Speaker Spotlight: Laura Lodge

Laura Lodge is giving us a preview into what she’ll be discussing with her fellow presenters during the Consolidation of Distributors session at the Craft Beverage Distribution Conference.

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What is the topic of your session at the conference?

The consolidation of distributors.

How is this topic affecting you and the industry?

With the consolidation of distributors, there is a tendency for the distributor’s portfolio to get so large that their sales representatives can’t effectively manage or market individual brands. In addition, small suppliers are often left to fend on their own; even if they have a distributor since they are most easily overlooked. Access to the market becomes a problem in this way. The other issue here is that brands may not have the opportunity to approve the new distributor depending on the laws of the state and/or their contract, and can wind up in a distribution contract that isn’t a good fit for them.

Can you provide a teaser of key points of this topic that you will cover as a presenter?

  • Managing your distributor for face-time and mind-share when they have become enormous
  • Discussing your legal options when your distributor announces they are being purchased
  • Learning about individual state ramifications if you choose to terminate your distributor agreement (and can)
  • Choosing whether to opt for distribution with a large distributor or self-distribute – when you get the option
  • Pros and cons to working with a consolidated distributor
  • Tips and tricks to navigate a distributor that you didn’t choose and how to (try to) keep it from happening to you

What do you hope to achieve by sharing this information with attendees in terms of benefits for them and the overall industry?

Helping people navigate the complicated waters of distribution is very rewarding. We want people to understand that they have the resources for assistance, when to ask for assistance, and to be savvy about when they do and don’t have options regarding distributor consolidation.

What are you personally looking forward to at this year’s conference/expo and why?

Connecting with knowledgable industry people with common challenges, learning about their strategies, & celebrating their triumphs.


Don’t miss Laura and her fellow presenters, Jim Schembre, Michael Minton, Brook Bristow, and Jordan Egbert as they discuss what effects the consolidation trend can have on your market growth. Get your pass here!