TTB Publishes FAQ on Tied House Ruling

3.21.2016

by Michael Kaiser

The TTB has issued a set of frequently asked questions in response to their ruling on federal tied house violations (see our analysis here). The ruling was issued last month and was in response to Kroger’s proposal to allow a large distributor to control shelving in their stores.

The TTB has made it clear that industry members may provide retailers a plan for shelving, but nothing further. An industry member may not provide and “inducement” or a “thing of value” to the retailer. While not mentioning Kroger by name, the TTB notes that any category management arrangement between an industry member and a retailer may not result in the exclusion of a competitor’s products.  Any such practice would be considered a violation of the Federal Alcohol Administration Act.

When the ruling was published, it was not clear if there were to be an exceptions to what is considered a “thing of value”. The TTB has clarified a few exceptions to what is and is not allowed. They are as follows:

  • Product displays not to exceed $300 per brand
  • Advertising items such as posters, coasters, paper napkins, foam scrapers, calendars, ash trays, cork crews, shirts and caps
  • Consumer coupons and contests
  • Consumer tastings and samplings

To read the full FAQ as published visit the TTB’s website.

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Questions? Contact Michael Kaiser, Director of Public Affairs, mkaiser@wineamerica.org.

WineAmerica is the national voice the American wine industry. Based in Washington, D.C., WineAmerica represents wineries in 43 states and leads a coalition of state and regional wine and grape associations.  As an industry leader, WineAmerica encourages the dynamic growth and development of American wineries and winegrowing through the advancement and advocacy of sound public policy

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