The Food Marketing Institute (FMI) released a study that demonstrates the positive, economic impact of permitting wine sales in the 8,489 food stores doing business in states that currently restrict such sales, citing the creation of more than 168,000 potential jobs, paying $7.2 billion in wages and providing billions of dollars in additional revenue to federal, state and local governments.
FMI commissioned Stonebridge Research Group, LLC, a leading and authoritative source of research, data and insight into the business of wine and the key trends and forces driving the industry, to author the report, FMI Wine Study: The Economic Impact of Allowing Shoppers to Purchase Wine in Food Stores, which found benefits extended to job creation, increased government revenues and greater consumer choice by permitting wine in food stores, as currently 17 states do not allow its sale.
Patrick Davis, vice president of state government relations at FMI, said, “As our members and their customers work to recover from this difficult recession, we feel the time has come for states to remove the barriers and enable food retailers to create more jobs in local communities, help consumers reduce their daily travel needs and provide new sources of revenues for overburdened state and local budgets.”
The report notes that permitting wine to be sold in food stores in states that restrict these sales would create more than 168,000 new U.S. jobs, and support $7.2 billion in additional wages in food retailing, wine production, wholesale/distribution and among the varied suppliers to all of these businesses. In addition to jobs, federal, state and local governments could reap significant additional revenues from increased license fees, sales taxes, and growing employment and business profitability taxes. Revenues at the state and local levels alone could equate to $3.3 billion and more than $1.9 billion at the federal level.
“While the study touts the economic impact, it is not meant to minimize the seriousness of alcohol abuse concerns,” Davis commented. “We believe incorporating wine into the meal reduces the incidence of wine consumption merely as an intoxicant, which is an important step in responsible alcohol consumption.”