to explain how they work together to perfect...


ZX Ventures: Inside AB InBev’s Growth and Innovation Group

ZX Ventures is AB InBev’s global growth and innovation group. They are best known as a corporate venture fund, boasting an impressive and far-reaching portfolio that includes Swish Beverages (Babe Wine), Hiball Energy, RateBeer, Master of Malt, and Tripel Karmeliet, among others. But ZX Ventures is much more than a corporate VC. Their 1,500-person team is tackling everything from e-commerce and brand experience to international craft. In this episode, Liz Tomic, Global Director of ZX...


The Triple Bottom-Line With Jackson Family Wines

Jackson Family Wines has achieved a 33% drop in greenhouse gas emissions and a 60% reduction in the water required to produce a bottle of wine over the last decade. In February, the company, together with Familia Torres, announced a new working group, International Wineries for Climate Action, with a mission to decarbonize the wine industry. On this episode, Katie Jackson and Julien Gevreau from Jackson Family Wines share their bold vision for a more sustainable wine industry and the...


Lessons in Craft M&A with Pernod and Park Street

This week, two fantastic guests help us understand the drivers of M&A in craft spirits and what both founders and investors must do to create a successful long-term partnership. We highlight best practices – and potential pitfalls – in executing an acquisition. Nick Papanicolaou, VP at Pernod Ricard’s New Brand Ventures division, offers buyer insights. He helped execute investments in Smooth Ambler Spirits, mescal brand Del Maguey and, most recently, Rabbit Hole Distilling. Emily...